Six Nations

Six Nations Rugby

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
Johnny Sexton celebrates his crucial drop-goal against France. Picture: AFP/Getty

Allan Massie: Last word on Six Nations belongs to Sexton

Two kicks by Johnny Sexton and one pass by Finn Russell will be remembered for a long time. Sexton’s drop-goal against France deep into what we used to call injury time not only won that match; it set Ireland on the way to their Grand Slam. His second kick was that steepling Garryowen which enabled Gary Ringrose to touch down for Ireland’s first try at Twickenham. The pass was, of course, Finn Russell’s audacious one against England which set Huw Jones off on a run which a moment later saw Russell put Sean Maitland over in the corner for a 
second Scottish try.

Six Nations

Greig Laidlaw blocked out distraction to kick Scotland into third

Scotland finished the Six Nations in third place with three wins to their credit, although that didn’t look likely for much of Saturday’s game in Rome. The Scots ended this tournament as they had started it, playing badly, and
it took two tries in the final quarter, the first by Sean Maitland, the 
second by Stuart Hogg, to secure 
victory.

Six Nations

Scotland due applause for progress, but more is needed

Gregor Townsend can be justifiably proud of his first Six Nations season finishing above England and France even if two of Scotland’s three victories owed little to his running rugby philosophy. Certainly Townsend would have bitten your arm off if you’d offered him three wins after the final whistle in Cardiff.

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