Scotland have made nine changes to their side to take on Fiji in the second Autumn Test with Greig Laidlaw restored to captain after nearly two years.
Sean Maitland has returned to a younger Scotland squad but he’s not prepared to give up the shirt just yet.
Josh Strauss believes his old friend and team-mate Leone Nakarawa is the best player he’s ever played with or against – and Fiji have many more just like him in their squad for Saturday’s Autumn Test.
Huw Jones has had “phenomenal moments” in a Scotland shirt and will bounce back from Saturday’s defensive lapses – some of which were not even entirely his fault, stressed Tommy Seymour.
Stuart Hogg seems to be more desperate to play than the Scottish management is desperate to play him in this weekend’s second Autumn test against Fiji, but they’re giving the star full-back every chance.
It looked pretty conclusive on the scoreboard but Saturday’s inaugural Doddie Weir Cup in Cardiff was being spun as an opportunity missed by the Scotland coaching team and players.
There was no mistaking it; empty seats high the rafters of the Principality Stadium, a sort of unreal atmosphere, and the half-hearted cheer when Wales won the first of a series of early, kickable penalties for needless Scottish offences.
Scotland have to been more clinical and better disciplined or they’ll be punished by “the Brazil of rugby” at BT Murrayfield next week, believes head coach Gregor Townsend.
Wales won the inaugural Doddie Weir Cup in Cardiff with something to spare, but it was their defence blunting Scotland’s attempts to break them down that was the decisive factor at the Principality Stadium.
All international rugby matters, we are assured; there are no such things as friendlies in our game. Well, today just may be an exception.