The In The Loose Scotland Team

The In The Loose team round up their previews of the home nations ahead of the Autumn Internationals by selecting their Scotland team. Debbie Knight (DK), Sam Varralls (SV), Scottie Fessey (SF) and Dave Nicoll (DN) select the players in each position below…

Full Back – Sean Maitland

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15. Stuart Hogg- Since gaining regular caps for Scotland after the Six Nations, Hogg has demonstrated an incredible ability with ball in hand. Defensively stable and also has a glorious boot. Well rounded Full Back. SV

15. Greig Tonks – one of the only recognised full backs in the squad, seems good under the high ball, does not have the Hogg x Factor though, in more by default I am afraid! SF

15. Sean Maitland. A surprise name on the Lions tour, the experience will have added to his strengths, a winger or fullback, Scotland have injury worries at the back so a no 15 shirt I think. DK

15. Tom Heathcote – I would be very tempted to make a last ditch attempt to persuade Tommy Allan to pledge allegiance to Scotland but this now looks unlikely however Heathcote looks an excellent prospect in his own right. DN

 

Right Wing – Tommy Seymour

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14. Sean Maitland-Another Lion, he is a terrific finisher and a player who is an experienced International. However, it will be interesting to see if Glasgow’s Seymour can push for the 14 jersey.  SV

14. Tommy Seymour – Bit like Tonks, not really seen much however scored a great try against Cardiff Blues recently! SF

14. Tommy Seymour. A very hard pick this position, Scotland have such a small pool of players to choose from. Born in South Africa but playing in the blue of Scotland. DK

14. Sean Maitland – Maitland and Visser have finally given Scotland the finishing ability they have been screaming out for in recent years and is therefore one of the first names on the team sheet. DN

 

Outside Centre – Sean Lamont

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13. Sean Lamont-Huge beast at Outside Centre will give Scotland dynamism and a defensive stalwart. Fantastic player. SV

13. Matt Scott – What I have seen of Matt Scott is limited, however he seems a good hard running, quick centre with good distribution. SF

13. Nick De Luca. Looking to see if Sean Lamont is fit and can’t find that out, so an Edinburgh duo in the centres for me. DK

13. Sean Lamont – A strong outside centre who is solid in defence and able to get over the gainline in attack, could be key to getting the ball out to the fliers on the wings. DN

 

Inside Centre – Matt Scott

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12. Matt Scott-Fellow Edinburgh man will give Scotland a good chemistry in the midfield and adds some serious go forward. Punching holes in the midfield, Scott is vital if Scotland want to play a physical game. SV

12. Sean  Lamont – A good strong experienced centre, think along with Scott could form a solid Scotland Midfield. SF

12. Matt Scott. Not a player I know too much about but he impressed against Munster, looks a bright prospect. DK

12. Matt Scott – In Scott Scotland finally seem to have a player capable of making the 12 shirt his own for the first time in years.

 

Left Wing – Tim Visser

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11. Tim Visser-Undoubtedly Scotland’s best finisher. A wondrous try at the weekend against Munster, Visser has the power and agility to score from half chances. Shoe in for 11 shirt. SV

11. Tim Visser – BOOM here comes Visser, another winger very much in the George North mold, big strong and quick. SF

11. Tim Visser. A skilful and fast winger, very exciting with ball in hand, he has good strength too in defence. DK

11. Tim Visser – An incredible finisher, top scorer in the Pro 12 for several years running in an under-performing Edinburgh side says it all really. DN

 

Fly Half – Ruaridh Jackson

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10. Ruaridh Jackson-Feel he is more attacking minded than the likes of Weir. His clinical passing game will help release the most dangerous part of the Scotland squad, their back three.  SV

10. Ruaridh Jackson – A good tactical fly half, kicks well good option with Laidlaw at 9. SF

10. Ruaridh Jackson. Not having much chance to watch the Scottish teams this season, I was impressed by Jackson’s second half display against Toulon. DK

10. Ruaridh Jackson – With top class finishers on the wings it is essential Scotland get the ball out wide, Jackson seems the best man to help them achieve this. DN

 

Scrum Half – Greig Laidlaw

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9. Greig Laidlaw- Generally favoured at Fly Half for Scotland, Laidlaw demonstrated his phenomenal leadership qualities and pedigree in a superior performance at Murrayfield on Saturday. Smaller in stature than most, his intelligence and sharp wit makes him a definite for Scotland in the half back partnership. SV

9. Greig Laidlaw – A great ball player, possibly Scotlands in form back at the moment, good at 9 or 10. SF

9. Greig Laidlaw. Hard to look past the 28 year old Laidlaw, he’s had a great start to the season for Edinburgh, he brings experience and a second kicking option DK

9. Greig Laidlaw – In fantastic form currently even if Edinburgh look poor. His kicking from the tee has been exemplary and could be key to ensure Scotland keep the score board ticking over. DN

