23 May, 12:21
The Irish Rugby Supporters Club is delighted to announce that tickets for the GUINNESS Series 2013 will go on sale on ticketmaster.ie at 10am on Thursday, May 30.
Paterson, appointed when Australian Matt Williams took over from Ian McGeechan as Scotland coach after last year's World Cup, had to settle for being named as one of four vice-captains, alongside Gordon Bulloch, Mike Blair and Tom Smith.
The centre/full-back has paid the price for Scotland's failure to win a game in this season's Six Nations campaign. Lock forward Murray was regarded as one of the few players to enhance his reputation in the tournament and his appointment as captain came immediately after he was named as Scotland's player of the year for the third time.
Williams attempted to soften the blow of Paterson's axing, insisting: "This decision is no reflection on Chris Paterson. I said we would be moving the captaincy around and Mossy (Paterson) has done a fine job and has moved forward as a leader."
Among the prominent absentees from the tour through injury are New Zealand-born goalkicker Brendan Laney, Newcastle's highly-rated flanker Andy Mower and regular number eight Simon Taylor.
Among 12 uncapped players in the squad is Saracens centre Robbie Kydd, who was born in New Zealand but qualifies as his father was born in Scotland.
"With the retirement of so many backs since the last World Cup we have been casting our net wider in the search for Scottish players," Williams admitted. "Robbie is currently playing in the English Premiership and this tour is about development. His age puts him in the right bracket for Rugby World Cup 2007 and he can also play full-back or stand-off."
The other 11 uncapped players are Joel Brannigan, centre Stephen Cranston, back-row forward Scott Gray, locks Craig Hamilton and Alastair Kellock, wing Sean Lamont, lock Scott Macleod, centre Graeme Morrison, full-back Gareth Morton, prop Euan Murray and wing Hugo Southwell.
Williams added: "The point about this tour is that it is part of our four year plan that we devised last August to take us towards the next World Cup. This is our big tour of this four-year period." Although 40 players will fly out to Australia, ten of them will return home before the two Tests against the Wallabies. Scotland will also play a Test against Samoa in New Zealand.
Scotland Squad: Ross Beattie (Gwent Dragons), Graeme Beveridge (Glasgow Rugby) Mike Blair (Edinburgh Rugby), Joel Brannigan (Edinburgh Rugby), Gordon Bulloch (Glasgow Rugby), Stephen Cranston (The Borders), Chris Cusiter (The Borders), Simon Danielli (Bath Rugby), Marcus Di Rollo (Edinburgh Rugby), Bruce Douglas (The Borders), Iain Fullarton (Sale Sharks), Scott Gray (Bath Rugby), Stuart Grimes (Newcastle Falcons)Andy Hall (Glasgow Rugby), Craig Hamilton (Newcastle Falcons), Andy Henderson (Glasgow Rugby), Ben Hinshelwood (Worcester), Allister Hogg (Edinburgh Rugby), Allan Jacobsen (Edinburgh Rugby), Alastair Kellock (Edinburgh Rugby), Robbie Kydd (Saracens), Sean Lamont (Glasgow Rugby), Donnie Macfadyen (Glasgow Rugby), Cameron Mather (Glasgow Rugby), Scott Macleod (The Borders), Graeme Morrison (Glasgow Rugby), Gareth Morton (The Borders), Euan Murray (Glasgow Rugby), Scott Murray (Edinburgh Rugby), Dan Parks (Glasgow Rugby), Chris Paterson (Edinburgh Rugby), Jon Petrie (Glasgow Rugby), Tom Philip (Edinburgh Rugby), Gordon Ross (Leeds Tykes), Rob Russell (Saracens), Steve Scott (The Borders), Tom Smith (Northampton Saints), Hugo Southwell (Edinburgh Rugby), Simon Webster (Edinburgh Rugby), Jason White (Sale Sharks)
Tour Schedule: Saturday 22 May: Scotland v Barbarians, Murrayfield, (final warm-up game). Saturday 29 May: Queensland v Scotland, Ballymore, Brisbane (kick-off time tbc). Wednesday 2 June: New South Wales Country v Scotland, Wollongong (kick-off tbc). Friday 4 June: Samoa v Scotland, Westpac Stadium, Wellington, NZ, kick-off 7.35pm local time. Tuesday 8 June: NSW Waratahs v Scotland, Aussie Stadium, Sydney, kick-off 7.30pm local time. Sunday 13 June: Australia v Scotland, Telstra Dome, Melbourne, kick-off 4pm local time. Saturday 19 June: Australia v Scotland, Telstra Stadium, Sydney, kick-off 8pm
South Africa will take on Wales at Cardiff's Millennium Stadium on November 6th in an extra fixture that has delighted WRU bosses. It will be the Springboks' first Test against Wales in Cardiff since their 23-13 victory in 2000 and means Wales will play four games in the space of three November weeks with Romania, New Zealand and Japan also to be faced.
