Yona Knight-Wisdom got his 2019/2020 season off to a stellar start when he won the three-metre springboard at the Scottish National Championships at The Royal Commonwealth Pool in Edinburgh, Scotland on Friday.

Former Scotland captain John Barclay has announced his retirement from international rugby.

The powerful back-rower earned 76 caps for his country and represented Scotland at three Rugby World Cups.

Barclay made his international bow against New Zealand in September 2007 and his last appearance was against Russia at the World Cup in Japan.

The 33-year-old plans to continue his club career with Pro14 side Edinburgh.

"All good things must come to an end. After much thought I have decided the time is right to step down from the international game," he posted on Instagram. 

"This isn’t an easy decision to make; playing for Scotland is the culmination of years of hard work and dedication and undoubtedly one the best things I will achieve in my life. 

"But for me and my family it feels like the right time.

"It has truly been a privilege to wear the jersey. Not many people can say they got to live their boyhood dream, but I was lucky enough to have that honour and it is something I am unbelievably proud of.

"[It's] not the end of my rugby journey, but the end of one chapter. Thanks for the memories."

Scotland have been drawn against Israel in the Euro 2020 play-off semi-finals.

Aiming to reach their first major finals in 22 years, Steve Clarke's side will face Israel in a one-legged tie at Hampden Park on March 26.

The winner of that match will go on to face either Norway or Serbia in the Path C final five days later.

Scotland beat Israel 3-2 at Hampden Park last November en route to topping their Nations League group and Clarke is after a repeat result in four months' time.

"The draw is what it is," he told Sky Sports News. "I never get too carried away about who you are going to play. 

"It would been nice to repeat the home win, but the match will come with its own level of pressure, which we will have to embrace.

"Being at home is very important for us. I'm sure Hampden will be full, with the Tartan Army on the march. It's a great stadium when it's full, so if we start fast we can get them all behind us."

Northern Ireland and Republic of Ireland are on course to meet in the Path B final, having been drawn away to Bosnia and Herzegovina and Slovakia respectively in the semis.

In Path A, Romania travel to Iceland and Bulgaria host Hungary, while Belarus are at Georgia and North Macedonia face Kosovo in Path D.

The four play-off winners will join the 20 teams that have already qualified for the finals, which will take place in 12 different cities next year.

Scotland assistant coach Danny Wilson will replace Glasgow Warriors boss Dave Rennie on a two-year deal.

Rennie was on Wednesday unveiled as Australia head coach, signing a contract taking the New Zealander through to the 2023 Rugby World Cup.

The Warriors wasted no time in announcing that Wilson will succeed Rennie at head coach when he departs at the end of the Pro14 season.

Wilson joined the Scotland coaching staff in August 2018 after a successful three-year tenure as Cardiff Blues chief, during which time he masterminded a European Challenge Cup triumph and led the club back into the Champions Cup.

The 43-year-old said: "The opportunity to coach such an attractive club as Glasgow Warriors was too good to miss.

"I've been extremely impressed with the Scottish system in recent years and I'm looking forward to working with an exciting and talented squad of players at the Warriors.

"I want to build on the high-tempo style of play that I know the fans love and pay to see week in, week out.

"The club has been challenging at the top end of the Pro14 on a regular basis and as a coach it is that type of environment and culture you want to be involved in.

"I took a huge amount of learnings from the time I have spent with Scotland through Six Nations and the World Cup and I’m thankful for that experience, which can only add to how I take on a new head coach role with Glasgow Warriors."

Rugby World Cup champions South Africa will face Scotland twice and play a one-off match with Georgia in July next year.

The Springboks secured a famous victory over England in a surprisingly one-sided final in Japan last month, Rassie Erasmus' side running out 32-12 winners. 

By contrast, Scotland failed to qualify from their pool after losing to Ireland and Japan.

The European nation will head to South Africa for a pair of fixtures on July 4 and 11, with the Springboks also scheduled to host Georgia the following week.

While South Africa and Scotland have met many times, the Boks have faced Georgia only once – in a pool match at the 2003 Rugby World Cup.

Georgia won one of their four games in Japan, beating Uruguay 33-7.

The venues and kick-off times for all three games will be confirmed at a later date. 

Scotland capped off their Euro 2020 qualifying Group I campaign with a 3-1 win over Kazakhstan as John McGinn and Steven Naismith completed a second-half comeback at Hampden Park.

A drab first-half display saw Scotland - who have been guaranteed a play-off place throughout qualification thanks to their performances in the UEFA Nations League - fall behind to Baktiyor Zainutdinov's 34th-minute stunner.

However, McGinn's deflected free-kick restored parity within three minutes of the restart and the turnaround was complete when captain Naismith bundled home.

