WHEN George Graham was unveiled as part of the hapless Matt Williams' Scotland coaching team at Stirling University's management centre a decade ago, I could not resist asking this product of the town's notorious Raploch housing estate whether he had been on the campus previously.
Vern Cotter, the Scotland coach, has admitted that the identity of the player who leads the national side into next month's autumn Tests will be dictated by medical considerations as much as leadership qualities.
The search for a new Scotland captain will resume this week following confirmation that Grant Gilchrist, who was appointed to the position barely a week ago, had suffered a fractured arm in the course of Edinburgh's 25-17 European Challenge Cup victory over Lyon Olympique Universitaire at Murrayfield on Friday evening.
Even before a ball had been kicked, John Dalziel, coach of the reigning champions Melrose, tipped Heriot's as the danger men in the 2014/15 BT Premiership title race and the wily Borderer's assessment has been amply vindicated.
A match identified as an opportunity to celebrate the 20th anniversary of their introduction to international competition will now be the most important a Scotland rugby league team has ever played after they moved into prime position in the European Championships.
TO describe Bellshill and Easterhouse as traditional rugby backwaters might lean towards overstatement of their exposure to the sport but they are, respectively, the birthplace and the home of the club at which Scotland's newest international player learned his trade.
After the 51-28 mauling his side suffered at the hands of Toulon last season, Gregor Townsend could be forgiven for feeling just a little anxious about a return trip to the south of France, but the Glasgow Warriors coach was in nostalgic mode as he contemplated the prospect of leading his players to Montpellier on European Champions Cup duty this afternoon.