"I am really excited because the quality of opposition is superb," new Wales coach Mike Ruddock said on Wednesday after the announcement of the extra match. "This extra fixture is a real bonus and will give all of us, coaches and players alike, the chance to assess ourselves against the best teams in the world.
"We already have an incredibly challenging summer tour with two Tests in Argentina and one in South Africa. Now we have a wonderfully balanced autumn series to look forward to at the Millennium Stadium."
The Welsh Rugby Union feel they have pulled off a major coup in attracting two of the southern hemisphere big guns to Cardiff this autumn. "This will be the first time since 1996 that Wales will face two SANZA nations in the autumn international period," said WRU chief executive David Moffett
"Eight years ago we met Australia and South Africa in December, but this will be a first for Welsh fans at the Millennium Stadium."
Ruddock, who opens his reign with a fixture against the Barbarians in Bristol on May 26th, has also confirmed the make-up of his backroom team. Clive Griffiths has been appointed defence coach, joining skills chief Scott Johnson and conditioning coach Andrew Hore.
"I'm really pleased with this team," Ruddock said. "It's very strong and at this level you need that. Gone are the days when one man can have all the answers. You need specialists in place."
The former Swansea and Leinster coach has reaffirmed that Wales want their leading players to play their rugby at home, rather than follow the lead of Stephen Jones and Gareth Thomas, who will be playing for Montferrand and Toulouse respectively next season. "My principle is that we want to keep all our best players within the Welsh regions if possible,'' added Ruddock.
"We want to be as as strong as we can so we have more chance of winning the European Cup with a Welsh region. "And we want the fans to see our best players playing in Wales and we want those guys to help us achieve greater attendances and better sponsorship. So it is a blow when we lose players."
In Sydney yesterday (Thurs), Wallabies coach Eddie Jones slammed a new IRB ruling that could see ACT Brumbies star Radike Samo playing for the Pacific Islands against the Wallabies without forfeiting his chance to represent Australia.
Jones said the International Rugby Board ruling turned rugby into a "Mickey Mouse game".
The governing body on Thursday ruled that playing for the new combined Islanders team will not capture a player's eligibility under the one-country-for-life rule. Fijian-born second rower Samo had previously ruled out playing for the Pacific Islands because he wanted to play for the Wallabies. But he can now play for the Islanders on this year's tour, including the July 3 Test against the Wallabies in Adelaide, and still remain eligible to play for Australia.
Jones said that scenario highlighted the absurdity of the IRB ruling. "It makes it a Mickey Mouse game," Jones said on Thursday.
"He could be playing against the Wallabies on July 3rd and then playing for them against the All Blacks in the Bledisloe Cup on July 17th.
"Tell me how that's good for the sport. I think it's absurd."
Jones said playing someone who did not actually want to play for one of the countries which make up the team - Fiji, Tonga and Samoa - would not help the sport in those countries and would make it little better than a trial match. "Why would the Islands play a kid who won't play for Tonga," he said.
Samo has played his way into genuine Wallaby squad contention with an outstanding season in the second-row for the Brumbies despite the challenge of Test lock David Giffin.
AFP - 2004.