Time was when Scotland used to spend a day training in the Royal Botanic Gardens in Edinburgh as their warm weather preparation for games in steamy foreign climes but it’s far more scientific as they prepare for the Rugby World Cup in Japan.
Scotland Rugby Team
Scotland head coach Gregor Townsend completed his 44-strong Rugby World Cup training squad by selecting Glasgow Warriors’ Scott Cummings and Kyle Steyn to fill the two remaining places.
It’s definitely not normal practice for a head coach to start a controversy when there previously was none, but Glasgow’s Dave Rennie waded into one with some relish last week.
Gregor Townsend has left the door ajar for Richie Gray to make the Rugby World Cup but the big lock is one of several notable names not in the Scotland coach’s training squad for the tournament in Japan.
In rugby’s new-found obsession with stats, one stood out like a beacon from the weekend’s play. In the PRO14 game between Leinster and Glasgow at the RDS, the Warriors’ Jonny Gray made 43 tackles.
The 6 Nations is over for another year, and it seems that all focus now turns to the World Cup in Japan.
Scotland’s 2019 Guinness 6 Nations campaign was unquestionably saved by the incredible second 40 minutes at Twickenham on Saturday.
Sean Maitland and teammate Simon Berghan had heavy hearts as they observed a minute’s silence for the terrorist outrage in their home city of Christchurch at Twickenham on Saturday, but the two adopted Scots resolved to “make our city proud” by their performance.
Plucky, proud Scotland. Maybe we’re not all so sick of it after all.
The Calcutta Cup itself is some limited but tangible reward for Scotland’s players despite the crushing disappointment of seeing their unparalleled comeback at Twickenham fall just short, but Gregor Townsend believes it shows his team can “do special things”.