A third straight win was sealed in stoppage time - McGinn sweeping home from a low cross to add gloss to a fine second-half display from Steve Clarke's side.

Clarke made no changes from the side that claimed a 2-1 win over Cyprus on Saturday, but despite dominating possession through the first half, a low effort from Ryan Christie was the closest the hosts came to an opener.

Kazakhstan showed no such wastefulness - Zainutdinov picking out the top-left corner with a sensational, pinpoint strike that left David Marshall rooted to the spot.

Scotland came out with renewed vigour after the interval, though, and were swiftly on level terms when McGinn's powerful free-kick took a wicked deflection off Bauyrzhan Islamkhan.

James Forrest seemed set to double Scotland's tally three minutes later, only to slice wide, before Naismith blazed a close-range effort over.

Naismith made up for his miss in the 64th minute, however, taking advantage of sloppy defending from Aleksandr Marochkin to turn home a deflected cross with his shoulder.

McGinn then had the final say, getting on the end of Greg Taylor's delivery to wrap up a comfortable triumph.

What does it mean? Scotland on the up heading into play-offs

It has been a disappointing campaign for Scotland, but Clarke's side do have the chance to qualify via the play-offs and, after four successive defeats, they have now won their last three Group I matches to at least earn a lift in confidence.

More international joy for McGinn 

An ever-reliable performer in the heart of midfield, McGinn has enjoyed a fine run of form in a Scotland shirt and followed up his winner against Cyprus with another goal - albeit a fortuitous one - to haul the home side level.

The Aston Villa man, who netted a hat-trick against San Marino in October, also scored late on and now has six goals in his last three Scotland appearances.

Marochkin mistake gifts Scotland the points

Naismith's ability to sniff out a chance was evidenced by Scotland's second goal, but it was an opportunity he should not have been afforded. Dmytro Nepogodov's goalkeeping was highly unconvincing, but Marochkin should have done far better with his attempted clearance, and was too easily outmuscled by the Hearts forward.

What's next?

Scotland will now await Friday's play-off draw, when they will find out their opponents for March's matches.

Ryan Christie acknowledged Scotland were fortunate to survive an early scare against Cyprus, who looked to have taken the lead inside six minutes on Saturday.

Scotland won 2-1 in Nicosia to leapfrog Cyprus into third in Euro 2020 qualification Group I, although neither side can progress automatically to the finals.

The visitors could have been behind before Christie netted his first international goal after 12 minutes, however, as Giorgios Efrem's shot against the crossbar appeared to bounce over the goal line.

No goal was given, allowing Christie to break the deadlock. Efrem later equalised but John McGinn's swift riposte clinched the points.

Reflecting on the incident, Christie told Sky Sports: "From where I was, to be honest, it looked over the line. I've obviously not seen it back yet.

"We rode our luck a bit there in the first 10 minutes. It probably took us longer than we wanted to feel our way into the game.

"After that scare, we got to grips with the game. The goal came and, from there, we were pretty resilient."

He added of his first Scotland goal: "I'm delighted, obviously.

"It's something I've been desperate to do every time I've played for Scotland, and it's probably taken me longer than I wanted. It's nice to get it in a win, as well."

Scotland play Kazakhstan on Tuesday but are already looking towards a home play-off semi-final in March 2020, where McGinn hopes their belief will be boosted by wins such as these.

"There's a lot of new faces in the squad," the in-form Aston Villa midfielder said. "That's a game we might have drawn or lost in recent times, so it's important we get a winning mentality in games like that.

"Even though it wasn't pretty towards the end, it's so important as we build towards March.

Ryan Christie and John McGinn fired a weakened Scotland side to a 2-1 win and a home-and-away double over Cyprus in Euro 2020 qualification on Saturday.

Neither team could progress from Group I following their respective humbling defeats to Russia last month, yet Scotland have a home play-off semi-final to come in March 2020.

They moved above hosts Cyprus into third in the standings here, too, victorious despite the absence of big names Andrew Robertson, Kieran Tierney, Scott McTominay and Ryan Fraser.

Christie's first international goal put Scotland ahead after 12 minutes, before Giorgios Efrem equalised and McGinn hit back in the space of six second-half-minutes, seeing Scotland to a second 2-1 win over Cyprus in this campaign.

Cyprus came agonisingly close to opening the scoring inside six minutes as former Rangers winger Efrem smartly worked space inside the area and crashed a shot against the underside of the crossbar.

The ball seemingly bounced over the line but, with no technology to assist the officials, was not awarded as a goal.

There was no stopping the opener that followed at the other end, with Christie darting inside from the right and curling a glorious left-footed effort in from 20 yards.

Even better was to come from Efrem at the start of the second half, however, as he met a half-cleared set-piece with a sweetly struck volley that faded away from David Marshall into the top-right corner.

