ROY Laidlaw kicks off New Year and a new episode of The Scotsman Rugby Show with international memories from his playing days with Scotland.
The former Scotland and British and Irish Lions scrum-half launches us into a New Year with recollections from a Scotland career in which he carved a special place in Scottish sporting history with stand-off partner John Rutherford. Who wound him up before his first cap in Dublin? Which All Black did he name his youngest son after? And which player does Laidlaw name as his favourite Scotland internationalist of all time? (It is not Rutherford, or Gary Armstrong or even a back).
We also look back to last year with our own ‘Best XV Tries of 2012’, which include great scores from schools, club and international levels, feature highlights from the Waverley Cup match between Gala and Melrose on Boxing Day with the terrific commentary of Stuart McCulloch, and we launch a new spotlight on the top clubs in Scotland and what they are doing to develop the sport in their area in Aberdeen, with Grammar coach Alex Duncan, Chris Cusiter and Chris Paterson giving their views on the importance of rugby in the north of Scotland.
The show is now in a fortnightly format and the next edition, on 16 January, will feature an interview with Scotland’s new interim head coach Scott Johnson, where he looks back on why he took on the Scotland post, what his varied role with the SRU really encompasses and what he believes is achievable for Scotland in 2013.
But, at the start of a New Year, sit back and enjoy some great tries and memories, and after some disappointments in the past 12 months remind yourself that Scotland does have a good amount of rugby talent now and for the future. Email or tweet (@davidferg) your favourite try from the selection - they are not necessarily in order but do you agree with our choice as no1?
Thank you to our hard-working producer Stuart Cameron for all his help with the programme, and to the Scottish clubs and sponsors who have invested in this attempt to broaden coverage of rugby in Scotland.
And if you have any suggestions on how we could make the show better, email me at: firstname.lastname@example.org.