Johnson regime under scrutiny
London - Scotland great Finlay Calder has said on Tuesday he had "no faith" in the
coaching regime of Scott Johnson following the team's woeful start to
the Six Nations Championship.
Saturday's 20-0 Calcutta Cup defeat
by England in Edinburgh followed an almost as comprehensive a loss to
Ireland, with Scotland conceding 48 points in total in their opening two
games and scoring just six in reply.
Australian coach Johnson,
Scotland's 'interim' boss ahead of the arrival of New Zealand's Vern
Cotter at the end of the season, has faced a torrent of criticism since
last weekend's Murrayfield mauling.
Former flanker Calder, who
captained the British and Irish Lions to a series win in Australia in
1989, was particularly scathing, saying Johnson's decision to drop
captain Kelly Brown for the Calcutta Cup clash was one of several
"I have no faith in the coaches," Calder told the Daily Mail.
dropping of Kelly Brown beggars belief, to take off our team's best
performer (No 8) David Denton with half an hour to go was
incomprehensible and to send two front-row players out for the start of
the second half then hook (replace) them after three minutes doesn't
"The team needs consistency in selection," added Calder, a member of Scotland's 1990 Grand Slam side.
said there were fundamental problems that Scottish rugby, which boasts
just two professional teams in Glasgow and Edinburgh, needed to address.
is not about whether we can turn it round in the next three games, we
need to start thinking about the next 10 years," said the 56-year-old,
who won 34 Scotland caps and three for the Lions.
"We have to
harbour our meagre playing and financial resources better, so I would
bin the Sevens squad as soon as the Commonwealth Games (in Glasgow in
July and August) are out the way because it is doing nothing for
developing young, professional players -- which is supposed to be its
And with uncertainty surrounding the future of
both the Celtic League and European Cup, Calder said a player exodus to
wealthy clubs in England and France was something Scotland would have to
"We have to accept where we are and what we can afford. If
that means all of our best players go to England and France for big
wages, then so be it.
"We have the IRB (International Rugby Board) guidelines there to ensure that they are still available for Scotland."
Immediate attention has focused on Scotland's next Six Nations match, away to Italy in Rome on February 22.
too have lost both their opening fixtures but, unlike Scotland, they
have at least scored tries, with the Scots' managing a mere two Greig
Laidlaw penalties against Ireland.
Former Scotland and Lions coach Ian McGeechan admitted Monday the whitewash defeat by England had been "very painful".
didn't look as though we were going to score, never mind win," he said.
"Italy now is certainly a very big game, without a doubt."