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    Scotland "can win triple crown"



    You at the back, stop laughing .... [img]smileys/wink.gif[/img]



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    <DIV ="cap"></DIV></DIV></TD></TR></T></T></TABLE><!- E IIMA -><!- S SF ->Former captain Gavin Hastings believes Scotland can go on to win the Triple Crown if they end 24 years without a victory at Twickenham on Saturday.


    Scotland play three successive matches at Murrayfield - against Wales, Italy and Ireland - after facing England.


    "Scotland would gain so much confidence from a victory at Twickenham," Hastings told BBC Sport.


    "Even a rampant Ireland side would find it difficult against a Scottish side on a run of three games without defeat." <!- E SF ->


    He added: "If they manage to nick that match (against Ireland) then they've got the Triple Crown.


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    "They would go then to Paris looking for the Grand Slam. It would be incredible, while also fanciful for some."


    Scotland have not beaten England at Twickenham since 1983, when Jim Aitken led his side to a 22-12 victory.


    Although the Scots will be without inspirational captain Jason White and first choice scrum-half Mike Blair, Hastings is confident Frank Hadden's side still have the capacity to produce results when they matter.


    "England are not playing the greatest rugby they have ever played," said Scotland's record points-scorer.


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    "They (Scotland) can give England a good run for their money and have a go - I would hope and expect them to do that."


    Hastings queried Hadden's decision to persist with Dan Parks at stand-off, rather than give more responsibility to captain Chris Paterson in the pivotal role.


    "I would just love to see Chris given an extended run because I think he's the best stand-off Scotland have at their disposal," said Hastings.


    "I'm not convinced he is offering any more playing full-back or wing. But he can offer something that the other people who play at 10 can't offer.


    "He's also just about the most consistent goalkicker in the whole of the Six Nations. He is an important cog in Scotland's wheel."


    Paterson, who started his career at fly-half before moving into the back three, is cautious over the possibility of a reverse switch.


    "If I am asked to play there I would do it," he said. "But I haven't been playing there for my club (Edinburgh, where Phil Godman is the number 10)."


    Hadden, meanwhile, feels Paterson's ability to step into the stand-off role during a game already benefits the side.


    "Chris is such a good footballer that even when he is at wing or full-back he finds himself at first receiver," Hadden said.


    "I don't rule out Chris playing in a number of positions. We will just have to wait and see what is best for the team on the day."
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    #2
    [img]smileys/biggrin.gif[/img][img]smileys/biggrin.gif[/img][img]smileys/biggrin.gif[/img]

    IF is a fantastic word isnt it Gavin?

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      #3


      Wonder how much he's staked on this optimism?





      If me aunt had balls, Gavin......

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        #4



        "If they manage to nick that match (against Ireland) then they've got the Triple Crown.


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        "They would go then to Paris looking for the Grand Slam. It would be incredible, while also fanciful for some."


        [img]smileys/biggrin.gif[/img][img]smileys/biggrin.gif[/img][img]smileys/biggrin.gif[/img][img]smileys/biggrin.gif[/img][img]smileys/biggrin.gif[/img]

        Iwould love to see them do it


        If The Flintstones has taught us anything, it\'s that pelicans can be used to mix cement.

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          #5


          Well, you can hardly blame them, as much as anyone else, they need to believe don't they? Ireland has been there often enough.


          It's only the ex captain speaking, and not one of the current players so it's hardly a case of arrogance from the team,rather a sign that there's some optimism in Scotland now. Even if it is off the mark, it's a start and hopefully generate some real belief.Scottish pride is good for the tournament so hopefully there'll be no repeat cases ofMurrayfield remaining unfull for 6 nations games. More fireworks on the field this time?

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            #6
            England will destroy them in their opener.

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              #7
              At this stage anyone of the four could win the Triple Crown as they are all level on points - so I guess he is not wrong - YET. [img]smileys/wink.gif[/img]
              Computer games don't affect kids, I mean if Pac Man affected us as kids, we'd all be running around in darkened rooms, munching pills and listening to repetitive music.

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                #8
                Scotland would do well to get out of a pool in the European Challange cup....
                Seas suas agus troid!

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                  #9
                  Change of tablets,Gavin? Seems like it's long overdue.
                  The early bird catches the worm but it's the second mouse that gets the cheese.

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                    #10


                    Outside bet of Italy finishing in the top 3....i'd say they have as good a chance as the scots!

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                      #11
                      This will be put up on the Scottish dressing room wall.



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                        #12


                        From the BBC website



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                        <DIV></DIV></TD></TR></T></T></TABLE><!- E IIMA -><!- S SF ->Chris Cusiter has been recalled by Scotland for Saturday's Calcutta Cup match with England at Twickenham.


                        The scrum-half replaces the injured Mike Blair while Hugo Southwell starts at full-back and Chris Paterson replaces Simon Webster on the wing.


                        James Hamilton replaces Scott Murray at lock and makes his Six Nations debut along with prop Euan Murray and forwards David Callam and Kelly Brown.


                        Simon Webster misses out but Rob Dewey and Allister Hogg are on the bench. <!- E SF ->


                        Scotland head coach Frank Hadden said he was confident those players making their debuts would perform well.


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                        "Dave Callam had a quite exceptional series of games in the autumn," said Hadden.


                        "We don't get carried away by statistics but his tackle count and percentage of rucks cleared was as good as anything I have come across.


                        "Also in the pack Alastair Kellock has been at the heart of Glasgow's progress this season.


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                        "As their captain he has grown in stature and we think he forms a formidable second-row combination alongside James Hamilton."


                        Hadden welcomed the return of Cusiter who has recovered from the shoulder injury he sustained against the Pacific Islanders.


                        "I was very impressed with his performance for the Border Reivers against the Dragons in the Magners League on Friday night.


                        "I met him subsequently and was convinced there were no ill effects and that he was raring to go for what will be a massive challenge for us on Saturday."












                        <HR>



                        Scotland team to face England:
                        H Southwell (Edinburgh Rugby); S Lamont (Northampton Saints), M Di Rollo (Edinburgh Rugby), A Henderson (Glasgow Warriors), C Paterson (Edinburgh Rugby) capt, D Parks (Glasgow Warriors), C Cusiter (Border Reivers); G Kerr (Border Reivers) D Hall (Edinburgh Rugby), E Murray (Glasgow Warriors), A Kellock (Glasgow Warriors), J Hamilton (Leicester Tigers), S Taylor (Edinburgh Rugby), D Callam (Edinburgh Rugby), K Brown (Border Reivers).


                        Replacements: R Ford (Border Reivers), A Jacobsen (Edinburgh Rugby), S Murray (Edinburgh Rugby), A Hogg (Edinburgh Rugby), R Lawson (Gloucester), R Dewey (Edinburgh Rugby) R Lamont (Glasgow Warriors). </TD></TR></T></T></TABLE>

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