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Countdown To Murrayfield: Three Days To Go

Countdown To Murrayfield: Three Days To Go

…Venues Confirmed For Under-18 Six Nations Festival…Scotland Team News…My Cousin Roger…The Last Time – Scotland Beat Ireland…Say What?…Numbers Game…

VENUES CONFIRMED FOR UNDER-18 SIX NATIONS FESTIVAL: The inaugural Under-18 Six Nations Festival, which will be staged in Scotland next month, will have the city of Glasgow as its host venue.

Tournament director Peter Gallagher commented: “The festival will take the form of a round-robin event. Some of the matches will be double-headers so there’ll be something in it for everyone, no matter who you’re supporting.

“And the chances are that supporters will get the first glimpse of some of the stars of the 2011 World Cup right here in Scotland.”

Teams are permitted to select a squad of 26 players, all of whom must start at least one of the three games they play.

Ireland’s match details are as follows:

Sunday, April 8 – Italy v Ireland, Old Anniesland, Glasgow Hawks RFC, kick-off 3pm

Wednesday, April 11 – Ireland v France, Old Anniesland, Glasgow Hawks RFC, kick-off 7.30pm

Saturday, April 14 – England v Ireland, Burnbrae, West of Scotland, Milngavie, kick-off 1pm

SCOTLAND TEAM NEWS: While Scotland coach Frank Hadden is yet to confirm his side for Saturday’s Six Nations encounter at Murrayfield, the Scots’ Club International and Women’s selections have been announced for the weekend’s fare.

SCOTLAND CLUB INTERNATIONAL: James Thompson (Heriot’s); Marc Teague (Heriot’s), Graham Thomson (Dundee HSFP), John Houston (Heriot’s), Rory Couper (Boroughmuir); Murray Strang (Glasgow Hawks), Alasdhair McFarlane (Ayr); Bruce McNeil (Hawick), Steve Lawrie (Watsonians), Richard Higgins (Melrose), Damien Kelly (Ayr), Andy Adam (Currie), Tam McVie (Heriot’s) (capt), Angus Martyn (Boroughmuir), Ben Fisher (Boroughmuir).

Replacements: Scott Burnett (Currie), Andy Kelly (GHA), Jeff Nicolson (Watsonians), Mark Cairns (Currie), Matt Coupar (Watsonians), Andrew Skeen (Watsonians), Cameron Goodall (Heriot’s).

SCOTLAND WOMEN: Lynsey Harley (Murrayfield Wanderers); Cara D’Silva (Kirkcaldy), Lucy Millard (Murrayfield Wanderers), Erin Kerr (Richmond), Veronica Fitzpatrick (Royal High Corstorphine); Suzi Newton (Blaydon Team Northumbria), Louise Dalgliesh (Royal High Corstorphine); Heather Lockhart (Hillhead/Jordanhill), Gail Russell (Richmond), Beth Dickens (Murrayfield Wanderers), Jilly McCord (Royal High Corstorphine), Lana Blyth (Murrayfield Wanderers), Lynne Reid (Royal High Corstorphine), Susie Brown (Hillhead/Jordanhill), Donna Kennedy (Royal High Corstorphine) (capt).

Replacements: Sarah-Louise Walker (Watsonians), Louise Moffat (Kirkcaldy), Lindsay Wheeler (Murrayfield Wanderers), Louise Fraser (Watsonians), Rachael Nicolson (Hillhead/Jordanhill), Tanya Griffith (Royal High Corstorphine), Hazel Bielinski (Hillhead/Jordanhill).

MY COUSIN ROGER: Do you know who your third cousin is? Well Scotland back rower Kelly Brown knows his – it is none other than Ulster and Ireland-capped number 8 Roger Wilson.

Brown revealed in the Edinburgh News: “My third cousin is Roger Wilson of Ulster and Ireland – our respective grannies are more closely related.

“I’ve always enjoyed playing against Roger at club level and Irish blood is very much in my veins since my dad, Nigel, hails from Portadown.

“In fact, from the age of about five to 14 I spent most of my summers in Portstewart on the Antrim coast,” he added.

“But Scotland is where I was born and have always lived, let alone being honoured to play for age-group teams so there is no question where my loyalties lie.”


At Murrayfield, Saturday, September 22, 2001:

– The match was played in September due to the foot and mouth crisis
– Tries from Tom Smith, Budge Pountney, John Leslie and Andrew Henderson saw the Scots to a 32-10 victory
Girvan Dempsey was Ireland’s only try scorer – the try came in injury-time
– The Scots had led 17-0 at half-time in front of a 65,000-strong crowd
– Ireland, with Brian O’Driscoll and Shane Horgan partnering each other in midfield, disappointed as their record of not having won at Murrayfield since 1985 continued
– The Irish, then coached by Warren Gatland, fielded an all-Munster front row that day of Peter Clohessy, Keith Wood and John Hayes
– Ireland’s Grand Slam hopes lay in tatters but they redeemed themselves by beating England at Lansdowne Road the following month
– DJ Otzi’s ‘Hey Baby’ was number one in the UK singles charts
– Bolton Wanderers were surprisingly top of the FA Premiership
– U2 were amongst an array of film, music and TV stars to play their part in a telethon in the US to raise money for, and pay tribute to, the victims of the September 11 terrorist attacks in New York
– On the day of Ireland’s defeat, Arsene Wenger, Andrea Bocelli and Ronaldo were celebrating their birthdays


“I’m going to try and persuade him to switch to the left wing so that I can drag it out for a few more years!”

Shane Horgan reveals the lengths he will go to to protect his much-cherished number 14 jersey. The ‘him’ in question is Shane Monahan, who, like Horgan, is a big winger who rose up through the ranks at Boyne RFC. Monahan scored the only try in the Ireland Under-20s’ recent win over England

“A telling thing for me with Girvan is that he spends as much time analysing the opposition whether he’s sitting on the bench or starting. That’s a measure of Girvan’s professionalism, and to top it off he’s a nice fella as well, which is not a bad thing either.”

Eddie O’Sullivan doffs his cap to Ireland full-back Girvan Dempsey who has hit a rich vein of form in recent weeks

“We’ve all seen Brian O’Driscoll nip through the smallest of gaps and then off-load the ball, and those kinds of things change games.

“I love the way he plays rugby. He’s so quick at getting up and over the tackled man to steal ball, and that’s brilliant to see – it’s something I’ve been working on myself.

“His off-loading out of contact is also second to none. He knows where his team-mates are going to be, and can flick the ball anywhere. It’s just brilliant to watch, and those are the kinds of things that, as a centre, you are trying to aspire to all the time.”

– Edinburgh and Scotland midfielder Rob Dewey is a fully paid-up member of the Brian O’Driscoll fan club


5 – Five players in the starting side for Saturday’s clash also made their Test debuts against Scotland in the 2000 tournament – Shane Horgan, Ronan O’Gara, Peter Stringer, John Hayes and Simon Easterby

18 – Saturday will mark Gordon D’Arcy’s eighteenth successive Test match for Ireland since he had hamstring problems in 2005

14 – The number of tries that Ireland’s starting back line for Saturday’s Murrayfield match-up have scored in previous Tests against Scotland. Brian O’Driscoll and Denis Hickie lead the way with four each, while Ronan O’Gara is the only starting back yet to touch down against the Scots