Jump to main content

Scotland Juggle Squad To Face Wales

Scotland Juggle Squad To Face Wales

As the spring sets in, April sees the final match of this season’s Lloyds TSB Six Nations championship and it will be a big test for the visiting Scots.
They will face a wounded Wales side who have played the tournament under two head coaches and heavy weight of public expectation.
Both sides share an unenviable, won 1 lost 3 record in the tournament, and the winners of this match will determine either a fourth or fifth place finish- assuming an England victory in Rome.
Success starved Scotland supremo Ian McGeechan is prepared for the challenge of facing Wales, saying, “They will be a big danger on their own turf. Ireland came back strongly at us after they had been heavily beaten by England – and the Welsh have the ability to do exactly the same.
“You only have to think back a short time and look at how close they ran
France at home, and to a lesser extent their performance against Italy.
“They possess a great deal of pace in their back-line, are powerful up front and have the capability to threaten from a lot of areas.
The Scots will have to watch out particularly for the likes of Kevin morgan, Rhys Williams, Craig Morgan and the irrepressible Scott Quinnell- all players who have made a big impact in this seasons tournament.
“They will be just as stern a test for us as any of the other teams in the
competition. You don’t have to get much right or much wrong for the flow of a game to change radically.”
And people in Wales knows how the thin the line between success and failure is, the video ref. has played a major part in the outcome of a number of games this year.
The Scottish head coach has made changes to the squad this season, speed merchant Glenn Metcalfe switches to his favoured role at full-back.
When asked if Metcalfe’s switch from wing to full back had been delayed too long against the Grand Slam seeking Frenchmen, he declared: “Yes. In retrospect it should have happened earlier.
“Glenn does offer us something different, which is what you are always looking for in a squad.”
Metcalfe began the tournament at full-back, but was then moved out wide to accommodate Brendan Laney – now the team’s front-line goal-kicker.
Assuming Metcalfe returns to 15, it would then leave the coach with the problem of where to field Laney- scorer of 46 of Scotland’s 64 points this term.
He could either go to the right-wing, where is lack of pure pace could be a handicap, or he could be utilised in midfield in place of John Leslie or
James McLaren.
Despite another mixed display at the weekend, Gregor Townsend looks certain to make his 66th appearance in a Scottish jersey – breaking the country’s record for the highest number of caps, held by Scott Hastings.
Out of the running for honours, McGeechan had been under pressure to use the Cardiff trip to experiment with youngsters or fringe-men.
But he explained: “The Six Nations is not the place or time for experiments. The opportunity for that will come in the summer when we go on tour to Canada and the USA.
“Over there, we will have a mixed squad of experienced players and others who have potential.”

Share this page:

Backs – G Beveridge (Glasgow), D Hodge, B Laney (both Edinburgh), J Leslie (Northampton Saints), K Logan (London Wasps), J McLaren, G Metcalfe (both Glasgow), C Paterson (Edinburgh), B Redpath (Sale Sharks, capt), G Townsend (Castres).

Forwards – G Bulloch (Glasgow), G Graham, S Grimes (Newcastle), M Leslie (Edinburgh), S Murray (Saracens), J Petrie (Glasgow), B Pountney
(Northampton Saints), R Russell (Saracens), T Smith, M Stewart (both
Northampton Saints), S Taylor (Edinburgh), J White (Glasgow).

Partners and Suppliers

Principal Partners
Official Broadcast Partners
BBC Cymru/Wales
Official Partners