{"JP":[ {"NewsSection":{"name":"sport","detaillevel":"full", "Articles": {"count":25,"detaillevel":"full","articlesList":[ {"article": { "url":"https://www.scotsman.com/sport/football/man-city-4-3-spurs-var-var-voom-as-spurs-win-thriller-1-4909667","id":"1.4909667","articleHeadline": "Man City 4-3 Spurs: VAR, VAR Voom as Spurs win thriller","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1555538421000 ,"articleLead": "

Raheem Sterling was denied a dramatic late winner as Tottenham snatched a remarkable away-goals victory to end Manchester City’s quadruple quest at the Etihad Stadium.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4909666.1555538417!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Fernando Llorente scores Spurs' vital third."} ,"articleBody": "

Sterling thought he had completed a stunning hat-trick in the dying moments of a pulsating Champions League quarter-final but VAR intervened and Spurs went through to the semi-finals despite a 4-3 defeat on the night.

Sergio Aguero was adjudged to have strayed offside in the build-up, deflating City and meaning that Spurs would prevail with the score 4-4 on aggregate.

It was an incredible ending to a thrilling contest, which had seen both sides lead.

Sterling and Son Heung-min both struck twice in the first half, with Bernardo Silva’s deflected effort giving the hosts the lead.

An Aguero strike then put City in control of the tie but a bundled Fernando Llorente goal proved decisive for Spurs.

The tone for a frantic night was set as Sterling curled home his first after just four minutes. Kevin De Bruyne was twice involved in a quick break before Sterling cut inside Kieran Trippier and bent a low shot past Hugo Lloris from just inside the area.

That had the stadium rocking with the supporters who seemed to have responded to Pep Guardiola’s rallying call at their loudest.

Yet they were silenced within moments as Spurs responded in stunning style with Son grabbing two quickfire goals.

City contributed to their own downfall with Aymeric Laporte twice giving the ball away. The first time he failed to cut out a Dele Alli pass into the area and Son blasted a shot underneath Ederson.

The second occasion he was further upfield but Spurs quickly broke with Christian Eriksen feeding Son and the Korean curling a superb shot into the top corner.

Remarkably just seven minutes had elapsed but within another four the score was 2-2 as City roared back with Bernardo Silva’s shot deflected in by Danny Rose.

Bernardo Silva was then involved in the move that saw City regain the lead, releasing De Bruyne with a backheel. De Bruyne then picked out Sterling unmarked at the far post with a trademark low cross and the England forward tapped home his 23rd City goal of the season.

That put City back ahead on the night but with them still trailing on away goals they continued to force the pace and the game remained open.

Aguero had a shot blocked before Son beat Kyle Walker at the other end and curled another shot just wide.

De Bruyne scuffed a shot at Lloris and missed the target with a free-kick. The second half started with Lloris denying Sterling and De Bruyne with good saves. Fernando Llorente tested Ederson with a header but the momentum was with City.

The hosts claimed the goal that put them ahead in the tie just before the hour as De Bruyne released Aguero with a sublime throughball. Showing the composure for which he is famed, the Argentinian blasted a ferocious shot past Lloris from a tight angle.

Having gained the initiative in the tie, Guardiola, pictured, tried to protect it by sending on Fernandinho but his plans were soon torn up as Llorente bundled in a controversial effort from a corner after 73 minutes. Play was held up for a VAR referral as the ball appeared to brush the Spaniard’s arm before bouncing in off his hip but he was eventually given the benefit of the doubt. City needed a late response and they thought they had found it as Sterling showed great footwork in the box before poking past Lloris, but VAR saved Spurs.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "ANGUS WRIGHT"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4909666.1555538417!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4909666.1555538417!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Fernando Llorente scores Spurs' vital third.","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Fernando Llorente scores Spurs' vital third.","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4909666.1555538417!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"https://www.scotsman.com/sport/football/hearts/in-full/steven-maclean-i-want-more-cup-final-memories-to-cherish-1-4909641","id":"1.4909641","articleHeadline": "Steven MacLean: I want more cup final memories to cherish","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1555536600000 ,"articleLead": "

Steven MacLean scored when St Johnstone beat Dundee United in the Scottish Cup final five years ago to secure their first major trophy

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4909640.1555531949!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Steven MacLean plants a kiss on the William Hill Scottish Cup trophy after St Johnstone's win at Hampden in 2014."} ,"articleBody": "

But he’s still tempted to consider winning the cup at the age of 36 might be a better achievement since the pressure to succeed at Tynecastle is far more intense.

The veteran striker has the chance to become a hero in Gorgie when Hearts face Celtic next month.

He’s still very much a legend in Perth after the part he played in the victory in 2014. The win saw fans flood the streets of the city the next day and, to use his own description, MacLean was “rattling” for a week. He was undone by some unhelpful scheduling – he had to report to Largs on the Monday morning for a week-long coaching badge course.

“When I got there everyone was congratulating me and to be honest you still get people coming up to you years after the event,” he said. “Look at the Hearts teams that have won the cup – they have their own hall of fame dinners!

“It [would be] hard to compare because Hearts are a bigger club with more expectation,” he added, when asked if winning the trophy at this stage of his career would be even more memorable. “It was Saints’ first ever win. I think to be honest each one is special.

“The days after the St Johnstone win were special. Late nights and long days!

“I try not to look back as you want to go and achieve again. But when I look back at times with the boys it was great. I did it with my mates and that’s special.”

MacLean has the chance to join an exclusive band of those who have won the Scottish Cup with three different clubs – in his case Rangers, St Johnstone and potentially Hearts. This achievement would be marked out as 
particularly notable since one of the victories did not occur at Hampden Park.

When MacLean scored the second goal in St Johnstone’s 2-0 victory over Dundee United the game was played at Celtic Park. This was the last final to be played away from Hampden, which was being prepared for hosting the Commonwealth Games later that summer.

He is relishing the chance to secure another winner’s medal at the home of Scottish football. It would involve the classic walk up the stairs to collect the trophy – the only thing missing when he last won it.

“Maybe going up the stairs to collect the cup would be more special,” he said. “Parkhead is a great arena and some would say it’s a better stadium – I’d say that. But Hampden has the history and going up to collect the trophy there would make a difference.”

MacLean was on the bench for Rangers when a Lorenzo Amoruso, inset, header clinched a 1-0 win over Dundee at Hampden in 2003 to secure the treble for the Ibrox club under Alex McLeish.

MacLean was a young player and hadn’t expected to make the squad. It was his first season in senior football and he’d made only four appearances, the last of which had been in February. He was close to being called upon as a weary Rangers struggled to put away Dundee.

“I was actually coming on but Arthur Numan got injured and Kevin Muscat came on instead,” MacLean recalled. “That was the year that we won the league on the final day of the season and I think half the boys had been out from the Sunday to the Thursday. That’s probably why I got on the bench!

“I went up for my medal, but I feel like a bit of a fraud if I haven’t played,” he added. “That’s maybe harsh, but you know what I mean. When you play it makes you feel more special.

“It would definitely mean more to climb the steps having played this time. Coming to Hearts you hope for opportunities but finals don’t come around a lot so you have to take them when you get the chance.”

He was given extra motivation to make it back to a final when reading the match programme before last weekend’s semi-final win over Inverness Caledonian Thistle. Helping stir memories of five years earlier were photos of St Johnstone’s successful campaign, including one of MacLean joining strike partner Stevie May in celebrating the latter’s goal in the semi-final win over Aberdeen at Ibrox. Reliving these moments had given him “goosebumps” prior to kick-off against Inverness, with MacLean coming on as a second-half substitute. He and his teammates have five games left to earn cup final places – starting against former club Rangers at 
Tynecastle on Saturday.

“There are 20 boys who have that in their mind now,” he said. “We have to finish the league season on a high above Hibs and then we have a final to look forward to.”

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "ALAN PATTULLO"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4909640.1555531949!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4909640.1555531949!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Steven MacLean plants a kiss on the William Hill Scottish Cup trophy after St Johnstone's win at Hampden in 2014.","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Steven MacLean plants a kiss on the William Hill Scottish Cup trophy after St Johnstone's win at Hampden in 2014.","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4909640.1555531949!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"https://www.scotsman.com/sport/football/premiership/timothy-weah-says-he-could-return-to-celtic-on-new-loan-deal-1-4909499","id":"1.4909499","articleHeadline": "Timothy Weah says he could return to Celtic on new loan deal","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1555536600000 ,"articleLead": "

Timothy Weah believes extending his stay at Celtic beyond the end of the season is among a number of options as he assesses the next stage of his career.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4909498.1555515939!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Timothy Weah during a Celtic training session. Picture: Paul Devlin/SNS"} ,"articleBody": "

The Paris Saint-Germain striker has revealed he will sit down with his parents, Liberian president and first lady George and Clar Weah, this summer to decide which club will be the ‘best fit’ for him next season.

The 19-year-old, who has scored four goals in 15 appearances for Celtic since signing a six-month loan deal in January, is under contract to Paris Saint-Germain until 2021.

But if first team opportunities at the French champions remain limited for Weah, he is ready to consider another loan move. The United States international has consistently enthused about his experiences at Celtic so far and would be open to the prospect of another loan deal.

“It’s really up to the family,” said the son of former Ballon d’Or winner and AC Milan star George.

“We just have to discuss it and see what opportunity best fits me and is best for my career and future. Who knows? There’s always a possibility I could have another spell at Celtic.

“Right now, I’m just focused on finishing the season, helping the team try to win the treble again and hopefully getting one or two more goals.

“It’s been great for me at Celtic so far. I’ve taken every moment that I can stretch out of it. I’ve made three starts, a lot of sub appearances and scored four goals. I’ve got what I was looking for when I came here in January.

“I’m gaining experience and playing with a great group of guys. It’s really been amazing so far. Hopefully, we can finish the season the way we want to and I can have a season to remember.”

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "STEPHEN HALLIDAY"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4909498.1555515939!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4909498.1555515939!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Timothy Weah during a Celtic training session. Picture: Paul Devlin/SNS","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Timothy Weah during a Celtic training session. Picture: Paul Devlin/SNS","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4909498.1555515939!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"https://www.scotsman.com/sport/football/celtic/in-full/timothy-weah-us-call-up-may-scupper-my-hampden-dream-1-4909621","id":"1.4909621","articleHeadline": "Timothy Weah: US call-up may scupper my Hampden dream","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1555536600000 ,"articleLead": "

Timothy Weah grabbed one of the goals which set Celtic on their way to the Scottish Cup final when he scored on his debut as they began their campaign with a 3-0 win over Airdrie back in January.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4909620.1555528891!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Timothy Weah flies the American flag after Celtic's win over Aberdeen in the Scottish Cup semi-final."} ,"articleBody": "

The teenage striker would love to play a part in next month’s showpiece occasion against Hearts at Hampden but has admitted a club-versus-country conflict could rule him out of the day when Celtic will attempt to lift the famous old trophy for a third successive year for the first time in their history.

Despite already being a full international, Weah is still eligible to play for the United States squad which will participate in the Fifa under-20 World Cup Finals in Poland this summer.

If the 19-year-old is called up, he would miss the Scottish Cup Final on 25 May as the USA’s opening group match is against Ukraine the previous day.

Weah is now waiting to learn if USA national team manager Gregg Berhalter, left, agrees to under-20 coach Tab Ramos’ request to include the Paris Saint-Germain loanee in his World Cup squad. Berhalter may opt instead to retain Weah for the senior squad who will take part in the CONCACAF Gold Cup tournament from 15 June to 7 July.

