Michael Dods, Scotland's hero against France in the Five Nations' Championship, yesterday paid the price for inconsistency when he was left out of the party to tour New Zealand this summer.
The Northampton winger's surprise omission is partly due to a knee injury he is carrying, although a more candid assessment was offered by the Scottish team manager, Jim Telfer. "The real reason is that Dods is not good enough," Telfer said.
Dods appeared in all of Scotland's Five Nations matches this season and accounted for all 19 of his side's points against France, which included two classy tries. But Telfer, whose players will be on contracts worth around pounds 15,000 per man for the trip, said: "Selection for international matches is not the same as for tours. We need physical players for New Zealand."
The luckless Dods evidently fell short of proving himself a reliable goal-kicker, and Telfer explained: "We analysed his performance and found that in the Five Nations he had only a 47 per cent success rate, and that is not good enough."
Scotland, though, have no obvious kicker to fill the vacancy and Telfer conceded that his tour party will have to depend on Rowen Shepherd, Gregor Townsend, Craig Chalmers and Stuart Lang.
The other notable absence from the 30-strong squad is that of top scrum- half Bryan Redpath, described by Telfer as "an integral member of the team". The Melrose player is suffering from a stress fracture in the lower part of his back and has been advised to rest.
In the back row Scotland have opted for 23-year-old New Zealander Nick Broughton of Melrose as one of the four flankers.
Dunedin-born Broughton today warned that it would be a hard tour for Scotland, but said: "The New Zealand side is in a period of change just now. This could be the best chance Scotland have of beating the All Blacks."
SCOTLAND PARTY (to tour New Zealand, May-June 1996): S D Lang (Heriots FP), R J S Shepherd (Melrose), C A Joiner (Melrose), K M Logan (Stirling County), A G Stanger (Hawick), D A Stark (Boroughmuir), B R S Eriksson (London Scottish), S Hastings (Watsonians), I C Jardine (Stirling County), A G Shiel (Melrose), C M Chalmers (Melrose), G P J Townsend (Northampton), G Armstrong (Newcastle Gosforth), A D Nicol (Bath), D I W Hilton (Bath), T J Smith (Watsonians), B D Stewart (Edinburgh Academicals), P H Wright (Boroughmuir), D G Ellis (Currie), K D McKenzie (Stirling County), S J Campbell (Dundee High School FP), D F Cronin (Bourges), S Murray (Edinburgh Academicals), G W Weir (Newcastle Gosforth), N J R Broughton (Melrose), I R Smith (Gloucester), R I Wainwright (Watsonians, capt), P Walton (Newcastle Gosforth), E W Peters (Bath), B L Renwick (Hawick).Reuse content