Currently, an injury to Finn Russell has to be Scotland’s biggest concern as there is an obvious drop off in talent in anyone behind him.

Finn Russell in the victory over Australia in June this year.
Photo:, via Flickr

Behind Finn Russell

Peter Horne is probably who Townsend would look to next; this is often what we saw happening during his time at Glasgow Warriors. Dave Rennie has continued this of late, with Horne seemingly 2nd choice at 10. Whilst Horne is an experienced head and obviously talented he is not the same level as Russell but looks to play in the same style.

Other options could be Ruaridh Jackson, who has been terrific since returning to Glasgow (however mostly at 15 in the absence of Hogg), or Greg Laidlaw. Laidlaw may struggle to win back his spot at 9 but can also cover 10.

You raised the question about Hogg at 10, however, I do not see this happening. His talent has pulled him through a few games at club level but based on those performances I would be fearful about him being found out at international level at 10.

Double Lion Hogg could play there if needs be. ©INPHO/Dan Sheridan
Double Lion Hogg could play there in needs be.
©INPHO/Dan Sheridan

Adam Hastings

A real long shot would be the 21-year-old Adam Hastings (son of Scotland legend Gavin Hastings). He has joined Glasgow this season and has had several opportunities so far in which he has really impressed. Hastings looks like the long-term replacement when Russell leaves for Racing 92 at the end of the season.

He looks to play quickly, close to the line and always ready to take a risk. However, he is still massively untested at club level and we will probably not see him force his way into that Scotland team until next season at the earliest (6 Nations 2019). Although playing in what is essentially the Scotland back-line at Glasgow will play in his favour. The World Cup for Hastings still seems very unlikely unless injuries hit or he has a great run of form.

To sum up, the options at 10 are Russell, Horne, Jackson, Laidlaw, Hogg and Hastings.

Author: Stuart Wright


  1. Hi Stuart, nice article. Do you see Duncan Weir fitting in at all? He must have quite a few caps and he can’t be that old can he? I haven’t seen Edinburgh lately so I honestly wouldn’t know. I definitely agree that Scotland’s most important player is Russell, he is by far the hardest to replace. Ali Price must be high up that list too. As good as Laidlaw is, their styles are nothing alike. Are there more 9’s like Price coming through?

  2. Hi Daniel, thanks for the comment. Duncan Weir is a strange case, currently on 27 caps at the age 26, he seems to have dropped off the Scotland radar since Townsend has taken over. Weir’s move to Edinburgh to ensure more game time hasn’t seemed to have had the desired effect for club or player, and as a result Weir has now been absent from the Scotland summer tour and Autumn Internationals. On current form I do not see Weir pushing his way ahead of Horne or Jackson to provide cover for Russell, but he his young enough that he may be able to fight his way back into the squad.
    Totally agee with you Daniel about the importance of Price to this Scotland team. The speed and intesnsity in his game is at the core of how Scotland want to play. Laidlaw and Pyrgos benefit from a much more structured game style and I would expect to see both make most of their appearances off the bench to help close out games. A player I am personally excited about would be 22 year old George Horne (younger brother of Peter). He has seen some regular game time for Glasgow this year being due to Pyrgos being injured and has really seized the opporunity. He seems like the more obvious replacement to Price, with his love of quick ball and his sniping runs around the fringes he has slotted seemlessly into the Gasgow backline. It is only a matter of time before he gets his opportunity in a Scotland shirt.

  3. Hi mate, i really think players like Hogg, or even McKenzie, are not really fit to play so close to the opponent line, their pace and also agility are their best weapons and you need space to trigger those qualities
    Also some fine tactical boot and good air challenge


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