“I don’t know what’s going on,” said Weah. “I didn’t really know about the situation until I saw it mentioned in the US media. I guess Celtic has to discuss it with the national team.

“I would love to play in the Scottish Cup final for Celtic but it’s a World Cup as well for the national team which is also a big deal. It’s up to the club and the national team to discuss which one is better for me.

“Hopefully, whatever happens, the guys will go to Hampden and pull off the victory. It would be good to be a part of it but we’ll wait and see what happens.”

Weah got his first taste of a major domestic cup final in August last year, albeit the Trophee des Champions (French Super Cup) was relocated to Shenzhen in China in a bid to widen the marketing appeal of French club football.

It proved to be a memorable occasion for Weah who lined up alongside stellar names such as Gianluigi Buffon, Angel di Maria and Neymar for Paris Saint-Germain against Monaco and scored the final goal in his club’s 4-0 victory in front of over 40,000 spectators.

“That was my first senior final so it went really well, especially with scoring a goal,” said Weah. “To be on the pitch with such good players was amazing. I’d played in a couple of finals for the PSG youth team before that, so I know what the pressure can be like in those kind of games especially when you’re playing for a big club who are the favourites to win.

“The pressure could be on us the same way in the Scottish Cup final because we’re forced to make the play against Hearts. But I feel like we will get the job done.”

Weah was again restricted to a substitute appearance as Celtic reached the final with their 3-0 victory over nine-man Aberdeen at Hampden last Sunday.

But despite having made just three starts in his 15 outings since joining the Scottish champions on a six-month loan deal from PSG in January, Weah is content with his role as part of a squad on the verge of completing a remarkable treble treble of domestic trophies. “It’s always amazing to break records and this team has been amazing so far,” he added. “I’m just happy to be a part of the club and happy to be a part of the experience. I’m happy to potentially be a player who could be written down in the history books. It’s a feeling I’ve never felt before so it’s wonderful.

“I feel like it’s an honour because the triple treble has never been done before. To be a part of the team that does it would be amazing. I thank God for blessing us so much and we have the opportunity to finish the season and become a historic team.

“We were fortunate that Aberdeen got two red cards in the semi-final but it was a good performance from us regardless of that. We know that we have to play 100 per cent in games like that.

“When we played them in the league at Celtic Park last month it didn’t go so well when we drew 0-0, but, in the semi, we showed why we’re the best team in the league and No 1 in Scotland. We just have to continue winning and go into the final with a lot of confidence.”

Weah believes the Celtic squad deserve credit for not being adversely affected by the sudden departure of Brendan Rodgers as manager in February, remaining on course to retain both the Premiership and Scottish Cup under interim boss Neil Lennon.

“The guys are professionals and we know that whatever happens outside of the field happens and we just had to stay focused on winning the league and getting trophies and doing it for the supporters,” said Weah. “Our captain Scott Brown has led us the right way. We’re just going step by step and we’re into the final now so we need to finish the job, win the league early and just finish season well.”

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "STEPHEN HALLIDAY"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4909620.1555528891!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4909620.1555528891!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Timothy Weah flies the American flag after Celtic's win over Aberdeen in the Scottish Cup semi-final.","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Timothy Weah flies the American flag after Celtic's win over Aberdeen in the Scottish Cup semi-final.","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4909620.1555528891!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"https://www.scotsman.com/sport/rugby-union/guinness-pro14/versatile-veteran-ruaridh-jackson-extends-glasgow-warriors-stay-1-4909625","id":"1.4909625","articleHeadline": "Versatile veteran Ruaridh Jackson extends Glasgow Warriors stay","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1555536600000 ,"articleLead": "

Eleven years ago Ruaridh Jackson was the next big thing in a number ten shirt, and now the prodigal Warrior has morphed into Glasgow’s father figure in his new position at full-back.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4909624.1555529265!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Ruaridh Jackson, centre, during a Glasgow training session. Picture: Gary Hutchison/SNS/SRU"} ,"articleBody": "

He has always been the most approachable of players and Jackson was in good spirits yesterday as he talked about both his one-year contract extension with Glasgow and, of course, his burgeoning gin business.

“I’m delighted to put pen to paper,” said Jackson at a press conference yesterday. “I’ve loved my time back here at Glasgow, moving back up north has definitely reinvigorated me.

“There have been opportunities that I maybe didn’t expect at the start. Getting the 15 slot, with Hoggy taking an extended rest over the last couple of seasons!

“I’ve managed to get a lot of game-time and I’ve really enjoyed it. It’s testing with a lot of these younger boys keeping the older guys on our toes.”

Jackson is still only 31 but given that his breakthrough game occurred way back in 2008 against Bath in the old Heineken Cup it’s fair to say that the fly-half/full-back has a fair few miles on the clock.

His new contract is for one year, with the club retaining an option to extend by another 12 months, and coach Dave Rennie will surely need his versatile veteran. Stuart Hogg is off to Exeter in the summer and goodness knows how many Warriors will be in 
Scotland’s World Cup squad.

Jackson played throughout the 2011 World Cup in New Zealand, missed out four years later and hasn’t entirely given up all hope of making the flight to Tokyo, although he is realistic about his 
prospects.

“I might sneak in if there’s a few injuries,” he says with a rueful smile. “But I know probably where I’m at and I’m not pinning all my hopes on making it. If the likes of 
Hoggy and Blair [Kinghorn] are fit, they’ll be in. Then there’s other guys who can cover like Sean Maitland and Tommy Seymour. So I would probably need a few people to go down injured to make it. But, you never know, stranger things have happened. I could be the next Stephen Donald! But I think my focus will largely be on Glasgow next year.”

Jackson has more immediate worries to attend to, notably Glasgow’s final match of the regular season against Edinburgh next weekend with everything it entails, a home semi-final and what could be a last shot at silverware. When put on the spot Jackson 
concedes his own personal trophy cabinet is bare.

Jackson left Glasgow for Wasps just before the Warriors won the Pro12 Championship in 2015 and then he had a couple of semi-final defeats with the Coventry-based club.

“I’ve never won, I missed out on the league title, they won it the year after I left, we lost in the final in my [last] year,” says Jackson.

“I like the analogy, (of me) loosening the lid and then they finished the job!

“It gives me huge motivation to continue the work. I have mentioned that retirement is near, though hopefully not for a good couple of years yet. It is something that will drive me on to hopefully get a league title and push on in Europe as much as possible. The year I left, when we lost in the final, was one of the worst moments, getting so close but not across the finishing line. I was delighted that they won it the next year but it does hurt a little that I did not get to enjoy those moments with some of my best mates. I have huge motivation to come back and win something.”

A room full of journalists is too good an opportunity to let slip when a young entrepeneur has just launched a brand new spirit. Garden Shed Gin, started by Jackson and former team-mate Ryan Grant, was beholden, like all the best ideas, to beer, if Jackson is to be believed.

“When I first moved up, I was staying at Ryan’s and we were having a few beers. He was getting close to retirement and I am getting there now as well. He just said ‘I think we could make gin’ and I was just, ‘yeah, whatever mate’; he was ‘yeah, I reckon we could’.

“So we bought a little still online and started mucking about. A good few months of moonshining in the back garden, having a good few drinks led to what we thought was a pretty good recipe.” A few bottles will be cracked open if Glasgow win next weekend and finish atop Conference A.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "IAIN MORRISON"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4909624.1555529265!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4909624.1555529265!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Ruaridh Jackson, centre, during a Glasgow training session. Picture: Gary Hutchison/SNS/SRU","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Ruaridh Jackson, centre, during a Glasgow training session. Picture: Gary Hutchison/SNS/SRU","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4909624.1555529265!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"https://www.scotsman.com/sport/rugby-union-2-14915/murrayfield-shifts-focus-to-clubs-in-bid-to-keep-players-in-rugby-1-4909619","id":"1.4909619","articleHeadline": "Murrayfield shifts focus to clubs in bid to keep players in rugby","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1555536600000 ,"articleLead": "

Scottish Rugby is set to roll out a new vision for development of the grassroots game, which will include a new domestic league structure to begin in season 2021-22.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4909618.1555528632!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "SRU Director of Rugby Development Sheila Begbie. Picture: Paul Devlin/SNS/SRU"} ,"articleBody": "

With the new part-time professional Super 6 league, which will see six clubs move into the elite programme in licence agreements with the union, the governing body is refocusing on the game below and has produced a draft 
document.

Sheila Begbie, the former Scotland footballer and administrator, is now the SRU’s director of rugby development in a change from the domestic rugby department she inherited from Keith 
Russell in 2017.

A key component of the new strategy will see a “de-centralisation” of the SRU’s development programme into five regions which will be “auto-
nomous areas with drawback to BT Murrayfield.”

Moving away from the old four districts, these “regions” will see Edinburgh, Lothians and Borders combined into one, alongside Glasgow North, Glasgow South, North&Midlands and 
Caledonia, and the North.

Each region will have five regional directors, with 12 regional managers and five coach development officers spread across the country.

Nationwide the SRU development team will be complemented by three schools and youth officers, funded by the “CashBack for Communities” proceeds of crime initiative, a women’s and girls’ development officer, five regional administrators and three competitions administrators.

Begbie said: “For me the whole thing we need to do is recalibrate our relationship with the clubs. Our regional teams being out there to support the clubs and to actively develop really good relationships.

“The role of the community or grassroots game is huge. Everyone, regardless of who you are, whether you’re a future Stuart Hogg or a Lisa Thomson or a Gregor Townsend, if you end up in high-performance your journey starts in our department.”

The wide-ranging draft 
document will now go out to consultation with member clubs, with perhaps the most challenging element being the proposed revamp of the national league system below Super 6 by 2021-22.

Begbie said she hoped lots of discussion and listening to the needs of clubs on how the season is structured will lead to a consensus, but she admitted there might “need to be some tough love in the room” to get the final sign-off.

Other key parts of the new vision for grassroots rugby include a plan to bring in an extra age grade for girls’ rugby, which is currently played at Under-15 and Under-18 level.

The proposal is to change that to U12, U14, U16 and U18 in a bid to cut down on mismatches. Begbie said there was now confidence that playing numbers among girls had increased sufficiently to warrant a new layer.

On the vexed general issue of playing numbers, Begbie said that the results of the audit 
system known as “Scrums” should be out after the end of the season. The aim is to “cleanse data” which has meant 
the official World Rugby number of Scottish registered players from 2016 is plainly outdated. Against this backdrop, 
Begbie said the target of what she described as an “increased regional footprint” was the “retention” of existing players, not increasing playing numbers, with plans to 
facilitate players staying in the game.

“Clubs are the absolute heartbeat of our game and we need to make sure we support them,” Begbie added. “This new operating model helps us to deliver that.”

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "DUNCAN SMITH"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4909618.1555528632!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4909618.1555528632!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "SRU Director of Rugby Development Sheila Begbie. Picture: Paul Devlin/SNS/SRU","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "SRU Director of Rugby Development Sheila Begbie. Picture: Paul Devlin/SNS/SRU","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4909618.1555528632!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"https://www.scotsman.com/sport/more-in-sport-2-17293/duncan-scott-ready-to-continue-his-tokyo-olympic-aspirations-in-100m-freestyle-1-4909659","id":"1.4909659","articleHeadline": "Duncan Scott ready to continue his Tokyo Olympic aspirations in 100m freestyle","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1555535566000 ,"articleLead": "

The bucket list drafted by Duncan Scott and his coach Steve Tigg is extensive and ambitious. For swimming’s world championships in South Korea this July, the 21-year-old covets a crack at three individual events and some relays on top. Natural progression, extraordinary ambition, in the wake of his European and Commonwealth titles from last year and the Olympic 
silvers secured in 2016.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4909658.1555535562!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Ross Murdoch, left, Adam Peaty and Craig Benson show off their medals after the men's 50m breaststroke. Pic: Craig Williamson/SNS"} ,"articleBody": "

To fulfil his competitive desires, firstly the formality of securing his spot on the team via this week’s British trials in Glasgow. And on his bow last night, he claimed second place in the 200 metres butterfly behind close cohort James Guy in a ferocious duel in the pool which was decided by less than half a second.

