Sports Gazette

by sports journalism students at St Mary's University, London

“It’s your local rivals, your closest enemy” Rugby World Cup star and national hero Gordon Reid breaks down the Six Nations Calcutta Cup clash between Scotland vs England.

Posted on 8 February 2020 by Jake Jones
EDINBURGH, SCOTLAND – FEBRUARY 24: Gordon Reid of Scotland holds onto the ball during the NatWest Six Nations match between Scotland and England at Murrayfield on February 24, 2018 in Edinburgh, Scotland. (Photo by David Rogers – RFU/The RFU Collection via Getty Images)

Last year’s Rugby World Cup was a roller coaster of emotions for fans across the UK. After a dominating run through the group stages, England reached their first World Cup final since 2007.

In the 2007 final in France, England met South Africa and lost in a heart-breaking 15-6 defeat. This time around things were no different, as they fell to an excruciating 32-12 hammering by the Springboks.

Scotland’s Japanese World Cup story was one much less about the matches themselves. It was a question of whether they would even get to play the matches in the first place.

Typhoon Hagibis raised a lot of questions as to whether the final group stage match between Scotland and Japan would go ahead.

This would have meant that the hosts would have proceeded through to the quarter finals, making it a match the Scottish had to play and win.

In an enthralling end to end battle, Scotland ended up losing the match 28-21, a result which sent them home from the competition.

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A few months on, we find ourselves awaiting the second week of fixtures in this year’s Six Nations Championship, a weekend that sees fierce rivals Scotland vs England compete.

Both teams are looking to get their first win of the tournament, as England suffered a 24-17 defeat to France, and Scotland a 19-12 defeat to Ireland.

We spoke to ex-Scotland prop Gordon Reid, who has 42 caps for his country, who gave his thoughts on today’s game and he feels that the loss to Ireland last week, and the experience out in Japan will only make them stronger.

“I felt like it was a good performance when they played against Ireland” he said.

“Obviously it was a bad result, but I don’t think it will effect what happens against England

“I think it is only motivation, it will give them that drive forward, that is what you want, that fear that you don’t want another loss.”

Reid believes this is a match up that his side need to win, not only to progress them further into the Six Nations, but also because it is against England.

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He takes a very light hearted approach to the rivalry between the two sides and believes that it is only fun and games to make the match that little bit more fiery.

“It’s your local rivals, your closest enemy, it is just down the road and you always want to do well.” he said.

“I wouldn’t call it hatred, I know a few of the lads in the England team and they’re great guys

“But, do I support every team that plays against England? Pretty much yeah.”

Reid insists the feud between the teams is just a bit of fun and there is no malicious intent behind it.

He states that one reason behind the banter exchanged is due to England’s arrogance as a team. However, he feels this is rightly so, due to what they have achieved as a side.

The prop added that, despite always loving the game, this was always the fixture that he was desperate to play in.

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“I sprint that bit faster, I tackle that bit harder, I carry with that much more ferocity,” he said.

“That bit more aggression, I thrive on it, I love it. It was like ecstasy.

“You want more and more and more. It doesn’t matter if my leg was chopped off, the only game I ever wanted to play was England.”

Reid predicts that today’s result will go in favour of the Scots, saying they will focus on the speed of their breakdowns and feels that there is some key players out of position for England.

Reid believes the game will be close, but  as it is at Murrayfield, he feels his team will narrow out a win. His prediction? Scotland 25 – 20 England.

The former London Irish and Glasgow Warriors prop now finds himself playing for the Super Six side, the Ayrshire Bulls. Last year’s World Cup may have been his last, but his time in top-flight rugby could be far from over.

Gordon claims to have received offers from a number of Premiership Rugby sides. However, he is currently happy at the Ayrshire Bulls and has no immediate plans for the future.

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When returning from the Rugby World Cup, the Scottish prop found himself making headlines across the national newspapers. However, this was under very unusual circumstances.

Shortly after returning home, news broke that Reid had been involved in saving an individual’s life, following a house fire next door to his residence.

The heroic Reid recalls breaking down the front door and rushing in to rescue a disorientated man, dragging him out of the hot, smoke-filled building.

The man informed Reid that there were more people inside the house, so Reid felt that his only choice was to venture back into the flames. However, his search for these individuals was unsuccessful.

Just when he thought his day couldn’t get any more surreal, Reid left the building only to find that the man he had rescued, had disappeared.

“I couldn’t see anyone in the house, and I was struggling to breath” he said.

“The next thing I knew, I came out the house and the guy was pegging it down the road with two bags”

“I didn’t know whether to chase after him and drag him back, or to stay and look for more people in the house.”

Reid decided to go back in, where he was eventually met by the local fire brigade who dealt with the situation and soon confirmed that there was no one else in the building.

After a medical check-up and a statement to the police, he returned home safely to his wife and daughter.

Reid received plaudits for his bravery and says that he does not regret making the decision to go in.

“He didn’t even thank me” Reid joked.

“I don’t regret it at all, if the fire brigade had of come and there was a little boy or girl in there, I would have felt responsible for not going in.

“I was a little bit annoyed because I could of went in and not come out, but it is what it is.

“There is no hero about it, it is just what people do, we are only human, and we always want to offer a helping hand you know.”

In light of the recent controversy surrounding Scottish international star and team-mate Finn Russell, Reid gave a refreshingly honest take on the matter.

“I think the Finn Russell situation has got a little bit out of hand” he said.

“I don’t think it is good for the players to have to keep answering these questions

“It should be left, it will be what it will be, if he is going to come back in, Gregor [Townsend] will ask him to come back in.”

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Reid will be cheering on his team-mates this afternoon, a game that kicks off at 16:45 in the Murrayfield Stadium.