Bradbury the sole change to Scotland squad named to face England

Magnus Bradbury is the only change to Gregor Townsend’s Scotland side who host England at BT Murrayfield for this weekend’s Calcutta Cup clash.

The Edinburgh back-row missed last weekend’s 19-12 defeat to Ireland in Dublin, the side’s opening game in the Six Nations, with a thigh strain.

Forward coach Danny Wilson saw promising signs in the defeat to Ireland.

“What happened for us in Dublin last week was some fine margins. One or two things went against us,” Wilson said.

“We talked about some of the positives of last week, but we lost the game. This is a home game; we have to go out there to win.”

Having been knocked out of the Rugby World Cup in the group stages last year, Wilson is hoping that Scotland take experience from the tournament into games of this size.

“We’ve learnt some lessons from the World Cup,” the assistant coach said. “International rugby is an extremely physical game, we know the physicality that will be required for us to be competitive.”

Eddie Jones’s England side may be favourites to win the competition, but they will be desperate for a win in Edinburgh after losing their opening game to France 24-17 in Paris last weekend.

The World Cup runners-up lost on their last visit to the capital in 2018 and failed to claw back the Calcutta Cup at Twickenham last year, settling for a draw.

Scotland captain Stuart Hogg is expecting a different England performance this time around.

“We can’t stand back and admire England for too long,” he said. “They’ve got some cracking individuals, they got to the World Cup final for a reason.”

“We’ve got the game plan and the players in this squad to win test matches. There’s a Calcutta cup to play for and that’s all we’re concentrating on.”

“I truly believe if we nail our jobs in attack and defence, we can turn over England.”

Scott Cummings, who will start against Eddie Jones’ side, has become a regular in the team since the World Cup in Japan. The lock told EN4 News about how the experience of the big stage has prepared him for tomorrow’s game.

Scotland trained at BT Murrayfield this morning ahead of the game. (Credit: Joe Anderson)

“That final game against Japan, in Japan, was such a tense atmosphere with everyone supporting Japan, wanting them to come through.” he said.

“Ireland away was also an amazing atmosphere but I don’t think there won’t be many better atmospheres that Scotland vs England at Murrayfield.”

“England will be looking to be dominant upfront but so will we. We know that if we win upfront we have the quality in the backs to break the game open. We’ve just really been focusing on ourselves and what we can do in the game”

Nick Haining, who gained his first cap for his country when he started in the loss to Ireland, drops to the bench in Bradbury’s place.

Meaning Bradbury will start in an all-Edinburgh back row featuring Jamie Ritchie on the blindside and Hamish Watson at openside.

An unchanged backline sees Ali Price and Adam Hastings form a familiar partnership from club level, with Sam Johnson and Huw Jones – who have both scored tries against England in 2018 and 2019 respectively – start in midfield.

Hogg captains the side in a back-three with Sean Maitland and Blair Kinghorn joining him.

Hibs sign Paul McGinn from St Mirren while Hearts capture Marcel Langer on short-term deal

Hibernian have announced the signing of defender Paul McGinn from St Mirren, who joins on an 18-month contract.

Hibs boss Jack Ross has been in the market for a versatile defender after full-back Jason Naismith was ruled out for the remainder of the season with a knee injury.

He is the older brother of former Hibs favourite John, who won the Scottish Cup with the Leith club and subsequently earned a move to Aston Villa.

McGinn was previously signed for St Mirren on the same day that his new manager Jack Ross left for Sunderland.

He could make his first appearance against the same club he left, as the Paisley outfit travel to Easter Road on Saturday.

Hearts, meanwhile, have completed the signing of German midfielder Marcel Langer from Schalke 04.

The 22-year-old joins until the end of the season and is Hearts’ fourth January signing joining Donis Avdijaj, Toby Sibbick and Liam Boyce at the Tynecastle club.

Langer is a product of the Hannover 96 academy and joined Schalke in 2018, playing predominately for their second team in the Regionalliga, Germany’s fourth tier.

The defensive midfielder will look to fill the void left by long-term absentee Peter Haring at the base of their midfield.

Jerome looking to make up for lost time in Varsity match

Edinburgh Napier Knights’ linebacker Mac Jerome has said that he has extra motivation for this weekend’s annual Varsity match, having missed the previous three years through injury.

The annual game, which takes place on Super Bowl Sunday, sees the Knights take on University of Edinburgh Predators at Meggetland Stadium after facing Glasgow University in the previous two years.

Jerome is looking to make up for lost time in this year’s clash.

He said: “I played it [Varsity] in my first year, I started and got injured in that game. I was actually stretchered off the field, and then I was injured for the next year, and last year’s game was cancelled. I’m looking to go out with a bang.”

“I can’t wait for it; it’s probably our biggest game of the season, so it’s something I’m always looking forward to. This game is almost separate from the rest of the league season. This is the game that we want to win.”

The Knights have faced off against Glasgow opposition in the previous two years (Credit: Robert Anderson)

Jerome also explained that the local rivalry will add an extra spice to the match.

“It’s definitely feistier,” the linebacker said, “We will play with more aggression, but we will have to treat it the same as any other game.”

This year is the ninth time that the MacKenzie’s Challenge trophy has been up for grabs, and Knights’ head coach Pete Laird has seen the event grow significantly during his years in charge of the side.

“We’ve attracted bigger crowds, bigger sponsors, the bar area is taking off and we have all sorts of teams and societies wanting to get involved.”

 

While the result is obviously important, the opportunity to give the sport more exposure is not lost on the coach.

“The Varsity game itself has two purposes: one is to promote the team, but the other is to give American Football a bit of a shop window.