“I don’t swim that event that often,” Scott acknowledged. “But when I do, I want to make the most of it.”

The fly remains a fringe pursuit. However, the 100 metres freestyle, in which he will compete today, is central to his plans of Olympic triumph come Tokyo 2020.

Many hours of cramming in the pool at the University of Stirling have been devoted to this examination. “The plan is to see how fast I can go compared to 2018,” he maintained. “It will be a good battle. There are some good boys in there. It will be interesting to see what the heats are like and what happens out of it.”

Adam Peaty departed Glasgow with formalities ticked off after winning the 50m breaststroke in 26.49 secs as an accompaniment to 
his 100m victory of 24 hours earlier.

Now, the Englishman declared, let his rivals bring their best come July. It will still not be enough, he forecast.

“When you shave and taper for a mid-season meet, you’re trying to psych me out and you still lose… it doesn’t really affect me.”

He plans to race two more meetings, in Spain and Italy, and mess with minds. “I’ll do Canet in Barcelona and hopefully Sette Colli just before worlds, which the rest of the world take very seriously for some reason. That will put them under pressure.”

Second and third in his wake, Ross Murdoch and Craig Benson must take one last shot at making their case for the worlds over 200m tomorrow.

James Wilby, who opted out of the 50m, will stand in their way but he is no Peaty. “If I can get through the first 100 nice and easy, I’m definitely in there with a shout,” said Murdoch.

Georgia Davies pipped Jessica Fullalove in the 100m backstroke with Kathleen Dawson edging out fellow Scot Cassie Wild for third by one-hundredth of a second. Craig McNally was “hugely disappointed” with fifth in the men’s 100m backstroke with Luke Greenbank victorious.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "MARK WOODS"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4909658.1555535562!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4909658.1555535562!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Ross Murdoch, left, Adam Peaty and Craig Benson show off their medals after the men's 50m breaststroke. Pic: Craig Williamson/SNS","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Ross Murdoch, left, Adam Peaty and Craig Benson show off their medals after the men's 50m breaststroke. Pic: Craig Williamson/SNS","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4909658.1555535562!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"https://www.scotsman.com/sport/football/hibernian/in-full/hibs-haven-t-given-up-on-finishing-third-says-paul-heckingbottom-1-4909487","id":"1.4909487","articleHeadline": "Hibs ‘haven’t given up on finishing third’ says Paul Heckingbottom","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1555514736000 ,"articleLead": "

Hibs head coach Paul Heckingbottom has refused to rule out the possibility of his side finishing third, ahead of the start of the post-split fixtures this weekend.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4909485.1555514952!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Hibs head coach Paul Heckingbottom hasn't given up hope of finishing third. Picture: SNS Group"} ,"articleBody": "

The Easter Road side have embarked on an eight-game unbeaten run in the league since the former Leeds boss was appointed in mid-February, lifting them to fifth in the table and within six points of third-place Kilmarnock.

The Capital club kick off their final five fixtures with a home match in Sunday against Celtic - the only team to have beaten Hibs during Heckingbottom’s tenure - but the Yorkshireman reckons the post-split format can have a big impact on where a team finishes in the league.

“It looks a long, long way and of course it is,” Heckingbottom said of the gap between fifth and third as he spoke to Sky Sports at the club’s East Mains training centre.

“We’re not kidding ourselves but I think with the format, it is different because you’re playing all the top teams. It’s quite easy for a team not to pick up points, or not pick up any points.

“If you get results that people don’t expect you to get - i.e. on Sunday - you can gain a head start on everybody else.”

Finishing third would guarantee Hibs a place in Europe, but even equalling last season’s fourth-placed finish could be enough, if Celtic defeat Hearts in next month’s William Hill Scottish Cup final.

Wherever his side end up in the table, however, Heckingbottom believes securing a top six finish will give him vital information ahead of next term, and insists finishing in the upper echelons of the Ladbrokes Premiership was the coaching staff’s aim when they arrived.

“We had a lot of work to do to catch up [but] that was sort of our goal when we came in,” Heckingbottom said.

“You’ve got another derby, you’ve got to play all the top teams, so you’re going to be playing in front of full houses.

“Teams are playing for things, whether it’s chasing Europe or to win the title.

“That was the reason, from a purely selfish point of view, to see how we manage and cope in these big games. Because we want to be up there challenging next season.

“We want to be up there pushing these boys.”

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4909485.1555514952!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4909485.1555514952!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Hibs head coach Paul Heckingbottom hasn't given up hope of finishing third. Picture: SNS Group","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Hibs head coach Paul Heckingbottom hasn't given up hope of finishing third. Picture: SNS Group","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4909485.1555514952!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ {"video": {"brightcoveId":"5775052899001"} } ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"https://www.scotsman.com/sport/football/premiership/spfl-season-2019-20-winter-break-retained-as-campaign-start-date-is-revealed-1-4909447","id":"1.4909447","articleHeadline": "SPFL season 2019/20: Winter break retained as campaign start date is revealed","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1555512974000 ,"articleLead": "

The big kick-off for next season’s Ladbrokes Premiership has been pencilled in for August 3.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4909446.1555512969!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "The key dates for the 2019/20 campaign have been announced. Picture: SNS Group"} ,"articleBody": "

Scottish Professional Football League chiefs have confirmed that the 2019/2020 top-flight season will start on the first Saturday in August, with the three lower divisions also returning to action after their summer holidays on the same day.

But while the Championship and Leagues One and Two will play on through the first month of 2020, the Premiership clubs have again opted to hold a winter break between December 30 and January 17.

SPFL bosses will be hoping it is all still to play for by the time it comes to the top division’s final weekend over May 16 and 17.

The team finishing second bottom of the Premiership will be forced to battle against the drop against a second-tier contender in the play-off final, with the first leg set for May 20 and the return four days later.

The full fixture list for all four divisions will be released at some point in June.

The dates for the Betfred Cup have also been confirmed, with group stage games kicking off on July 13 and running to July 28.

The second round - which sees Scotland’s four European competitors make their entrance - takes place on August 17 and 18, with the SPFL confirming the last 16 will again be played on a weekend to avoid clashing with UEFA competition dates.

The last eight is scheduled for the midweek of September 24 to 26, while the semi-finals will take place on November 2 and 3.

The showpiece Hampden final is set for December 7 or 8.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4909446.1555512969!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4909446.1555512969!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "The key dates for the 2019/20 campaign have been announced. Picture: SNS Group","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "The key dates for the 2019/20 campaign have been announced. Picture: SNS Group","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4909446.1555512969!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"https://www.scotsman.com/sport/football/rangers/in-full/rangers-latest-striker-on-way-out-hummel-tease-announcement-season-ticket-waiting-list-update-1-4909440","id":"1.4909440","articleHeadline": "Rangers latest: Striker on way out? | Hummel tease 'announcement' | Season ticket waiting list update","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1555512374346 ,"articleLead": "

The latest news, transfer rumours and gossip from Ibrox...

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4909439.1555512537!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "A general view of Ibrox"} ,"articleBody": "

Herrera closer to exit?

Rangers have held talks about ripping up Eduardo Herrera’s Ibrox contract, according to reports. The Mexican striker is understood to be earning around £20,000 a week and the Light Blues are thought to be keen on freeing up the cash for new signings.

The 30-year-old scored just twice in 24 appearances last season and has struggled on loan at Santos Laguna and Nexaca.

A deal similar to the one that spelled the end for Herrera's compatriot Carlos Pena has reportedly been discussed with the striker's representatives.

New kits on the way?

Hummel have hinted that Rangers' 2019/20 kits could be on the way with a cryptic social media post. The Danish kit manufacturer tweeted several photos of Ibrox with the caption: \"It’s the greatest sight that I have ever seen\".

Fans have gone into overdrive assuming that the message may mean the new kit designs will be unveiled in the near future.

13,000 on Rangers season ticket waiting list

Rangers' Supporter Liaison Officer Greg Marshall has revealed that there are a whopping 13,000 names on the waiting list for Ibrox season tickets.

The SLO responded to a query by a fan following the club issuing renewal forms for 2019/20 season tickets.

The arrival of Steven Gerrard is seen as one factor in the lengthy waiting list, which Marshall said was \"phenomenal\".

" ,"byline": {"email": "sportts@scotsman.com" ,"author": "Kathleen Oates"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4909439.1555512537!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4909439.1555512537!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "A general view of Ibrox","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "A general view of Ibrox","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4909439.1555512537!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"https://www.scotsman.com/sport/football/celtic/in-full/celtic-latest-duo-s-future-in-doubt-pre-season-plans-confirmed-loan-star-impressing-1-4909409","id":"1.4909409","articleHeadline": "Celtic latest: Duo's future in doubt? | Pre-season plans confirmed | Loan star impressing","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1555511829774 ,"articleLead": "

The latest news, transfer rumours and gossip from Celtic Park....

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4909408.1555512002!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "A general view of Celtic Park"} ,"articleBody": "

Do Lennon's comments spell the end for Burke and Weah?

Neil Lennon's comments about chasing a third treble with only one striker could have been a slip of the tongue, but it does throw the future of Oliver Burke and Timothy Weah into doubt. Both are loan players but Burke has talked about extending his stay in Glasgow while Weah is also likely to be sent on loan next season.

However, Lennon said: \"That one striker (Odsonne Edouard) has done brilliantly for me, but it would be good to have another one.\"

Pre-season trip finalised

Celtic have confirmed plans to return to Austria for pre-season, with a friendly against Swiss side St Gallen also included as part of the Hoops' summer programme.

The Parkhead side will face eastern Austrian side SC Pinkafeld on June 26, before taking on Wiener Sport-Club in Vienna three days later.

The Hoops will then face St Gallen at the Stadion Kybunpark in St Gallen on July 2, a week before the first Champions League qualifiers.

Gutman on target for Charlotte Independence

Celtic defender Andrew Gutman has scored his second goal for loan side Charlotte Independence. The American defender signed for the Hoops in January before returning to his homeland on loan. The left-back found the net in a 2-1 win over Bethlehem Steel.

However, Independence are currently at the wrong end of the Eastern Conference, sitting 15th out of 18 after losing four of their six opening games. Their next game is at home to North Carolina FC on Sunday April 21.

" ,"byline": {"email": "tssport@scotsman.com" ,"author": "Kathleen Oates"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4909408.1555512002!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4909408.1555512002!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "A general view of Celtic Park","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "A general view of Celtic Park","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4909408.1555512002!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"https://www.scotsman.com/sport/football/international/alex-mcleish-to-learn-if-he-has-future-as-scotland-boss-at-sfa-meeting-this-week-1-4909306","id":"1.4909306","articleHeadline": "Alex McLeish ‘to learn if he has future as Scotland boss’ at SFA meeting this week","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1555509431000 ,"articleLead": "

Alex McLeish is set to learn his fate on Thursday as Scottish Football Association chiefs meet to decide whether to stick with the Scotland boss, according to reports.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4909305.1555509427!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Alex McLeish could learn his fate at Thursday's meeting at Hampden. Picture: SNS Group"} ,"articleBody": "

The manager’s position will be top of the agenda as the governing body gathers for a scheduled board meeting at Hampden.

