In Full

Rugby Union in Full

Allan Massie: Lions talk ahead of Six Nations is tiresome

The Autumn internationals are just over. We are still eight weeks from the Six Nations, the most important tournament in the Northern Hemisphere. But what do we find in the papers? Reams of speculation about the composition of the Lions party. It’s understandable of course. Such pieces are easy to write and they attract comments in abundance. Nevertheless it’s tiresome, and it’s been made even more so this week by Warren Gatland’s claim that Gregor Townsend was eager to accept his invitation to be one of the Lions’ attack coaches but turned down the offer because of pressure from his employers, the SRU.

Leone Nakarawa in action for Racing 92 against Stade Francais in the French Top 14. Picture: Miguel Medina/AFP/Getty Images

Leone Nakarawa aiming to derail Glasgow’s European dream

It is the nature of the business but Glasgow have lost a heap of talent over the years: Richie Gray to France, Al 
Kellock to old age, DTH van der Merwe and John Barclay to the Scarlets, Moray Low and Niko Matawalu to the Chiefs, Duncan Weir to their inter city rivals. But if Gregor Townsend had the opportunity to recall just one of the many alumni there is little doubt that he would put out the welcome mat for a long-limbed Fijian lock who became a firm favourite of all at Scotstoun, coaches, players and fans alike.

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Glasgow coach Gregor Townsend hopes to engineer a famous win in Paris. Picture: SNS Group

Gregor Townsend needs away win to erase blot on copybook

It is perhaps the one blot on Gregor Townsend’s coaching copybook, the failure of Glasgow to progress to the quarter-finals of Europe.

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Edinburgh head coach Duncan Hodge. Picture: Craig Foy/SNS/SRU

Edinburgh acting boss Duncan Hodge admits pressure is on

Edinburgh’s acting head coach Duncan Hodge admits he is feeling the pressure as Edinburgh’s season continues to unfold with a regular drumbeat of defeat.

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Glasgow Warriors' Fraser Brown. Picture:

Concentration is key for Glasgow Warriors in Paris Euro tie

Glasgow’s hooker Fraser Brown played in the first European match against Racing 92 last season, a 34-10 defeat in Paris, but missed the chance to gain a sliver of revenge in Kilmarnock when the Warriors won the return 22-5.

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Edinburgh's Phil Burleigh. Picture: Craig Foy/SNS

Earthquake scare puts rugby in perspective for Phil Burleigh

It has been a trying season for Edinburgh but experiencing the recent deadly earthquake in New Zealand has put rugby into perspective for Phil Burleigh.

Guinness Pro12
Scottish stand-off Fraser Gillies kicked 13 points as Cambridge University defeated Oxford University at Twickenham.  Picture: David Rogers/Getty Images

Scots No 10 Fraser Gillies helps Cambridge win Varsity match

Scottish stand-off Fraser Gillies helped Cambridge claim their first Varsity Match victory since 2009 as they ended Oxford’s record-breaking run of success in the fixture at Twickenham.

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Glasgow Warriors' Alex Dunbar is relishing this weekend's clash with Racing 92. Picture: Ross Brownlee/SNS/SRU

Glasgow centre Alex Dunbar ready to tackle childhood heroes

Gregor Townsend was reluctant to give away too much about the 23-man Glasgow squad that will face Racing 92 on Saturday beyond the bleeding obvious.

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Edinburgh's Will Helu. Picture: Ross Brownlee/SNS/SRU

Will Helu: Euro test can help Edinburgh bounce back

Edinburgh wing Will Helu is hoping that the change of scene back to European rugby can be the catalyst for a stuttering season to get back on track.

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Stewart's Melville celebrate winning the final of the Under-18 Cup. Picture: SNS Group/SRU

Stewart’s Melville 36-32 Dollar: Lineen stars in cup classic

Stewart’s Melville College got their hands on the Scottish Schools Cup for the first time in five years as they edged an enthralling match with Dollar Academy which ended in high drama.

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St Aloysius' Adam Scott kicks a penalty as the Glasgow school beat Strathallan at Murrayfield. Picture: SNS/SRU

Strathallan 3 St Aloysius 10: Glasgow school U16s triumph

St Aloysius College struck a blow for west coast rugby by winning the Scottish Schools under-16 Cup on the international pitch at BT Murrayfield last night with a powerful performance that combined physical attacking and equally physical defence.

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Glasgow Warriors' Peter Horne receives treatment against Munster. Picture: Bill Murray/SNS

Injured Glasgow Warriors duo could miss Six Nations

Glasgow backs Peter Horne and Rory Hughes face lengthy spells out injured and could miss the Six Nations.

Glasgow Warriors
Craig Joubert is to retire from refereeing.  Picture: David Rogers/Getty Images

Craig Joubert quits as Test referee to take World Rugby post

THE match official whose controversial late penalty award led to Scotland’s agonising exit from the 2015 Rugby World Cup is quitting Test refereeing to take up a development role with World Rugby.

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The 2017 Lions coaching team: Rob Howley, backs coach, Steve Borthwick, forwards coach, Warren Gatland, head coach, and Andy Farrell, defence coach pose.  Picture: David Rogers/Getty Images

Warren Gatland names his Lions coaches for New Zealand

Warren Gatland has announced a widely-expected British and Irish Lions coaching team for next summer’s New Zealand tour of Steve Borthwick, Andy Farrell and Rob Howley.

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Edinburgh's Hamish Watson. Picture: Ross Brownlee/SNS/SRU

Hamish Watson hopes to bring ‘good vibes’ back 
to Edinburgh

If anyone can inject a bit of confidence into Edinburgh ranks following back-to-back losses in Wales it should be Hamish Watson.

Challenge Cup
British and Irish Lions head coach Warren Gatland. Picture: David Rogers/Getty Images

Warren Gatland may spring surprise with Lions staff

Current Wales interim head coach Rob Howley is set to be named as an assistant coach for next summer’s British and Irish Lions tour of New 
Zealand when the back-room line-up is revealed in Dublin today.

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Robbie Nelson (centre) tries to fend off Craig Jackson and Nyal Godsmark. Picture: Ian Georgeson.

Rob Chrystie hails Melrose’s winning blend

Currie came close to beating the best team in the Premiership but ultimately had to settle for the cold comfort of a losing bonus point as the league leaders went home with another five points in the bag, writes William Paul.

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Owen Farrell, of England, fends off a challenge from Australia's Lopeti Timani. Picture: Getty.

Paul Gustard: Ford and Farrell key for England in World Cup

Paul Gustard believes George Ford and Owen Farrell can build the attacking menace to steer England to World Cup glory in 2019.

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Ali Price confident Glasgow can shine in Paris

Pity the poor players who scarcely have time to draw breath before they are thrown into the next big round of matches. The autumn international series only ended last weekend, or yesterday if you turn out for England, and next weekend sees the return of Challenge and Champions Cup action.

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Dollar Academy's
 Euan McLaren in action for Scotland U18

Dollar face Stewarts Melville in schools final

The schools cup final usually throws up a player or two worth keeping an eye on. In the past John Barclay played against his future Glasgow team-mate Richard Vernon and ended up on the winning side. Peter Horne and Chris Fusaro were members of the triumphant Bell Baxter team in 2007 and more recently Harlequins winger Robbie Nairn shone for George Watson’s just a couple of years back.

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