Arenzano, Tuesday

JOHN Rutherford and David Bell today defined Gregor Townsend, Carl

Hogg, and Shade Munro as key elements of the Scottish campaign in the

Students World Cup here in Italy. All three have distinctive roles to

play in the Scots' opening rugby match against Japan in Genoa on

Thursday evening.

It is not just that Townsend and Hogg have the recent experience of

Scotland's tour to Australia. The two Borderers have natural talent as

individuals and team members. So does Munro, the Glasgow High/Kelvinside

lock making his comeback from the leg-break that cut two years out of a

career of the highest potential.

Rutherford, the former internationalist stand-off, and his Selkirk

colleague, Bell, are the first coaches to benefit from Munro's return to

fitness. The GHK forward provides the students with the ideal lineout

target which, as Bell recalled, they did not have in any of their

matches in the past season.

In addition, Munro's enthusiasm for his own comeback is an inspiration

to others, obvious even in training this morning in sapping heat at the

Cogoleto club's ground near here.

Townsend, according to Rutherford, will have ''free rein'' to play the

running game on which the young Gala stand-off thrives. Others will have

to play off him, whether Chris Simmers at outside centre or Hogg and his

fellow breakaways as inside support, and the only restriction on

Townsend, of course, will be that he eschews running off slow ball.

Rutherford and Bell defined their first-choice midfield backs well in

advance of the tournament, with Craig Redpath as outside centre

alongside Simmers and Townsend. Redpath was told three weeks ago that he

would be playing in that position.

Redpath, in Rutherford's opinion, is more suited to centre than full

back, the position in which he has played the bulk of his rugby with

Melrose. Redpath lacks the sharp acceleration so vital in modern rugby's

full backs.

Like the midfield trio, the back-row threesome all but chose

themselves, with Andy Ness at open side, Hogg at No.8, and David Jackson

as the other flanker.

Bell explained that Jackson, as an explosive, driving forward, was as

much as a natural choice as Hogg, capped twice against Australia on

tour, and Ness, who is an international open-side flanker in the making.

Ness has had news that he has passed his economics exams at

Strathclyde, but he did not allow that to affect his workout. While

others had finished, he did a little more on his own, typically ever

keen to hone sharpness.

No choice was more difficult than deciding who should be the props.

Graham McKee, the students' captain, and Gary Kenhard were picked, but

Stuart Paul and Richard Hastings let it be known in scrummage practice

that they are after those places.

Rutherford and Bell have not yet had their squad of 26 together at one

time. While the bulk of the preparation was being done at home Townsend

and Hogg were in Australia, and it was only tonight that Redpath flew in

via Nice, as did David Changleng. Russell Adam is due to arrive in Genoa


Redpath was delayed by a business engagement, Changleng was attending

a Moray House function, and Adam was at the funeral of his former Dollar

Academy colleague, Gary Sisman, who, as Scottish Schools' stand-off,

kept the future senior cap, Graham Shiel, out of the Test team on the

1988 tour to New Zealand.

Finally, a sweet smell. The missing baggage has arrived, and the

unfortunates have a change of clothes. The Scots' team for Thursday:

G J Aitchison (Newcastle University); D Macrae (Cambridge University),

A C Redpath (Dundee Institute of Technology), C T Simmers (Edinburgh

University), D W Hunter (Queen Margaret College); G P J Townsend, R J

Dickson; G M Kenhard (all Edinburgh University), D Henderson (St Andrews

University), G T McKee (Strathclyde University), captain, D S Munro

(Jordanhill College), S A Aitken, D T H Jackson (both Napier

Polytechnic), C D Hogg (Dundee Institute of Technology), A G Ness

(Strathclyde University).

Replacements -- D R W Adam, N Burnett (both Edinburgh University), S J

Brotherstone (Moray House), S W Paul (Edinburgh University), R J Gray

(Moray House), M B Rudkin (Stevenson College).