McLeish’s performance has come under sharp focus following the Scots’ disastrous 3-0 loss to Kazakhstan in their opening Euro 2020 qualifier - a defeat branded by many the worst in the nation’s footballing history.

The former Hibernian, Rangers and Birmingham boss did successfully guide the national team to next year’s Nations League play-offs but pressure has been building ever since the humiliating set-back in Nursultan against a team ranked 117th in the world.

Chief executive Ian Maxwell is due to sit down with SFA president Alan McCrae, vice president Rod Petrie, SPFL chief Neil Doncaster and fellow board members Michael Mulraney, Thomas McKeown and Ana Stewart first thing on Thursday to thrash out a decision on whether to axe the 60-year-old now.

McCrae - who chaired McLeish’s Testimonial Committee during his Aberdeen playing days - and his former Eater Road boss Petrie are likely to back the manager to stay on but the rest will be aware of the anger growing amongst the Tartan Army as they fear another missed opportunity to end Scotland’s long wait to sample a major tournament.

If Scotland cannot fight their way back into contention in Group I, they will be left with a two-game shoot-out through the Nations League play-offs in order to secure a berth at Euro 2020, a tournament that is being partly staged on home soil with four games pencilled in for Hampden.

It was reported that McLeish was set to be axed last month but the SFA has remained quiet on the issue since.

McLeish is currently in his second stint in charge of the national team, having come agonisingly close to reaching Euro 2008 first time round.

He walked away from the job to join Birmingham on the back of a 10-game run that brought seven victories, before defeat to Italy in their final qualifier ended dreams of competing at the finals in Austria and Switzerland.

But his second go at the job has gone nowhere near as smoothly, with just five wins from 12 games, and he faced boos from the disgruntled supporters who travelled to Serravalle to see Scotland labour to a victory over minnows San Marino three days after their shock defeat in Kazakhstan.

Speaking after his side’s nervy 2-0 win over the world’s worst ranked side, McLeish refused to speculate on his future, saying: “I can only worry about what is in my control. 
“I have concerns of whatever, but that’s not one of them. That’s not my decision.”

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4909305.1555509427!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4909305.1555509427!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Alex McLeish could learn his fate at Thursday's meeting at Hampden. Picture: SNS Group","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Alex McLeish could learn his fate at Thursday's meeting at Hampden. Picture: SNS Group","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4909305.1555509427!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"https://www.scotsman.com/sport/football/rangers/in-full/how-many-of-these-25-rangers-trialists-from-the-past-20-years-do-you-remember-1-4909086","id":"1.4909086","articleHeadline": "How many of these 25 Rangers trialists from the past 20 years do you remember?","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1555508030695 ,"articleLead": "Rangers have taken countless players on trial over the last 25 years - some memorable and others who passed in the blink of an eye.","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4909060.1555508036!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Rangers fans create a display ahead of a Europa League clash"} ,"articleBody": "

Here's a look at a handful of hopefuls, and where they ended up...

" ,"byline": {"email": "sportts@scotsman.com" ,"author": "Kathleen Oates"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4909060.1555508036!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4909060.1555508036!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Rangers fans create a display ahead of a Europa League clash","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Rangers fans create a display ahead of a Europa League clash","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4909060.1555508036!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4909061.1555508038!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4909061.1555508038!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Italian striker given trial in summer 2003 after spells at Napoli, Vicenza, Venezia and Palermo. Joined Messina after his trial and saw out career in Italian lower leagues before entering management","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Italian striker given trial in summer 2003 after spells at Napoli, Vicenza, Venezia and Palermo. Joined Messina after his trial and saw out career in Italian lower leagues before entering management","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4909061.1555508038!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} , {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4909062.1555508040!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4909062.1555508040!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Diminutive left-back trialled in summer 2003 before joining Sheffield United. Went on to play for Derby, Leeds, Cardiff, Doncaster, Nottingham Forest, Cheltenham and Fleetwood, before stint as Southport manager","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Diminutive left-back trialled in summer 2003 before joining Sheffield United. Went on to play for Derby, Leeds, Cardiff, Doncaster, Nottingham Forest, Cheltenham and Fleetwood, before stint as Southport manager","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4909062.1555508040!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} , {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4909063.1555508041!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4909063.1555508041!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Champions League-winner was handed a trial in summer 2003 after leaving Manchester Utd but wasn't offered deal. Moved on to Burnley and Bacup Borough and is now a wine importer.","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Champions League-winner was handed a trial in summer 2003 after leaving Manchester Utd but wasn't offered deal. Moved on to Burnley and Bacup Borough and is now a wine importer.","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4909063.1555508041!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} , {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4909064.1555508043!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4909064.1555508043!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "German international winger who had trial spell after stints with Borussia Dortmund and Real Betis. Not offered a deal but was forced to retire through injury at 29. Moved into management.","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "German international winger who had trial spell after stints with Borussia Dortmund and Real Betis. Not offered a deal but was forced to retire through injury at 29. Moved into management.","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4909064.1555508043!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} , {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4909065.1555508045!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4909065.1555508045!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "30-times capped Lebanese defender who had trial in 2005 after spells with Tadamon Sour and Tripoli SC. Failed to win deal and had spells with Nejmeh and Al-Mabarrah before returning to Tadamon","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "30-times capped Lebanese defender who had trial in 2005 after spells with Tadamon Sour and Tripoli SC. Failed to win deal and had spells with Nejmeh and Al-Mabarrah before returning to Tadamon","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4909065.1555508045!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} , {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4909066.1555508047!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4909066.1555508047!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Varied career saw three-cap Turkish international defender play in his homeland, Germany, Greece and the Ukraine. Had trial spells with Newcastle and Stoke and now manages Yeni Malatyaspor","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Varied career saw three-cap Turkish international defender play in his homeland, Germany, Greece and the Ukraine. Had trial spells with Newcastle and Stoke and now manages Yeni Malatyaspor","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4909066.1555508047!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} , {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4909067.1555508049!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4909067.1555508049!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Afghanistan international handed trial in 2015 after four years with Hamburg. After failing to win a deal he joined fourth-tier German side ETSV Weiche and now plays in country's sixth tier","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Afghanistan international handed trial in 2015 after four years with Hamburg. After failing to win a deal he joined fourth-tier German side ETSV Weiche and now plays in country's sixth tier","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4909067.1555508049!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} , {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4909068.1555508051!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4909068.1555508051!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Irish-capped, US-born striker who suffered injury minutes into Rangers trial. Failed to win deal with Aberdeen and went to India before short spells with Norwegian second-tier side Nybergsund.","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Irish-capped, US-born striker who suffered injury minutes into Rangers trial. Failed to win deal with Aberdeen and went to India before short spells with Norwegian second-tier side Nybergsund.","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4909068.1555508051!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} , {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4909069.1555508052!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4909069.1555508052!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Austrian centre-back who failed to win deal in July 2003. Spent career playing for lower league teams in Germany, Switzerland and Austria before retiring in 2015","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Austrian centre-back who failed to win deal in July 2003. Spent career playing for lower league teams in Germany, Switzerland and Austria before retiring in 2015","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4909069.1555508052!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} , {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4909070.1555508054!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4909070.1555508054!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "German 'keeper who trialled in summer of 2012 after leaving Bayern Munich. Failed to win a deal and is now with Darmstadt after spells at Heidenheim, Stuttgarter Kickers and Bradford","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "German 'keeper who trialled in summer of 2012 after leaving Bayern Munich. Failed to win a deal and is now with Darmstadt after spells at Heidenheim, Stuttgarter Kickers and Bradford","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4909070.1555508054!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} , {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4909071.1555508056!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4909071.1555508056!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Latvian striker who was given a trial in December 2015 after 39 goals in 64 games for Skonto. Joined current side Bruk-Bet Termalica Nieciecza in Poland in 2016.","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Latvian striker who was given a trial in December 2015 after 39 goals in 64 games for Skonto. Joined current side Bruk-Bet Termalica Nieciecza in Poland in 2016.","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4909071.1555508056!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} , {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4909072.1555508058!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4909072.1555508058!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "California-born centre-back who had training spell in late 2014 during three-year spell at Vancouver Whitecaps. Joined Chicago Fire in August 2017 but retired in November 2018 after injury problems","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "California-born centre-back who had training spell in late 2014 during three-year spell at Vancouver Whitecaps. Joined Chicago Fire in August 2017 but retired in November 2018 after injury problems","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4909072.1555508058!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} , {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4909073.1555508060!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4909073.1555508060!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Honduran striker who had trial in August 2010 while with Motagua. Loaned to Monaco and Mexican side Atlas, before spells in Thailand and El Salvador. Now playing for Belize side Belmopan Bandits","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Honduran striker who had trial in August 2010 while with Motagua. Loaned to Monaco and Mexican side Atlas, before spells in Thailand and El Salvador. Now playing for Belize side Belmopan Bandits","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4909073.1555508060!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} , {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4909074.1555508062!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4909074.1555508062!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "German midfielder who trialled in August 2012 after spells with Stuttgart, Arminia Bielefeld, Frankfurt, Besiktas and Samsunspor. Later played for Erzgebirge Aue and Waldhof Mannheim and is now a scout","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "German midfielder who trialled in August 2012 after spells with Stuttgart, Arminia Bielefeld, Frankfurt, Besiktas and Samsunspor. Later played for Erzgebirge Aue and Waldhof Mannheim and is now a scout","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4909074.1555508062!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} , {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4909075.1555508064!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4909075.1555508064!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Cameroonian winger who played in his homeland, Brunei and the USA before August 2012 trial with Rangers. Later joined Syrianska in Sweden, Thai side Army United and Iraqi team Dohuk","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Cameroonian winger who played in his homeland, Brunei and the USA before August 2012 trial with Rangers. Later joined Syrianska in Sweden, Thai side Army United and Iraqi team Dohuk","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4909075.1555508064!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} , {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4909076.1555508066!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4909076.1555508066!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Dutch forward who trialled in August 2010 while with Arsenal but joined Vitesse Arnhem before spells with Austria Wien, Monaco, Utrecht and Yeni Malatyaspor. Now with Al Jazira in the UAE Pro-League","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Dutch forward who trialled in August 2010 while with Arsenal but joined Vitesse Arnhem before spells with Austria Wien, Monaco, Utrecht and Yeni Malatyaspor. Now with Al Jazira in the UAE Pro-League","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4909076.1555508066!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} , {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4909077.1555508069!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4909077.1555508069!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Centre-back who trialled in 2016 after spells with Standard Liege, Newcastle, Sporting CP, Sheffield Wednesday and Charlton. Later joined Philadelphia Union and is now sporting director at Orlando City B","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Centre-back who trialled in 2016 after spells with Standard Liege, Newcastle, Sporting CP, Sheffield Wednesday and Charlton. Later joined Philadelphia Union and is now sporting director at Orlando City B","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4909077.1555508069!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} , {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4909078.1555508070!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4909078.1555508070!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Ex-Everton youngster who trialled in September 2013 but financial restrictions scuppered a deal. Winger has since played for Cambridge City, Port Vale, Grimsby, Hamilton and Braintree Town","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Ex-Everton youngster who trialled in September 2013 but financial restrictions scuppered a deal. Winger has since played for Cambridge City, Port Vale, Grimsby, Hamilton and Braintree Town","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4909078.1555508070!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} , {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4909079.1555508071!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4909079.1555508071!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Striker who came on trial in summer 2013 after studying in America. Joined Woking before brief spells with Queen's Park, Cowdenbeath, Stenhousemuir and East Fife. Now an estate agent.","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Striker who came on trial in summer 2013 after studying in America. Joined Woking before brief spells with Queen's Park, Cowdenbeath, Stenhousemuir and East Fife. Now an estate agent.","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4909079.1555508071!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} , {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4909080.1555508073!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4909080.1555508073!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Starred for Barcelona B and joined Manchester City but didn't make a first-team appearance. Has played just over 100 matches since leaving Spain in 2010. Trialled with Rangers in October 2015 but joined Hapoel Tel Aviv","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Starred for Barcelona B and joined Manchester City but didn't make a first-team appearance. Has played just over 100 matches since leaving Spain in 2010. Trialled with Rangers in October 2015 but joined Hapoel Tel Aviv","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4909080.1555508073!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} , {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4909081.1555508074!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4909081.1555508074!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Indian forward who came on trial in late 2011 with compatriot Sunil Chhetri. Was sent home early from the trial and has since turned out for Dempo, Mohun Bagan and current side Chennaiyin.","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Indian forward who came on trial in late 2011 with compatriot Sunil Chhetri. Was sent home early from the trial and has since turned out for Dempo, Mohun Bagan and current side Chennaiyin.","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4909081.1555508074!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} , {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4909082.1555508077!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4909082.1555508077!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Argentinian midfielder taken on trial in September 2011. Has played for River Plate, Banfield and Independiente Rivadavia in his homeland as well as spells in Brazil, Cyprus, Mexico, Chile and Romania.","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Argentinian midfielder taken on trial in September 2011. Has played for River Plate, Banfield and Independiente Rivadavia in his homeland as well as spells in Brazil, Cyprus, Mexico, Chile and Romania.","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4909082.1555508077!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} , {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4909083.1555508081!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4909083.1555508081!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Canada international who trialled in November 2014 but wasn't offered a deal. Turned out for Brighton, IFK Goteborg and is now with Valerenga in Norway.","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Canada international who trialled in November 2014 but wasn't offered a deal. Turned out for Brighton, IFK Goteborg and is now with Valerenga in Norway.","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4909083.1555508081!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} , {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4909084.1555508082!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4909084.1555508082!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "New Zealand international goalkeeper who arrrived on trial in January this year after stints with Wehen Wiesbaden, Ismaning, Unterhaching and Vancouver Whitecaps. Now at Bristol City.","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "New Zealand international goalkeeper who arrrived on trial in January this year after stints with Wehen Wiesbaden, Ismaning, Unterhaching and Vancouver Whitecaps. Now at Bristol City.","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4909084.1555508082!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} , {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4909085.1555508083!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4909085.1555508083!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Towering Swedish centre-back who came on trial in summer 2018 after spells with Brommapojkarna and Bayern Munich. Now with Ostersund in Sweden.","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Towering Swedish centre-back who came on trial in summer 2018 after spells with Brommapojkarna and Bayern Munich. Now with Ostersund in Sweden.","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4909085.1555508083!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"https://www.scotsman.com/sport/boxing/josh-taylor-can-t-wait-to-rip-belt-off-ibf-champion-ivan-baranchyk-1-4909103","id":"1.4909103","articleHeadline": "Josh Taylor ‘can’t wait to rip belt’ off IBF champion Ivan Baranchyk","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1555503550000 ,"articleLead": "

