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Lions prop encourages ambitious Scottish players to leave Scotland

Exeter hammered Glasgow Warriors last weekend.

Former British and Irish Lions prop Peter Wright believes Scotland’s best players need to leave the country if they want to win trophies at club level. Wright was speaking after both Edinburgh and Glasgow Warriors continued their recent poor runs of form by making losing starts to their Heineken Champions Cup campaigns.

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Edinburgh suffered a 13-8 defeat at home to La Rochelle while reigning champions Exeter Chiefs hammered Glasgow 42-0.

The two Scottish sides have struggled for form this season, winning just two games each in the Guinness Pro14.

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And Wright says that if Scottish players want to taste success, they need to think beyond Edinburgh and Glasgow.

“I think it’s all down to what ambition they have,” Wright told the BBC.

“If their ambition is solely to play professional rugby, then they may well just stay at Glasgow [or Edinburgh].

“But if they want to be successful and win trophies, then, with all due respect to Edinburgh and Glasgow, they’re going to have to leave.”

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A number of high-profile Scottish players have moved on from the two clubs in recent years, including Finn Russell and Stuart Hogg.

“If you’re ambitious, you want to finish your career as a domestic and European champion,” Wright continued.

“The guys with ambition will be looking at their agents and saying: ‘Try and get me in that Exeter team or across to France because I want to win a trophy.’

“We’ve got a group of players but the strength in depth is poor. I think that was proven with Edinburgh on Saturday and Glasgow on Sunday.

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“The problem is we think we’re going forward, but other teams and nations are going forward quicker.”

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Shaylen 25 minutes ago
Jack Willis' Champions Cup masterclass proves English eligibility rules need a rethink

If France, Wales, England, Scotland and Ireland got together and all changed their eligibility laws in the same way SA has it would be absolutely bonkers. All players from all nations involved in Europe would be fair game as would their coaches. The investment in rugby would be supercharged as teams would rush to create dream teams. Transfer markets would be super charged, salary caps may change, private investment would grow as rich backers first buy clubs and then put money into their clubs in an effort to land the best players. The richest clubs and franchises would benefit most but money and players would move across borders at a steady flow. Suddenly countries like Wales and Scotland would have a much larger pool of players to select from who would be developed and improved in systems belonging to their rivals within superstar squads while their clubs receive large sums in the transfer market. The Six Nations would experience a big boost as the best players become available all the time. The Champions cup would become even more fiercely contested as the dream teams clash. Fan engagement would grow as fans would follow their favourite players creating interest in the game across the continent. Transfer markets and windows would become interesting events in themselves, speculation would drive it and rumours of big transfers and interest in players would spread. All of this is speculation and much of it would not eventuate straight away but just like in football the spread of players and talent would create these conditions over time. The transfer markets in European football is proof of this. Football had the same club vs country debate eons ago and favoured an open system. This has made it the largest game in the world with global interest and big money. Rugby needs to embrace this approach in the long run as well

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J
Jon 6 hours ago
Waratahs 'counter-culture' limits Wallaby options for Joe Schmidt

This is a bit dramatic for me, I think the Rebels and Force cultures would be very strong, and if a player is chosen from either, you can be confident they are in a good head space and ready. Whether they quite have the technical or tactical foundations of the other two states is where one would way their risk of selection. I see no need for Schmidt to worry about that risk in this squad. The main reason I could see a predominance of players from Brumbies and Reds, is simple cohesion. What might the coaching group make of what’s lacking in the Tahs, and to a lesser extent Rebels and Force’s, franchise? Certainly sides (players) that are running irish plays like we saw from that lovely McDermott long ball with have a head start. I hope the players can continue it at International level. Really liked what I saw of Wright (don’t know player focus and just hadn’t seen a lot of him anyway) in that game, can see him being a glue in a Wallaby side too. A with the similar worry of selecting players like Ryan, I think it unfounded to worry so much about forward balance at the moment. Including both Wright and Skelton in the same lineout is not going to lose you games gainst Wales. Nor will any unknown weakenss Wales might find in Ryan be exploited to any great extent. It is the perfect time to introduce such a young player. What other shortcuts might Schmidt want to make now, just a year out from hosting BIL? When Gamble came on the scene I thought he had a Pocock ability to break game apart along with performing the role of a openside well. I would be very keen to drop Leota/Hooper for Gamble, and in your squad make up, include Uru as a lock. Did you forget to remove Vunivalu from your team? Would you have Meafou in your squad if you could?

114 Go to comments
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