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Lang in the news again
Discussion started by Boonie , 20 June, 2018 10:24
Lang in the news again
Boonie 20 June, 2018 10:24
From the Beeb

Argentina v Scotland: James Lang aims to leave lasting impression on Gregor Townsend

By Tom English
BBC Scotland in Resistencia, Argentina

When James Lang was named in Gregor Townsend's squad for Scotland's summer tour there was a bit of a quizzical response. James Lang? The bit-part fly-half from Harlequins?

That was about the sum of the knowledge and it was no wonder. Lang has played precious little rugby for his club but is just about to play a little more rugby for his country.

Seen as a centre by Gregor Townsend, Lang was capped from the start in Edmonton against Canada. He'll win his second cap when Scotland play Argentina in Resistencia on the weekend. Townsend won't name his 23-man squad until Thursday, but Lang will be in it.

The product of an English mother, a Welsh father and a Scottish grandfather, the tour, he says, has been "wicked", even allowing for the defeat by the Americans in Houston.

For Lang, whose mother Rena played football for England, and who qualifies for Scotland through Rena's Hamilton-reared dad, this has been a journey of discovery.

Before he hooked up with the international players, the only guys he knew were his former Harlequins team-mate Ruaridh Jackson and his old U-18 pals Zander Fagerson, Jamie Ritchie, Magnus Bradbury and Lewis Carmichael.

"And it was five years since I saw them," says the 23-year-old. "I wasn't really expecting to be selected. I got a phone call from Gregor around March. I was on holiday in Morocco and it was quite a surprise.

"He said they were looking at me and were liking what they were seeing. Gregor spoke to me about my position. I've started at 10, 12, and 15 this year for Quins, but I think I'm here predominantly as a ball-playing 12, which is where I think I can really enhance my career."

It's too early to say whether Lang is going to make it with Scotland. As a centre, he's got a heap of opposition, some here on tour, some resting up at home.

There's Huw Jones and Alex Dunbar, Peter Horne and Duncan Taylor, Mark Bennett and Matt Scott, Nick Grigg and Chris Harris. Including Lang, that's nine centres in Townsend's thoughts.

Lang knows he needs to feature more prominently for Harlequins if he wants to stay in the frame. "At the minute, I'm very happy at Quins. We've got a new head coach coming in, Paul Gustard, and I've heard very good things about him.

"It's a clean slate for everyone. I'm looking forward to putting my hand up. Hopefully I'll get the opportunity."

Certainly, Townsend thinks a lot of him.

"When they told me I was starting, I was thrilled, excited, couldn't really wait to get out there and play," says Lang. "And then, on the day, Stuart Hogg presented me with my top in the changing room and that was pretty class.

"Obviously, I've got loads of respect for him. He's a world-class player and for him to do that was wicked.

"Singing the anthems was very special. My parents flew out to Edmonton and were in the crowd, so it was wicked to share that moment with them as well."

Wicked might be his favourite word, but he has other, more suitable, descriptions of Saturday night in Houston. He wasn't in the squad, but he wasn't oblivious to the mood.

"We're all looking forward to Argentina and righting the wrongs that happened last weekend," he said. "I think it will be a great Test match. They've come off the back of a couple of losses, so they'll be well up for it, as are we.

"The boys were very disappointed with the result. Credit to the USA, they played good rugby. It's annoying we lost, but we have to move on quite quickly."

The squad are now sampling the unique delights of Resistencia in north-eastern Argentina - the city of sculptures, as it is known. None can be seen from team hotel, which is a little out of town and monitored by armed police. For kicks, there's a Walmart up the road. Vegas, it is not.

Not that it matters. The only thing that counts for Lang and his team-mates is a victory against the Pumas that might help eradicate the loss to the Eagles.

"I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to bleat about it all over the internet"

Re: Lang in the news again
BuckQuin 20 June, 2018 11:04

Re: Lang in the news again
T-Bone 20 June, 2018 11:11
It'll be interesting to see how much game time he gets next year, and in which position.

Smith and Lang 10/12 could be really exciting. Lang is also a great bench option.

Is Saili primarily a 12 or 13? With Roberts gone and a new DoR (forgotten what Gustard's role is called), it looks like an open fight for the 12 shirt.

Re: Lang in the news again
Jammy Git 20 June, 2018 11:54
Can he tackle yet?

O Fortuna, velut luna statu variabilis,
semper crescis aut decrescis

Re: Lang in the news again
fandg2 21 June, 2018 08:33

Is Saili primarily a 12 or 13? With Roberts gone and a new DoR (forgotten what Gustard's role is called), it looks like an open fight for the 12 shirt.

I know centres can mix and match but hopefully Saili at 13 otherwise we're a bit lopsided on centres. Lang, Cheeseman and Tapuai vying for the 12 shirt and Saili, Marchant and Alopha for the 13. I guess ultimately it will come down to the best combination, just hope they're all stay fit enough for long enough to find out the best combo

Re: Lang in the news again
Rocker 21 June, 2018 09:20
I guess ultimately it will come down to the best combination, just hope they're all stay fit enough for long enough to find out the best combo

This is my main concern not worried about numbers as much as fitness, and compatibility.

Re: Lang in the news again
Bedfordshire Boy 21 June, 2018 13:57
Hoping for a Smith/Lang combination for Quins in the future, will have to see how it pans out.

Re: Lang in the news again
Cairns Family 22 June, 2018 21:08
Remember Townsend was a successful Lions 10 and appears to be a pretty good coach. He's got Russell,Horne and 8 gost choice centres. Did he must rate Lang to put him out again Argentin. We've got to be careful or he'll be whipped to Glasgow or. Edinbur

Re: Lang in the news again
fandg2 23 June, 2018 08:44
Cairns Family
.... We've got to be careful or he'll be whipped to Glasgow or. Edinbur

I've a feeling that'll be inevitable anyway (or whipped to another club at least). He's still developing as a player so is unlikely to be 1st choice at centre this year, Sahli, marchant, Tapaui and Alopha are probably 'ahead' of him in the pecking order. But to play international rugby you need to be playing club 1st team regularly and I'm not sure he's going to get that at Quins in the near future. It'll be interesting to see how it all pan's out, lots of conundrums at centre this year.

Even the start of the season is unlikely to give any clues. Sahli and Marchant are coming back from injury, Lang and Alopha have been away on international duties so will be having their 5 week summer break soon and I doubt Tapaui has started yet as the season doesn't start until 1st July. So by my reckoning it's leaves Quins with only one centre (Cheeseman) atm, in preseason training

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 23/06/2018 08:46 by fandg2.

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