Josh Taylor has warned IBF champion Ivan Baranchyk that he “can’t wait to rip the belt off” him, after the Belarusian appeared to confirm their world title fight on May 18 was back on.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4909102.1555503546!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "World No.2 Josh Taylor is relishing his upcoming fight with Ivan Baranchyk. Picture: SNS Group"} ,"articleBody": "

Baranchyk’s manager had been quoted as saying the World Boxing Super Series showdown at the Glasgow SSE Hydro would not take place, citing financial issues.

Howver, Baranchyk wrote on social media on Wednesday morning: “I look forward to fighting Taylor”.

The Edinburgh boxer replied: “Can’t wait to rip the belt off you and send you homeward to think again”.

The bout is the penultimate stage of a tournament to determine the new undisputed world super-lightweight champion.

There had been reports that Taylor’s fellow Scot, former world champion Ricky Burns, could take Baranchyk’s place - but Taylor’s trainer Shane McGuigan told Boxing Social that the 25-year-old would be stripped of his IBF title if he didn’t participate in Glasgow.

World number two Taylor has already knocked out American boxer Ryan Martin, while Baranchyk, ranked at No. 10, disposed of Sweden’s Anthony Yigit.

In the other semi-final, Baranchyk’s countryman Kiryl Relikh takes on highly-rated American and WBC interim champion Regis Prograis, who saw off Englishman Terry Flanagan in their quarter-final.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4909102.1555503546!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4909102.1555503546!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "World No.2 Josh Taylor is relishing his upcoming fight with Ivan Baranchyk. Picture: SNS Group","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "World No.2 Josh Taylor is relishing his upcoming fight with Ivan Baranchyk. Picture: SNS Group","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4909102.1555503546!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"https://www.scotsman.com/sport/rugby-union-2-14915/jamie-hodgson-handed-first-professional-deal-by-edinburgh-1-4909099","id":"1.4909099","articleHeadline": "Jamie Hodgson handed first professional deal by Edinburgh","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1555502951000 ,"articleLead": "

Edinburgh have have handed young lock Jamie Hodgson his first full-time professional deal.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4909098.1555502946!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Jamie Hodgson in action for Watsonians against Heriot's. Picture: SNS Group"} ,"articleBody": "

The 21-year-old made four appearances for Richard Cockerill’s team last year and will split the next 12 months between playing for the capital club in the Guinness PRO14 and with Watsonians in Scotland’s new semi-pro Super 6 set-up.

Scotland Under-20 forward Hodgson said: “I’ve loved my time at Edinburgh and I’m absolutely delighted to have signed for another year.

“I’m looking forward to developing further as a player, while it has been great being able to watch my childhood club continuously grow both on and off the park.”

Cockerill added: “Jamie has worked tirelessly in both the gym and on the training paddock and is thoroughly deserving of his first professional deal with the club.

“He’s a determined young second-row that is still learning the game and we’re looking forward to watching him continue his development as a rugby player.”

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "ANDY NEWPORT"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4909098.1555502946!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4909098.1555502946!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Jamie Hodgson in action for Watsonians against Heriot's. Picture: SNS Group","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Jamie Hodgson in action for Watsonians against Heriot's. Picture: SNS Group","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4909098.1555502946!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"https://www.scotsman.com/sport/football/scottish-football-live-season-start-dates-announced-police-investigating-barton-incident-arrest-man-ferguson-free-to-face-gers-mcleish-s-future-to-be-discussed-1-4908888","id":"1.4908888","articleHeadline": "Scottish Football Live: Season start dates announced | Police investigating Barton incident arrest man | Ferguson free to face Gers | McLeish's future to be 'discussed'","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1555493033470 ,"articleLead": "Follow The Scotsman’s daily blog as we keep you updated with all the latest news, views, rumours and much more from around Scottish football.","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4908886.1555511973!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "James Forrest has been praised by teammates (Photo: Getty Images)"} ,"articleBody": "

Refresh for live updates.

" ,"byline": {"email": "conor.matchett@jpimedia.co.uk" ,"author": "Conor Matchett"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4908886.1555511973!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4908886.1555511973!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "James Forrest has been praised by teammates (Photo: Getty Images)","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "James Forrest has been praised by teammates (Photo: Getty Images)","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4908886.1555511973!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ {"video": {"brightcoveId":"3000000001919456"} } ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"https://www.scotsman.com/sport/football/celtic/in-full/celtic-set-to-escape-sfa-action-over-sectarian-chants-at-aberdeen-cup-semi-final-1-4908883","id":"1.4908883","articleHeadline": "Celtic set to escape SFA action over sectarian chants at Aberdeen cup semi-final","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1555492936000 ,"articleLead": "

Celtic are unlikely to face any punishment over the sectarian chants Hoops fans directed at Derek McInnes at Sunday’s Scottish Cup semi-final clash with Aberdeen - because the club met with Green Brigade representatives ahead of the match.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4908880.1555492926!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "A general view of Celtic fans at the Scottish Cup semi-final with Aberdeen. Picture: SNS Group"} ,"articleBody": "

Former Rangers midfielder McInnes was sent to the stands after gesturing towards the supporters who had branded him a “sad Orange b*****” as his side went down 3-0. Assistant boss Tony Docherty was also sent to the stand while midfield duo Dominic Ball and Lewis Ferguson were sent off to cap a miserable afternoon for the Dons.

McInnes said after the match that he had been wrong to react to the abuse and said he would accept the punishment, but added that he was “interested” in seeing if Celtic were disciplined for the conduct of their fans.

McInnes said in the aftermath of the game: “I was sent off for being frustrated. And for that I apologise. I’m wrong and I’ll take my punishment. I let it go the first time. I shouldn’t. I should be better than that.

“I’ve heard that song a hundred times aimed at me and I’ve never reacted to it so the frustration maybe from the game has played a part in that. The referee or the fourth official deemed my reaction a red card offence.

“If it is, it is, and I’ll take my punishment for that. It will be interesting to see if everybody gets punished for the incident. It’ll be in the delegates report, which is refreshing as it’s not always in their report, when they hear sectarian singing. It certainly wasn’t in the last cup final.

“But that’s not my fight. It’s for others to condemn.”

But Scottish Football Assocation Compliance Officer Clare Whyte is not expected to take action against Celtic over the incident, according to the Evening Times - because the Hoops can prove they took “all reasonably practicable steps” to prevent misconduct from their fans at the high-profile cup tie.

Celtic chiefs are understood to have met with representatives from the club’s ultras in the lead-up to the last four clash to discuss a range of topics including their conduct at matches and use of pyrotechnic devices. Smoke bombs and flares have been used at many Celtic games this term, including at Sunday’s semi-final.

The SFA will likely accept that Celtic’s meeting with the Green Brigade, along with other preventative measures, shows that the Parkhead side are “committed to ensuring a safe and family-friendly environment for spectators”.

Celtic also issued a statement earlier this week condemning the chanting, but questioning the behaviour of Aberdeen fans during the match.

“Chanting of this nature should have no place in football and we condemn this wholeheartedly. 
“We hope the authorities also take the same interest in offensive chanting directed at Celtic Football Club and our supporters at yesterday’s match and other games”, a spokesperson for the club said.

Celtic have previously taken action against their ultras, closing their safe-standing section for two matches in 2017 following flashpoints during games against Hearts and Linfield.

And earlier this month, Celtic chief executive Peter Lawwell was forced to issue a statement after St Mirren goalkeeper Vaclav Hladky needed treatment after a firework thrown by visiting fans landed near him during a Scottish Premiership match in Paisley.

Lawwell said: “There have a been a number of incidents across many clubs this season, with a range of items, including pyrotechnics, being thrown on to pitches.

“We need to do all we can to remove this from our game. 
“The club does not want it, our players do not want it, our manager does not want it and our supporters do not want it.”