“We appreciate most people’s exposure to the sport is through the NFL highlights and the Super Bowl, and to get people along to a real game and give them a game day experience is one of our main aims.”

All eyes may be on Miami for Sunday night’s big game between Kansas City Chiefs and San Francisco 49ers, but the Edinburgh players will have only one focus.

THE BIG NEW YEAR’S WORKOUT: THE FAT-BURNER

 

The ‘Fat Burner’ is designed to get you back into shape after Christmas

 

We’ve partnered with Gregor Ridley Personal Fitness to design a four-week workout plan to burn off those pigs in blankets. Even in a packed gym full of New Years’ resolutioners, you’ll need minimum space for these workouts. All that’s required is 6ftx6ft floor space and you’re ready to go.

 

Day One

 

The goblet squat will give you a full-body burn

 

Day Two

* As many rounds as possible

 

Cossack squats will beef up your legs and thighs

Why this workout?

In order to lose weight and burn fat, you need to create a sustainable caloric deficit. These workouts make use of supersets with relatively short recoveries, as well as conditioning to maximise calorie burn.

The mountain climbers exercise will improve your cardio and work your whole body

The supersets use mainly multi joint exercises, meaning more work is done per exercise. Executing each exercise with solid technique is key.
If you find your form dipping before the end of your third set, it is possible the weight you are using is too heavy. Check the ego at the door, and make sure you complete your reps.

Of course, it’s important to remember you can’t out-train a bad diet.

Pothole revelations show £1.6m spent by Edinburgh City Council

Edinburgh City Council spent £1.62 million in the last financial year on resolving potholes issues within the city, a Freedom of Information Act request has found.

It equates to just under the total amount spent on other non-pothole related road issues, with £1.68m spent on other maintenance work.

It was reported last year that it costs £60 to repair one pothole, which equates to around 27,000 potholes being repaired in the last financial year.

That is a rise by almost 2000 repairs in the last two years, with over 25,000 being fixed in 2017.

However, the issue goes back further than 2017, with Edinburgh found to average 73 potholes per kilometre of road in April 2015.

Transport and Environment Convener Councillor Lesley Macinnes said: “It’s not surprising that around half of our revenue spend focuses on repairing potholes and other damage, as this budget is specifically allocated to maintaining our network of roads and pavements. In addition to this, revenue budget is used for a variety of improvements, including gully clearing and hard landscaping.”

“Tackling poor and damaged road surfaces is a real priority for the Council, and significant investment in the roads network has seen our road condition rating improve to its best since 2011. This is in part thanks to our proactive approach to repairs as well as an increased output in road renewals, as part of our £15m spend in such projects last year.”

“Our teams work extremely hard to make sure our streets are safe and usable by pedestrians, cyclists and drivers and as a result the vast majority of defects are made safe as quickly as possible, negating the need for the public to claim for damage.”

Edinburgh locals have taken to Twitter in recent weeks to raise their complaints about the number of road repairs needed in the city.

The FOI request was made by consumer champion Scott Dixon, who runs the Facebook page The Complaints Resolver. He told EN4 News about a pothole he spotted at Prestonfield Bank in 2017 which was “repaired” in ten minutes, and he believes that the fix was rushed and unprofessional.

Credit: Scott Nixon

A few months ago, data analysis FixMyStreet found that potholes were the top cause of council complaints in Edinburgh. With numbers rising, it seems the issue is not any closer to being fixed.

Hibs Ladies boss says side are ‘hungry’ for more success ahead of SEE Scottish Women’s Cup semi-final

Hibernian Ladies head coach Grant Scott says that his players are fresh and hungry for success ahead of their SSE Scottish Women’s Cup semi-final against Motherwell on Sunday.

The Hibees are looking to lift the trophy for the fourth season on the bounce, after also winning the League Cup in May.

The squad has had somewhat of a reshuffle after several years of success, but Scott says his team still has the same desire.

“Myself and the coaching staff all enjoy the success, but it’s really down to the players,” he told EN4 News. “We’ve got such an ambitious group that they look to perform in every game and win as many matches as they can.

“We’ve lost a few players in the last few seasons, so we have an evolving group. There’s some people that haven’t been at that stage yet, so they’ve seen the success, they want it and they’re hungry.

Credit: Craig Doyle Photography

“It can be very difficult [to replace players] because as coaches we get nervy of losing our talent and think ‘I’m never going to replace that.’ This season myself and the coaches almost think that without two or three bigger names and experienced players that we’ve had in the past, we’re almost a better team. Not that there’s ever been a bad team ethos or environment.”

The latest from this crop of players to break through is goalkeeper Alicia Yates, who came off the bench against Forfar Farmington on Tuesday night to make her debut for the first team.

Scott hopes this appearance will be the first of many.

“We took her to another game recently, and she sat on the bench just to break her in and to understand what we’re all about,” Scott said.

“We’ve got really high hopes for Alicia. There’s lots of interests from other clubs just now for her, we’re hoping that she stays with us and develops.

“She’s getting a fantastic level of coaching from our goalkeeping coach; she trains with our first-team goalkeepers at least once of week.”

Hibs go into the semi-final on the back of a 13-0 hammering of Forfar. Second-half hat tricks from Jamielee Napier and Lia Tweedie completed the rout.

“We played them quite recently in a league match, and on that day they were a bit more defensive than I expected,” Scott said of Motherwell.

“They pose a threat going forward, they’ve got a couple of young energetic strikers with a bit of pace.

“It will be a similar affair I imagine at the weekend, where they’ll look to stay in the game and catch us out with a fast break or two.”

 

Have you this week’s sports quiz yet?

 

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