Scots dismiss conspiracy theories

Beth Newman Profile
by Beth Newman

Scotland coach Gregor Townsend has brushed off the suggestion of any conspiracies against the Wallabies, after Australia was left in a frustrating training spot on Tuesday.

The Wallabies were forced to train on an artificial turf training pitch and in the in-goals of the Peffermill Playing Fields on their major training session of the week, told just 90 minutes before training that the main field would be unavailable because of the weather.

Australia trained at the facilities in the morning believing they would be able to use the field in the afternoon, before the call came through that would not be the case.

They were given the option of training out the back of Murrayfield, in view of the Scottish Rugby Union, a choice they knocked back given the propensity for lineout plays to be watched on by their weekend opponents.

While the Aussies were quick to say they would simply have to adapt to the situation, it left them in a difficult spot in a critical Test week.

New Zealand trained on the Peffermill fields last week and the Wallabies used the grounds last year as well.

Townsend admitted the issue would be a setback for Australia, but said he believed they were given enough options to deal with.

“Yes (it would have been difficult), if that was their only option to train,” he said.

Scotland train at Oriam in the Heriot-Watt University. Photo: Getty Images“They had a number of other options I believe.

“BT Murrayfield was one of them because I got a call yesterday morning asking if I had any objections (to them training there).

“If they could not train because pitches were waterlogged then that was one option.

“We made a couple of 3G pitches available too so there were options.”

Scotland has trained in an indoor facility In Edinburgh this week ahead of the Test and Townsend didn’t hesitate when asked whether he would have felt comfortable training at Murrayfield's second oval, if he were in Australia's shoes.

“Yes, I would have wanted to train,” he said.

The Wallabies train again on Thursday, yet to announce where that session will be held.

Townsend also defended Wallabies coach Michael Cheika, over his reactions during the Wallabies’ loss to England.

Cheika is under investigation by the Autumn Internationals disciplinary committee, but on Thursday morning (AEDT) that process was still ongoing.

“I haven’t been following this. We all get upset,” he said.

“I have whacked my hand off the back of the coaching box at the weekend in a game we were not able to win.

“I am sure there are times in games coaches get upset with themselves, bad luck and decisions that go against them.”

The Wallabies take on Scotland on Saturday November 25, kicking off at 2:30pm local, Sunday 1:30am AEDT, LIVE on beIN Sports and SBS Viceland.