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4908880.1555492926!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4908880.1555492926!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "A general view of Celtic fans at the Scottish Cup semi-final with Aberdeen. Picture: SNS Group","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "A general view of Celtic fans at the Scottish Cup semi-final with Aberdeen. Picture: SNS Group","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4908880.1555492926!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4908881.1555492932!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4908881.1555492932!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Derek McInnes pictured at Hampden during the cup tie. Picture: SNS Group","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Derek McInnes pictured at Hampden during the cup tie. Picture: SNS Group","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4908881.1555492932!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ {"video": {"brightcoveId":"6007134110001"} } ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"https://www.scotsman.com/sport/football/rangers/in-full/rangers-might-say-they-won-t-play-at-kilmarnock-any-more-ex-sfa-chief-says-gers-could-boycott-rugby-park-1-4908865","id":"1.4908865","articleHeadline": "‘Rangers might say they won’t play at Kilmarnock any more’ - Ex-SFA chief says Gers could boycott Rugby Park","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1555491308000 ,"articleLead": "

Former Scottish Football Association chief Gordon Smith has claimd Rangers could refuse to play matches at Rugby Park in reponse to Kilmarnock’s decision to cut the Gers’ ticket allocation.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4908862.1555491300!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Former Rangers director of football Gordon Smith. Picture: SNS Group"} ,"articleBody": "

Ibrox bosses are understood to be unhappy with Killie’s decision to reduce the number of briefs for visiting fans for the final league game of the 2018/19 campaign.

Celtic and Rangers are usually given both the Chadwick and Moffat Stands when they travel to Ayrshire, but Rugby Park chiefs have decided to give Rangers just 4,000 tickets for their upcoming trip - half the usual amount - with away fans being housed only in the Chadwick Stand.

A spokesperson for Rangers said of the reduction in tickets: “We are disappointed with the decision, which will force us to consider carefully what allocation we will seek for future matches at Rugby Park.”

But Smith - who played for both Killie and Rangers during the Seventies before returning to Ibrox as director of football under Craig Whyte - reckons the Gers could take drastic action in response to Kilmarnock’s decision.

Speaking on PLZ Soccer last night, he said: “I think [Kilmarnock] want to have a celebration, because they think can qualify for Europe.

“They want this match to be remembered by Kilmarnock fans and they want to bring more of them in. I can understand to a degree why they’d do it but I can understand Rangers being annoyed.”

Smith, who headed up the Scottish FA between June 2007 and April 2010, suggested that Rangers could take the hump over the U-turn by Killie.

He added: “What [Rangers are] saying is, ‘We sell all these tickets for you twice a season and you get big crowds, we bring in a fair bit of money for you and now all of a sudden you’re halving your allocation so we’ll maybe see if we’ll take any future places at the stand’.

“Rangers might even say, ‘We won’t come and play at Rugby Park anymore’. That would be a big loss financially for Kilmarnock, and [Rangers] would be paying them back for what they’re doing to them for that match.”

Kilmarnock are planning post-match celebrations to mark the club’s 150th anniversary, while major shareholder Billy Bowie is keen for as many Killie fans as possible to show their appreciation to “one of the most memorable Kilmarnock teams in recent memory”.

He said in a statement: “Kilmarnock FC is a family club and we want to make sure Rugby Park is an enjoyable and safe environment for people to enjoy watching football.

“As promised, we have worked with and listened to feedback from our leading supporters’ groups in a real effort to encourage and inspire the next generation of Killie fans.

“After the game we’re encouraging all Killie fans to stay in the stadium and watch one of the most memorable Killie teams in recent memory complete their traditional lap of honour complete with a few words from our manager Steve Clarke.”

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4908862.1555491300!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4908862.1555491300!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Former Rangers director of football Gordon Smith. Picture: SNS Group","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Former Rangers director of football Gordon Smith. Picture: SNS Group","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4908862.1555491300!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4908863.1555491303!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4908863.1555491303!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Rangers striker Alfredo Morelos celebrates a goal at Rugby Park with the travelling fans. Picture: SNS Group","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Rangers striker Alfredo Morelos celebrates a goal at Rugby Park with the travelling fans. Picture: SNS Group","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4908863.1555491303!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ {"video": {"brightcoveId":"5633006826001"} } ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"https://www.scotsman.com/sport/football/celtic/in-full/rumour-mill-3-in-1-out-at-rangers-celtic-to-escape-sfa-rap-rangers-could-boycott-rugby-park-shinnie-blow-for-derby-1-4908840","id":"1.4908840","articleHeadline": "Rumour Mill: 3 in, 1 out at Rangers? | Celtic to escape SFA rap | Rangers ‘could boycott Rugby Park’ | Shinnie blow for Derby","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1555486212000 ,"articleLead": "

The latest Scottish football news, transfer rumours and gossip...

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4908838.1555486207!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Could we see a fair bit of movement at Ibrox this summer? Picture: SNS Group"} ,"articleBody": "

Rangers rekindle interest in Hastie

Rangers have rekindled their interest in Motherwell youngster Jake Hastie - but face competition from six other clubs.

Atlanta United, Derby, Hull, Middlesbrough, Millwall and Portsmouth are all keeping tabs on the ‘Well starlet who is understood to have been offered a contract by Rangers.

The Light Blues had initially cooled their interest after feeling the 20-year-old was dragging his feet on making a decision. (Various)

Gers eye deals for Souttar and Stewart

Rangers are also closing in on the signing of Greg Stewart from Birmingham.

The forward has enjoyed two loan spells with Aberdeen and one with Kilmarnock but the Gers are keen to sign him on a permanent basis.

The Ibrox side are also preparing a bid for Hearts defender John Souttar, recently described by manager Craig Levein as the “best in Scotland”. (The Herald)

Levein not planning on losing Souttar

Hearts boss Craig Levein is not preparing to lose star defender John Souttar this summer, telling the Evening News: “There’s nothing really to say about John other than we’re in a good position and John’s in a good position.

“Craig Halkett has not been signed in any way as a replacement. I hope John’s still with us for another couple of years.

“He recently signed a three-and-a-half-year deal so it puts us in a strong position if there is anybody who is interested in trying to sign him.” (Evening News)

Southampton ‘still keen on Arfield’

Southampton are keeping tabs on Rangers midfielder Scott Arfield after being linked with the Canada international captain last week.

Despite reports that the Saints were not about to make a move for the former Huddersfield and Burnley ace, it’s understood the interest has not waned.

Arfield was a free transfer for Rangers last summer after running down his contract at Turf Moor. (Daily Star)

Celtic set to dodge SFA rap

Celtic could avoid SFA action over alleged sectarian singing at Hampden during the Scottish Cup semi-final win over Aberdeen - because the club held a meeting with a fans group before the tie.

Dons boss Derek McInnes was sent off in the second-half of the game after making a gesture towards Hoops fans who had been calling him a “sad Orange b******”.

But despite McInnes commenting later that he would be interested in seeing if Celtic were disciplined for their fans’ conduct, Compliance Officer Clare Whyte is unlikely to take action because the Hoops can demonstrate that they took all “reasonably practicable steps” to prevent any misconduct in the stands. (Various)

Rangers ‘could boycott Rugby Park’

Ex-SFA chief Gordon Smith has claimed Rangers could refuse to play at Rugby Park as a retaliation for Kilmarnock cutting the Light Blues’ ticket allocation.

Former Ger Smith believes his old club could boycott the Ayrshire ground, saying: “I can understand, to a degree, why Kilmarnock have done this but I can also understand why Rangers would be annoyed.

“What they’re saying is, ‘we sell all these ticket for you, now you’re halving our allocation?’ Rangers might even say, ‘we won’t come and play at Rugby Park any more’. That would be Rangers paying them back.” (Daily Record)

Derby ‘unable to sign Shinnie’

Derby County are unable to sign Aberdeen captain Graeme Shinnie on a pre-contract basis, because the English Championship side’s accounts are being probed by league bosses, according to reports.

The Rams are understood to be operating under a “soft transfer embargo” while the English Football League (EFL) look into the club’s financial dealings, leaving them unable to register any new players for the time being.

County are unable to sign or register new players but insiders are hopeful the embargo will be lifted later this week, allowing Frank Lampard to announce the Dons skipper as his first signing ahead of the new campaign. (The Scotsman)

McNamara backs Clarke for Scotland

Former Dundee United boss Jackie McNamara has backed Steve Clarke to be the new Scotland manager, insisting the national team needs a new man to stand a chance of qualifying for Euro 2020.

Speaking on the Hampden Roar podcast, ex-Celtic defender McNamara said: “The SFA need to take control of this and it’s disappointing there’s nothing coming from them. Unless things change I don’t think we’ll get out this qualification group. Everyone keeps mentioning Steve Clarke for the job and yeah, why not? His teams are organised and he has maximised Kilmarnock’s potential with limited resources.” (Hampden Roar podcast)

Christie set for surgery but hopeful over final spot

Ryan Christie will undergo surgery this week after suffering “multiple facial fractures” in Celtic’s Scottish Cup semi-final win over Aberdeen on Sunday - but the midfielder is still hopeful of making the showpiece final.

The former Aberdeen loan star was taken from the field on a stretcher wearing a neck brace after coming off worse in an aerial collision with Dons defender Dominic Ball.

But the 24-year-old hasn’t given up on the final on May 25. (Various)

Scotland ace hit with fine and ban over anti-doping misconduct

Robert Snodgrass has been fined £30,000 and banned for one match by the FA after being found guilty of misconduct towards UK Anti-Doping officials.

The Scotland star was not scheduled for a test and didn’t refuse to take one when officials visited West Ham’s training ground in February.

However, the 31-year-old was found to have used “abusive and / or insulting and / or improper language” towards the officials. (Various)

Levein eyeing flair players for Hearts

Craig Levein has acknowledged that he needs to prioritise “flair players” during this summer’s transfer window. Hearts have too often lacked the wherewithal to triumph in tight matches, regardless of the quality of opposition, and this is down to a shortage of creative spark in Hearts’ attack, with the Tynecastle side currently lacking someone in the mould of Daryl Horgan, Gary Mackay-Steven or Jordan Jones.

The Hearts boss said: “We could do with two or three players in the front area of the field that can help us in those games where there’s deadlock and we need to get in front. (Evening News)

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4908838.1555486207!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4908838.1555486207!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Could we see a fair bit of movement at Ibrox this summer? Picture: SNS Group","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Could we see a fair bit of movement at Ibrox this summer? Picture: SNS Group","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4908838.1555486207!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ {"video": {"brightcoveId":"5790964474001"} } ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"https://www.scotsman.com/sport/football/hearts/in-full/i-knew-he-was-still-hurting-over-1986-albert-kidd-tells-sandy-clark-to-get-over-hearts-title-failure-1-4908709","id":"1.4908709","articleHeadline": "‘I knew he was still hurting over 1986’ - Albert Kidd tells Sandy Clark to get over Hearts’ title failure","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1555477200000 ,"articleLead": "

Albert Kidd has advised Sandy Clark to stop living in the past after the former Hearts striker revealed he would have liked to have kicked his head in.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4908847.1555487637!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Albert Kidd in action against Hearts on the final day of the 1985/86 season. Picture: SNS Group"} ,"articleBody": "

Kidd was instrumental in Hearts missing out on the Scottish title on the last day of the season at Dens Park in 1986 after scoring two late goals for Dundee against the visitors, who needed just a point to win the league. Celtic’s 5-0 
victory over St Mirren on the same afternoon was the required margin to leapfrog Hearts in a dramatic finale.

But Clark, speaking on Radio Scotland’s Off the Ball programme on 
Saturday, was more angered by Kidd’s subsequent conduct. He claimed Kidd “rubbed salt in the wounds” with his comments about being a Celtic supporter.

