Scotland

Scotland

Allan Massie: Nationality of coaches is irrelevant in Test rugby

Coaches have been in the news recently. First, Andy Farrell will succeed Joe Schmidt as Ireland’s coach after the World Cup. This should make the 2020 Six Nations England-Ireland match an interesting family affair, with father Andy coaching Ireland and son Owen , one assumes, captaining England.Then there is a rumour that the RFU is considering asking Warren Gatland to be Eddie Jones’ successor when the garrulous Australian moves on. It was long assumed that Gatland’s ambition was to be the next coach for his native New Zealand. So it may be that he would be interested in the Twickenham job only as the next best thing. This is something that presumably wouldn’t commend him to the RFU. If, however, he does land up at Twickenham, he will have been pretty well round the houses as head coach of Ireland, Wales and England, and, twice, of the Lions. Meanwhile the Welsh Rugby Union has already appointed another New Zealander, Wayne Pivac, to take over from Gatland next season.

Scotland
Now 71, Billy Steele lives in a converted steading in Burntisland. He's the man responsible for turning Flower of Scotland into a sporting anthem. Picture: Ian Georgeson

Interview: Billy Steele on turning Flower of Scotland into our anthem

On the steep climb to his home, which sits just below the television transmitter at Burntisland, Billy Steele wonders why I’ve come to see him. He doesn’t think there’s much of a story in his rugby career and this feeling of anti-climax is compounded when we reach the handsomely converted steading and thick mist prevents him from showing off the panoramic view across the Forth.

Scotland
Sean Maitland dives over for the only try in Scotland's win over Argentina. Picture: Gary Hutchison/SNS/SRU

A damp squib, but Scotland win key to Gregor Townsend’s plan

After what was a rather forgettable end to the international year as Scotland ground out this narrow and, it could be argued, slightly fortunate victory over the Pumas, it was no surprise that much of the after-match talk thrust thoughts forward to the new year and the Six Nations and World Cup to come.

Scotland
National football and rugby captains Andy Robertson and Greig Laidlaw got together at Oriam.  Picture: Paul Devlin/SNS/SRU

Aidan Smith: There’s optimism at Murrayfield, at Hampden you fear the worst

At sold-out Murrayfield, the Scotland rugby captain Greig Laidlaw begins the move which involves Jonny Gray, Finn Russell and Peter Horne before Huw Jones magicks up a flipped pass behind his back to Sean Maitland who from deep on the left flank charges forward, seemingly propelled by the roar of the crowd, now well-used to such dazzling breaks but not in the least bit blasé about them.

Scotland

Thom Evans interview: Former Scotland international on why he finds it hard to watch rugby

In a previous life he did it all. Everything that’s required of boyband beefcake in a pop video. He wandered round a rustic pile, all lovelorn and pleading. He sang in an army greatcoat and riding boots and he sang stripped to the waist, biceps oiled. He sang in a wind-tunnel and he sang in a manufactured rainstorm, hand clasped to his trembling heart, desperate for the agony to end. There was so much pretend emoting when Thom Evans was a member of chart hopefuls Twen2y4se7en.

Scotland
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