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JUST days after Scotland won the London Sevens tournament, the future of the national squad as an independent entity has been put in doubt by news of a possible merger with England and Wales.
IT HAS been a breakthrough year for Scottish rugby at many different levels; now the Under-20s are convinced they can follow suit and this summer achieve more than any Scots at their level have achieved before.
Coaches emphasise the quality of the bench as well as the starting 15 for a very good reason: it is rare indeed for a match to get to the end without there having been a medical need for substitutes, never mind a tactical desire.
Head coach Vern Cotter will select from a squad containing 1,018 caps for the games at Twickenham on May 28 and Kingspan Stadium on June 1.
HAVING already lost Sean Maitland from the summer tour party, Gregor Townsend, the head coach, is now having to deal with the loss of Richie Gray, the lock, and Sam Hidalgo-Clyne, the scrum half, as well. For the time being, at least, only Hidalgo-Clyne is being replaced.
IT IS the end of an era for the Scotland Sevens team, with coaches and key players moving on, but they ended on a record-shattering high with a tournament triumph in London which included the landmark win over New Zealand. Calum MacRae, the head coach who will shift to become the defence coach at Edinburgh, is convinced, however, they have laid the platform for the success to continue.
Toulouse lock Gray was sent back to his club after the Scots medical team found he was suffering from a back problem and the after effects of an illness.
HISTORY was made in sensational style at Twickenham yesterday as Scotland retained the HSBC London Sevens, beating New Zealand in the quarter-finals en route to a win in the final itself over host nation England. The 28-21 last-eight victory was not only the first time the Scots had beaten New Zealand on the sevens circuit, it was the first occasion that any Scottish team had defeated a New Zealand representative side at any level since the nations first met in a 15-a-side match in 1905.
WE have all heard of young players being forced to quit rugby because of injury. It is altogether less common for someone to start the sport for the same reason - but that is precisely the route taken by Damien Hoyland.
WHEN he announced his first Scotland squad last week, Gregor Townsend made it clear he would largely aim to add to what Vern Cotter had built rather than going for a wholesale reconstruction of the national team’s style of play. “There won’t be too many changes,” was how the new head coach put it.
AFTER missing the European Champions Cup final last weekend, Sean Maitland, the Scotland wing, has also pulled out of the national team's Southern Hemisphere tour while he recovers from the ankle injury he sustained in the final league game of the season.
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