Kidd, who now lives in Australia, has often been invited as guest of honour to Celtic supporters’ functions. “Albert Kidd, who is somebody I don’t know that well, I would like to have kicked his head in,” said Clark.

“Not then, his comments [since] and his bit about teams he supported.”

Kidd has been taken aback by the strength of feeling displayed by Clark over three decades later. “Had he said this right after the game and continued to say this for a couple of years, so be it and I wouldn’t have been surprised, but 33 years on, is a long time between drinks,” said Kidd, who recalled meeting Clark at the Scottish Football Writers’ Association Dinner in Glasgow in 2016.

“Thirty minutes into the function, I noticed Sandy Clark at a table nearby. I approached him and greeted him saying: ‘Sandy Clark, it has been a while sir, how are you?’

“His response was delayed and my first thought was: ‘jeez he doesn’t know me’.

“I proceeded to tell him who I was and he answered by saying: ‘I know who you are’. So the conversation was fabulous and lasted eight to ten seconds.

“I knew from that moment that he was still hurting and if I continued speaking, he may well have got a bit out of sorts.

“I would like it to be put on record by saying that I am truly sorry that Hearts never won the championship in 1986,” added Kidd.

“Yes, I had a hand in the end result and Celtic, who I follow and support, benefited greatly.

“However, I must say that I was sincerely and absolutely gutted for all of the lads at Hearts on that day in May 1986 at Dundee – and this includes Sandy Clark, who I respected as a very good professional football player and who I first met and played against way back in 1979/80 when he was the captain at Airdrie and I was captain at Motherwell.”

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "ALAN PATTULLO"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4908847.1555487637!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4908847.1555487637!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Albert Kidd in action against Hearts on the final day of the 1985/86 season. Picture: SNS Group","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Albert Kidd in action against Hearts on the final day of the 1985/86 season. Picture: SNS Group","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4908847.1555487637!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4908708.1555487640!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4908708.1555487640!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Albert Kidd admits he was 'truly sorry' that Hearts didn't win the title in 1986. Picture: SNs.","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Albert Kidd admits he was 'truly sorry' that Hearts didn't win the title in 1986. Picture: SNs.","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4908708.1555487640!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"https://www.scotsman.com/sport/football/hearts/in-full/hearts-olly-lee-hopes-family-fortunes-improve-against-celtic-1-4908663","id":"1.4908663","articleHeadline": "Hearts’ Olly Lee hopes family fortunes improve against Celtic","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1555450200000 ,"articleLead": "

Olly Lee is proud of his footballing father Rob but is desperate to avoid a family trait of being beaten in cup finals.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4908662.1555441767!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Olly Lee celebrates the Scottish Cup semi-final win over Inverness. Picture: Getty"} ,"articleBody": "

The Hearts midfielder was just a boy when he watched Newcastle United lose successive FA Cup finals in the late 1990s. His dad was captain for the first one, when a Kenny Dalglish-managed Newcastle lost 2-0 to the double-winning Arsenal.

A year later, with Ruud Gullit
in charge and Alan Shearer
installed as skipper, Newcastle had the misfortune to encounter another team bidding to complete a double in Manchester United. Alex Ferguson’s side won 2-0 and then went on to secure a treble by beating Bayern Munich in the Champions League final four days later.

Hearts must overcome a similarly motivated set of opponents in Celtic at next month’s Scottish Cup final at Hampden. It’s almost certain Neil Lennon’s side will be looking to complete a treble treble so Lee and his team-mates will need to be at their very best to deny them this remarkable achievement.

The midfielder’s father, now a pundit, will be watching from the Hampden main stand and Lee is hoping he can halt a depressing trend. “I have seen him lose twice in the FA Cup final so hopefully I can go one better,” he said. “It would mean the world to me, it would be brilliant to do that.

“I think I was at both [finals],” he added. “I can remember the second one better. They were unfortunate occasions for the old man and he doesn’t have fond memories. Hopefully I can have better ones.”

Perhaps wisely, given his own record, his father has not yet sought to offer any advice. Newcastle could not conjure up a goal in either final appearance at Wembley despite having the likes of Shearer and John Barnes, who appeared as a substitute in 1998, to call upon. Duncan Ferguson came on at half-time the following year but there was still no joy in front of goal.

“When it comes to the finals, he says they didn’t quite turn up on the day,” said Lee. “Hopefully that won’t happen to us and we will turn up and put in a great performance.

“I am 27-years-old now and while I might not have played in games as big as this, I know my game and what I can bring to the team,” he added. “It is just play the game, play your natural game and we will be all right.”

Hearts fans were concerned their side had let the significance of the occasion get the better of them in Saturday’s semi-final against Inverness Caledonian Thistle. A poor first-half saw Craig Levein’s side booed off by their supporters in the crowd.

Lee set the tone for a better second-half performance from his side when letting fly from 25 yards shortly after the interval. Inverness keeper Mark Ridgers did well to tip the ball over but the effort served as a statement of intent from Hearts after a listless first half. They went on to score three times without reply, with Lee playing a part in each goal.

“Personally, the first half wasn’t my greatest half of football,” he said. “I really wanted to come out and grab the game by the scruff of the neck. I had a good shot, the keeper pulled off a good save and thankfully for me we went on to get the win.

“I was desperate to score,” he added. “If you can’t get a goal, you want to be involved in all three and I am pleased with how it went.”

Lee relished his first taste of Hampden Park having missed out on an earlier opportunity to play there when Hearts’ Betfred Cup semi-final against Celtic in October was switched to BT Murrayfield. He is already taking ticket orders for the final.

Such excitement is further vindication of his decision to leave Luton Town and come to Scotland last summer.

“It means everything and the reason that I came up here,” he said. “I said I wanted to play in big games. We have had two semi-finals now and we have a final to come. With all respect, I wouldn’t have had games like this down south. I am so excited for the end of May.

“I think there will be a full bus load come up for the final. It will be a great occasion for everyone and it is one we are really looking forward to.”

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "ALAN PATTULLO"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4908662.1555441767!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4908662.1555441767!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Olly Lee celebrates the Scottish Cup semi-final win over Inverness. Picture: Getty","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Olly Lee celebrates the Scottish Cup semi-final win over Inverness. Picture: Getty","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4908662.1555441767!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"https://www.scotsman.com/sport/football/celtic/in-full/celtic-s-kieran-tierney-running-out-of-compliments-for-brilliant-james-forrest-1-4908647","id":"1.4908647","articleHeadline": "Celtic’s Kieran Tierney ‘running out of compliments’ for ‘brilliant’ James Forrest","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1555450200000 ,"articleLead": "

There is only one difficulty that Kieran Tierney finds is becoming ever more pronounced in playing alongside James Forrest – precisely how to find new ways to acknowledge just what an immensely influential performer his Celtic team-mate has made himself.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4908645.1555437795!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "James Forrest celebrates his goal with Scott Brown (top) and Kieran Tierney (right). Picture: SNS Group"} ,"articleBody": "

The quiet and unassuming nature of the 27-year-old means he will never seek to blow his own trumpet. Tierney is happy to do that for him. But the Lanarkshire defender is being left short of breath by the storming contribution Forrest is making to the club’s bid for a remarkable third straight treble.

Indeed, the Celtic left-back even tried to shout the winger down in the lead-up to his producing a Mo Salah-esque 25-yard beezer of a goal that set Neil Lennon’s men on their way to their emphatic Scottish Cup semi-final victory over Aberdeen on Sunday.

Tierney was all too happy to fail on this front, as the strike paved the way for a 3-0 victory that, with an eighth straight title seeming certain to be secured in the coming weeks, leaves only Scottish Cup final opponents Hearts standing in the way of an unparalleled – across world football, no less – treble treble.

“James’s form is scary. He’s had a brilliant season. At this goal, I was actually screaming for the ball. Next thing I know I’m running towards him to say, ‘good job, Jamesie’,” said Tierney.

“I am running out of compliments for him because we are complimenting him every week now. He’s scoring goals, getting assists and it really is fantastic to have a player like him in your team. 
“James has scored great goals and important goals this season. That shows how good a player he is. He is one of the best players I have played with. I hate playing against him in training because he’s just so difficult to go up against.

“I’m so pleased for James. He’s such a hard worker. He is one that keeps his head down, he doesn’t like the headlines, he is happy to get on with his football. He’s a really special player.”

Former Celtic striker Frank McAvennie suggested this week that while Forrest had shown himself to be a big game player – his weekend efforts following a winner against Rangers and a decisive strike in the Scottish Cup quarter-final at Easter Road – he was still looking for him to have a greater impact on a regular basis. With 17 goals, for the second consecutive season, and 20 assists in this campaign Forrest has hardly been allowing himself languors. Moreover, Tierney says that his wide role doesn’t make it easy to affect all games.

“The consistency James has shown over recent years has been brilliant, especially for a winger. It’s such a difficult position to play,” said the full-back. “And now in so many games he’s getting doubled up on because they know he’s such a threat and he still manages to find space and take men on. He is a joy for all of us to play in the same team as him.

“James is always looking for the ball. Hey, we want him on the ball. That was our instruction on Sunday, if we get the ball and James is there, give him it and watch it go. He is that good. James can deal with what any team can do against him.”

All that can cause Tierney, in any way, to clam up when assessing the contribution of Forrest to the Celtic cause is the subject of his player of the year credentials. To many, these are now indisputable, but the ability of fellow team-mate Callum McGregor to turn out top-notch performances time and again these past ten months leaves Tierney feeling like he is being asked to pick a favourite child when asked to favour one over the other.

“He is, of course, a candidate for player of the year. That is 100 per cent. We have a few in here at Celtic who could win it. Callum McGregor is another one. You know what you’re going to get from him in every game and it doesn’t matter what position he is played in. That will be a tough one to call. But they would be my top two.”

His pride in those within the Celtic camp extends to Lennon, whose tutelage he came under for the first time two month ago when he returned as interim in the aftermath of Brendan Rodgers’ rapid exit. Lennon is making his case for permanency in the post with smart man-management.

“I’m delighted for Lenny,” said Tierney. “He’s a great manager to win under. He makes you feel so special, he gives you a lot of confidence and makes you play with a smile on your face. I think you can see that in the boys.”

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "ANDREW SMITH"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4908645.1555437795!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4908645.1555437795!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "James Forrest celebrates his goal with Scott Brown (top) and Kieran Tierney (right). Picture: SNS Group","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "James Forrest celebrates his goal with Scott Brown (top) and Kieran Tierney (right). Picture: SNS Group","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4908645.1555437795!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ {"video": {"brightcoveId":"6007134110001"} } ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"https://www.scotsman.com/sport/motorsport/paul-di-resta-gearing-up-for-aston-martin-dtm-drive-1-4908679","id":"1.4908679","articleHeadline": "Paul di Resta gearing up for Aston Martin DTM drive","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1555450200000 ,"articleLead": "

A Scot getting behind the wheel of an Aston Martin to race in one of motorsport’s biggest championships outside of Formula 1. No pressure there then? Oh wait, there is just the small matter of following in the burnt rubber tyre marks world’s most famous Scotsman.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4908678.1555442089!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Paul di Resta pictured ahead of the 2017 Abu Dhabi Formula One Grand Prix at Yas Marina. Picture: Getty images"} ,"articleBody": "

Playing James Bond in the 1960s, Sir Sean Connery turned the Aston Martin into a symbol of the age and built the legend of the car as a quintessential British icon.