 

Number 8 – Johnnie Beattie

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8. Johnnie Beattie- Scotland’s Back Row is something to be feared, the experience and aggressiveness will put any top class outfit under pressure. Beattie is just that sort of player who can pull in defenders and can simultaneously offload to a player breaking the line. A must in the Back Row. SV

8. Johnnie Beattie – A good athlete and good No 8, strong and quick. SF

8. David Denton. Denton is a player who would look at home in the 2nd row as well as the back, he’s huge! Yet moves around the pitch like a thing possessed! DK

8. Johnnie Beattie – His move to Montpellier seems to have really developed his game, an athletic number 8 with a well round skill set, his experience will be a huge boost. DN

 

Openside Flanker – Kelly Brown

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7. Kelly Brown- Dogged Openside and able jackler. The balance of experience and willingness to put his head where it hurts still makes him a stand out 7. SV

7. David Denton – Not a natural openside like Rennie, but an all round good flanker. Think with Strokosh around to do the graft he can be good in the loose and compliment Jonnie Beattie. SF

7. Kelly Brown. Kelly had a lot of bad luck with injuries last season, missing out on the chance to captain his country. Some Saracens bias here I know, but I hope he gets the armband this season. DK

7. Kelly Brown – Another experienced back row operator, Brown’s willingness to put his body on the line has helped Scotland escape a tricky situation on more than one occasion. DN

 

Blindside Flanker – Alasdair Strokosch

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6. Dave Denton- He is still developing and has many years ahead of him. Only 24, his game time in SA and regular appearances in the Rabo and Heineken has made him a harder, more skilled athlete. Another splendid ball carrier. SV

6. Alasdair Strokosch – Strong ball carrier, good in the tight exchanges, needs to stay injury free! SF

6. Alasdair Stokosch. Playing at 7 for Perpignan, the French experience can only improve his skills  DK

6. Alasdair Strokosch – Both Dave Denton and Rob Harley are unlucky to miss out here but Strokosch looked a class apart during Scotland’s summer tour. His scrapping on the floor and physicality will be key to getting the backs some front foot ball. DN

 

Lock – Jim Hamilton

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5. Al Kellock- A leader of Scotland and Glasgow. Tremendous in the Set Piece and always will give 100%. SV

5. Jim Hamilton – Big JIM, one of Scotlands stalwart forwards, dont think hes palyed a bad game. SF

5. Jim Hamilton. Going with experience here although I was tempted by Kellock! DK

5. Jim Hamilton – I thought Hamilton was incredibly unlucky to miss out on the Lions tour this summer. A great set piece operator and a player who always gives 100%, he is one of the first names on the team sheet for me. DN

 

Lock – Richie Gray

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4. Richie Gray-Now plying his trade in France, Gray is still one of Britain’s best Second Row products. Plenty of Internationals under his belt, plenty more to come. Man mountain, no one better. SV

4. Al Kellock – Another Scotland stalwart, experienced, mobile and a good leader. SF

4. Richie Gray. Gray has some competition for his position, not least from his own brother, I think Scotland will go for experience in the AI’s but a slot to watch! DK

4. Richie Gray – This selection is more about looking to the future than current form. Since his rapid emergence Gray hasn’t quite hit the same heights in the last year, hopefully that will all change in November. DN

 

Tighthead Prop – Jon Welsh

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3. Jon Welsh- Euan Murray has not shown his quality of old with struggling side Worcester Warriors, however recently Welsh has been a stable, gritty Tighthead who can build on his two Scotland caps. SV

3. Murray Low – Good solid ball carrier, can scrummage as well. SF

3. Euan Murray. A total guess, I really struggled with the props DK

3. Jon Welsh – Scotland really need to find someone who can step in Murray’s shoes longer term and possibly more importantly be available for every game. DN

 

Hooker – Ross Ford

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2. Ross Ford- A talisman in the pack with an extraordinary work rate. Talk about a heavy, powerful, hardcore pack! SV

2. Scott Lawson – Accurate hooker, mobile in the loose. SF

2. Ross Ford. First man on my team sheet gives his all for his team and country every game. Another very mobile Hooker, the new variety! DK

2. Ross Ford – A physical, mobile front rower whose experience as captain can only add to Scotland’s on-field leadership. DN

 

Loosehead Prop – Ryan Grant

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1. Ryan Grant-So happy he imagined to get some game time in Oz. One of the best Prop’s of the 2013 Six Nations. He is always willing to carry ball, make tackles and hit rucks. One of my favourite players! SV

1. Euan Murray – A rock for Scotland over the past few years, not may challengers at the moment! SF

1. Ryan Grant. I can’t find too many Scottish props to pick from, such a specialised position! DK

1. Ryan Grant – A great prop who maybe hasn’t received the recognition he deserves. DN

Let us know who would be in your Scotland team below…

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