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December 25, 2019

Cummings keeps Glasgow in focus

Posted by Editor on December 25, 2019 11:22 PM | No comments | Print | E-mail author

Scott Cummings expects a physical challenge at Murrayfield
The pursuit of PRO14 points may be the prime motivation when Edinburgh and Glasgow meet in a derby double-header but with the Six Nations just around the corner, competition for Scotland selection inevitably becomes a factor.

Last weekend Glasgow's Scott Cummings and Jonny Gray went up against Edinburgh's Grant Gilchrist and Ben Toolis with all four players in contention for a starting spot in Scotland's Six nations squad.

So, is there an extra edge when the rivals for a second-row spot meet each other on the pitch.

"Yes and no," said Cummings in The Scotsman. "Obviously, we go into it having our process regardless of who we are playing, but when you're carrying up the ball, and you're up against one of them, then you are going to put that little bit more into it - and I'm sure they would say the same - that's just natural.

"We're all obviously fighting for Scotland places but that's at the back of your mind. First and foremost, we're there to do a job for Glasgow.

"Glasgow means so much to us, especially for someone like me, who has grown up in the city. I don't go out there to play for Scotland, I go out there to play for Glasgow - and whatever comes from that is a separate thing.

"Edinburgh always want us to get into that arm-wrestle sort of battle that probably suits their game a wee bit more whereas we want to play that good, free-flowing rugby.

"So we don't want to get caught up in those wee fights off the ball and things like that - we want to rile them up as much as we can, but also stick to our processes and gameplan and back the way we play.

"Glasgow are always being told that the backs are amazing, and the forwards need to step up. And for us, as a forward pack, we always know that we have the ability to dominate teams, and I think we've shown in the last couple of weeks that we can play different ways, and actually win battles up front. So, as a forward pack, we were really focusing on that, and I think we came out quite strongly in that area (against Edinburgh).

"I think we (forwards) have scored three tries in the last three weeks, so we know that's an area we are going to find tougher because the opposition are going to start pouring numbers in there to try and stop us, but that then that creates opportunities out the back."

Glasgow head coach Dave Rennie is be leaving at the end of the season but a new coaching team is taking shape at Scotstoun, with new attack coach Jonny Bell announced on Monday. Cummings has worked with incoming Warriors boss Danny Wilson at international level and also praised the work of John Dalziel, who took over as Glasgow forwards coach earlier this year.

"John has done a lot of work with us to be more dominant as a pack," said Cummings. "We know there are still areas we can improve, but we're happy that we are starting to get some results there.

"A lot of people come here and think that Glasgow aren't that tough a team. We feel that some of the English and Irish teams think they can come here and bully us, so we always have that mantra that 'we don't get bullied at Scotstoun'."

Cummings played down suggestions that Murrayfield would be a comfortable environment for the Glasgow players so used to being there with Scotland.

"Not at all. It is still an away game," he said. "I'm pretty sure it is going to be a pretty good crowd at Murrayfield.

"Obviously, it sometimes feels a bit different playing at Murrayfield, because a lot of players who have played a lot of games there before - but Edinburgh are going to be the same as us: they're not going to want to lose at home."