Now Paul di Resta, the 32-year-old former F1 driver from West Lothian, will lead a new Aston Martin team in the prestigious Deutsche Tourenwagen Masters [DTM], which sees silhouette racing cars based on a mass-produced road cars battle it out, mainly around Germany but looking to expand more globally.

“He’s a pretty special man isn’t he?” said Di Resta of Connery. “Probably the biggest movies in the world and you’ve got to be a fan of the classics. Everybody knows who 007 is.”

Di Resta has switched to the new Aston Martin team which has entered the sport after the departure of Mercedes, who he and also David Coulthard have raced for in the series, up against the teutonic titans of BMW and Audi.

The first race takes place at Hockenheim in May, with a trip to the UK also ahead at Brands Hatch in August, and Di Resta, who raced 58 grands prix for Force India between 2011 and 2017 and had one for Williams as a substitute in 2016, is excited about the new challenge in such a famous machine.

“Being British and a car fanatic myself, seeing that iconic brand is pretty special to be part of it from the start and hopefully help it grow in this sport and where this championship is going to go,” he said.

“It’s a massive change for me after being with Mercedes for a few years, you very much feel part of the furniture and the family there but there’s obviously been a big change in DTM in terms of them [Mercedes] stopping and very quickly Aston Martin come in alongside Audi and BMW.”

As with any motorsport new teams take time to fine tune and Di Resta added: “Being truthfully honest it’s a very open question. To come into the championships you can’t disregard your rivals. The development of the car is a year later than the others.

“I guess the saying is that ‘Rome wasn’t built in a day’ but we hope to be competitive. This is a lot of the same team I worked with in DTM for the Mercedes programme into the Aston Martin.”

After the disappointment of his Formula 1 career coming to an end, participation in DTM has given the cousin of IndyCar legend Dario Franchitti a fresh lease of life.

“DTM is definitely the next in line to Formula 1 in what it delivers in terms of a motorsport experience,” said the Scot. “It’s very open and family orientated. The racing is close. And it’s looking more worldwide in terms of looking away from Europe and certainly out of just Germany. They’re looking at linking up with the Japanese.

“It’s been confirmed we’re going to race in their tournament in Fuji and they’re going to come and race alongside. In the next two or three years I can see a kind of world championship come together, which will involve the likes of Nissan, Lexus, Honda with world finals.

“These cars are loud, which you want from a sports car. That’s what DTM is, the crowd gets close to the action and these new cars are really exciting. You see a bit of rubbing and banging. There is a wow factor when you’re watching.

“And the grids are close, not three-and-a-half seconds as you’d see in Formula 1. You’re talking a second from first to 18th on our grid. It’s a sprint race, one hour with a pitstop and it’s just great action all the way through.

“If you look down the history of the sport there has been a mix of people who have come down from Formula 1 because they see how competitive it is or as a means of developing young up-and-coming drivers using it as a platform to get to F1 it’s been great for both.”

With less, though not total, emphasis on technology than F1 and more on driver skill, Di Resta is in his element.

“It’s always about the machine but what you’ve got in DTM is, in our case we have four cars exactly the same, Audi have eight the same. The driving factor does come into it a lot more.” he said.

Living in Monaco (where else?) close to fellow Scottish ex-F1 stars Coulthard and McNish, Di Resta appreciates the chance to get back to Scotland a bit more to see family and the grandparents see his children and remains close to Formula 1 in his role as a Sky pundit.

“I’m not going to call myself a journalist but an analyst,” he said. “Listen, I’d rather still be driving the cars because that is always the passion. But being part of the Sky team is great because they are the best in the business, they do it right. I’ve raced all the drivers, and still do race some of them, and can use those relationships.”

He looks back on his F1 days, when his best finishes were fourth in Singapore and Bahrain, mainly with fondness but can’t deny a few pangs of regret.

“It was definitely the best time of my life,” he said. “It’s what you grow up dreaming of doing. There’s only 20 guys that get to do that in the world at a certain time.

“I feel one of the lucky ones because there are guys who didn’t get there who deserved to but you always look at missed opportunities, what you could have done better to still be there. But everything has a path and I wouldn’t change my life for anything. I had great times but I’m at a very different point in my life now and this journey with Aston Martin is just beginning. I have a good ten to 15 years ahead of me.”

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "DUNCAN SMITH"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4908678.1555442089!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4908678.1555442089!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Paul di Resta pictured ahead of the 2017 Abu Dhabi Formula One Grand Prix at Yas Marina. Picture: Getty images","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Paul di Resta pictured ahead of the 2017 Abu Dhabi Formula One Grand Prix at Yas Marina. Picture: Getty images","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4908678.1555442089!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"https://www.scotsman.com/sport/football/rangers/in-full/eric-black-insists-steven-davis-can-star-for-rangers-in-right-role-1-4908693","id":"1.4908693","articleHeadline": "Eric Black insists Steven Davis can star for Rangers in right role","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1555450200000 ,"articleLead": "

The conundrum of how best for Rangers to derive a real impact from Steven Davis will only be solved if there is full recognition of the sort of role that suits him best at the age of 34, according to Eric Black.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4908692.1555446802!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Steven Davis has had an indifferent few months at Ibroxbut his former coach still rates him hightly. Picture: SNS."} ,"articleBody": "

As assistant manager at Southampton, Black witnessed the best of Davis two seasons ago, with manager
Claude Puel appreciating that it was his efficiency and endeavour that had to be properly harnessed to bring a fluency to the English Premiership team.

It is expected the Northern Ireland captain will extend his loan period into next season. And, despite the indifferent spell he has had since returning to the Ibrox club amid much fanfare in January, Black, above, believes he can be a hugely influential figure for Steven Gerrard’s team, both on and off the pitch, next season, if he can be allowed to get back in the groove.

His former coach considers Davis “one of the best professionals I have worked with”, who had “a rigid programme that he put his body through and clean living geared towards maximising how he performs”. This is not as a flashy playmaker or a midfield scrapper but as a central performer who can act as his team’s metronome.

“He was outstanding at Southampton for about two or three years,” said the 55-year-old. “Latterly, the shape of the team changed a bit under Mauricio Pellegrino and Steven’s role changed with it. He dropped down to the bench a bit more.

“He is not a young player any more. But he is a fabulous individual to have in your team to circulate and dominate possession. He is a fantastic footballer who plays off both feet.

“He has an enormous influence on the game in terms of keeping the ball. People might now be saying that he has not done this or that, but Steven was never really a No 10. He is not someone who is going to give you five final passes every game and score 18 goals in a season. That’s not him.

“But what he will do is have a massive influence on your team in terms of how you circulate the ball and dominate the game. I don’t know the ins and outs of what’s happened at Rangers. But Steven Davis can be very proud of everything he has done and how he conducts himself.

“We played him at Southampton in a three at times. He is not going to get up to people and take the ball away from them. He is physically not big enough, quick enough or strong enough to be that aggressive kind of player.

“But, tactically, he is absolutely brilliant. And he is selfless with it as well. He positions himself in such a way that it doesn’t become a physical challenge but the opposition player still can’t pass the ball forward. He uses his experience, his knowledge of the game and all his assets to do the things he needs to do.”

If Rangers are to come within tangible reach of being a genuine title challenger to Celtic
next season – as chairman Dave King didn’t quite say this week, but perhaps should have – then having trusted heads such as Davis will be required. Regular game time is all that Black believes has handicapped the player in the past year of his career.

“People will say Steven is not a leader because he is not that vocal but he is a leader through his actions,” Black added. “He had a massive influence at Southampton. That can start to deteriorate when you are not playing every week but Steven didn’t let it affect him in that way. He remained the consummate professional.

“It was then the dream move for him to come back to sample life at Ibrox again. He will be fine. He is a top footballer and a top individual.”

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "ANDREW SMITH"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4908692.1555446802!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4908692.1555446802!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Steven Davis has had an indifferent few months at Ibroxbut his former coach still rates him hightly. Picture: SNS.","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Steven Davis has had an indifferent few months at Ibroxbut his former coach still rates him hightly. Picture: SNS.","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4908692.1555446802!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"https://www.scotsman.com/sport/rugby-union-2-14915/snap-decision-to-join-harlequins-paying-off-for-sam-hidalgo-clyne-1-4908700","id":"1.4908700","articleHeadline": "Snap decision to join Harlequins paying off for Sam Hidalgo-Clyne","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1555447329000 ,"articleLead": "

Sam Hidalgo-Clyne had only half-an-hour to decide if a loan move to Harlequins was the right one for him but now he is out to make up for lost time with the English outfit as they continue to fight for two trophies.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4908845.1555487357!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Sam Hidalgo-Clyne of Harlequins in action during the Gallagher Premiership match with Northampton Saints on April 13. Picture: Getty Images"} ,"articleBody": "

The 25-year-old scrum-half played for Scotland as recently as last summer and has 12 caps under his belt, but his transfer to Welsh side Scarlets from Guinness Pro14 rivals Edinburgh Rugby, which took place ahead of the 2018-19 campaign, has not gone completely to plan.

After a bright start to the term, he has found matchday action hard to come by with the likes of Gareth Davies and Kieran Hardy ahead of him in the pecking order.

With Charlie Mulchrone out for a long period, Harlequins head of rugby Paul Gustard was keen to get an experienced operator in for the final two months of the season midway through March.

With European signing and squad change deadlines looming, when Hidalgo-Clyne heard the London side were interested he had to decide almost immediately whether to go or not.

He decided to move and was an unused substitute at the Olympic Stadium in a defeat to Saracens on 23 March, but since then he has come off the bench against Worcester Warriors in the European Rugby Challenge Cup last-eight triumph and started last Saturday in the league against Northampton Saints.

This weekend, they travel to France to take on Greig Laidlaw, pictured, and Clermont Auvergne in the semi-final of the Challenge Cup, while they are still right in the mix for making the Gallagher Premiership play-offs. “At Scarlets, Gareth has been playing regularly and they have been backing him up with Kieran, who has done pretty well so far, so they just told me that Harlequins were needing scrum-half cover for the rest of the year and wanted to know if a loan move would be of interest to me,” Hidalgo-Clyne recounts about the time when the move was mooted during March.

“That was at about 11.30am one day and I had to decide pretty quickly because of various things, but I jumped at the chance once I knew my family were happy with it because I want to be playing more rugby and you don’t get the chance to join a club of the stature of Harlequins every day.

“I am just excited to be back playing and to have come into the squad at a time of the season like this when we still have big league games to come and are fighting for European silverware is great.

“The biggest thing when you come into a club midway through the season as a scrum-half is to try and quickly learn all of the calls and get to know how your new team mates like to play and what they like their No 9 to do.

“Looking ahead to the weekend, we know that Clermont are a strong side and they have good players all over the field, but to be just one step away from a final at St James’ 
Park is something special 
and we will be giving it everything.

“To play against Greig again will be fun. I know what he is all about and he will be determined, but so are we.

“When I was at Edinburgh and he was at Gloucester we played against each other in the Challenge Cup final at Harlequins’ The Stoop ground back in 2015.

“Edinburgh lost that night [19-13] so hopefully my team can get a more positive result this time around.”

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4908845.1555487357!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4908845.1555487357!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Sam Hidalgo-Clyne of Harlequins in action during the Gallagher Premiership match with Northampton Saints on April 13. Picture: Getty Images","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Sam Hidalgo-Clyne of Harlequins in action during the Gallagher Premiership match with Northampton Saints on April 13. Picture: Getty Images","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4908845.1555487357!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} ]}}} ]}