It proved merely a momentary setback for Scotland and they soon led again through McGinn, meeting Greg Taylor's cross and directing a left-footed finish past Urko Pardo.

Ioannis Kosti should have levelled matters again but sent a stooping header just wide, while Fotios Papoulis was guilty of a glaring stoppage-time miss as Scotland held on.

 

What does it mean? Positives to take into play-offs

Scotland's hopes of reaching Euro 2020 now rest on getting the better of sides of a similar stature in the play-offs, making this victory against Cyprus - also in Nations League C - all the more encouraging. Steve Clarke's men should certainly fancy their chances of reaching the finals if the likes of Robertson and McTominay are able to return next year.

Christie off the mark

Perhaps understandably given the absent stars, Scotland lacked fluidity in possession early on. However, Christie impressed again, netting with a fine strike. His two assists against San Marino last month included a seemingly goal-bound effort that McGinn touched in, but the winger was not be denied a maiden international effort this time.

McKenna off the boil

Scotland had Declan Gallagher making his debut at the heart of the defence, yet Scott McKenna looked the more uncertain of the two centre-backs. McKenna was sold hopelessly by Efrem's dummy prior to the shot that should have seen Cyprus in front, before the Aberdeen man's rash lunge led to the free-kick from which the hosts equalised.

What's next?

This stage of qualification ends for these two sides on Tuesday, as Scotland host Kazakhstan while Cyprus visit Belgium. However, Clarke's side have at least one more match still to come in the play-offs in March.

Liverpool have offered support to former defender Dominic Matteo and his family after he underwent an operation on a brain tumour.

The 45-year-old, who also played for Leeds United, Blackburn Rovers, Stoke City and Scotland during a 17-year playing career, had an operation on Monday and is being treated in hospital after being released from intensive care.

Matteo emerged from the Liverpool academy and made his first league appearance for the Reds in October 1993.

He made 155 appearances for the club before joining Leeds, where he formed part of the team that reached the 2001 Champions League semi-finals.

A statement on Liverpool's official website said: "We wish Dom a full and speedy recovery and will offer any support we can to his wife and family.

"Dom's family would like to place on record their gratitude to all staff at Leeds General Infirmary and express their thanks for all of the messages of support they have received."

Scottish Rugby has expressed its regret over threatening to take legal action against World Rugby during the World Cup and agreed to pay a £70,000 fine.

Chief executive Mark Dodson said Scottish Rugby had received legal opinion for a potential case against the world governing body if Scotland's clash with Japan was cancelled due to Typhoon Hagibis.

The decisive Pool A showdown between the hosts and Scotland at International Stadium Yokohama was in doubt with one of the most destructive typhoons in decades approaching.

Japan reached the quarter-finals and knocked Gregor Townsend's side out when the match went ahead as scheduled last month.

Scottish Rugby stated that it would "consider all options, which may include arbitration" after World Rugby ordered the organisation to apologise and pay a fine.

The matter is now closed, though, after Scottish Rugby opted against taking further action.

"World Rugby can confirm that the Scottish Rugby Union has expressed its regret and has confirmed it will not challenge World Rugby further on this matter.

"The Scottish Rugby Union has agreed to pay a donation of £70,000 to World Rugby and the matter is now closed. There will be no further comment from either party."

World Rugby stated last week that the fine will be donated to the ChildFund Pass it Back programme to assist with the ongoing relief effort in areas affected by Typhoon Hagibis.

Scottish Rugby has expressed its regret over threatening to take legal action against World Rugby during the World Cup and agreed to pay a £70,000 fine.

Chief executive Mark Dodson said Scottish Rugby had received legal opinion for a potential case against the world governing body if Scotland's clash with Japan was cancelled due to Typhoon Hagibis.

The decisive Pool A showdown between the hosts and Scotland at International Stadium Yokohama was in doubt with one of the most destructive typhoons in decades approaching.

Japan reached the quarter-finals and knocked Gregor Townsend's side out when the match went ahead as scheduled last month.

Scottish Rugby stated that it would "consider all options, which may include arbitration" after World Rugby ordered the organisation to apologise and pay a fine.

The matter is now closed, though, after Scottish Rugby opted against taking further action.

"World Rugby can confirm that the Scottish Rugby Union has expressed its regret and has confirmed it will not challenge World Rugby further on this matter.

"The Scottish Rugby Union has agreed to pay a donation of £70,000 to World Rugby and the matter is now closed. There will be no further comment from either party."

World Rugby stated last week that the fine will be donated to the ChildFund Pass it Back programme to assist with the ongoing relief effort in areas affected by Typhoon Hagibis.

Scott McTominay and Andrew Robertson have left the Scotland squad ahead of the final Euro 2020 qualifiers with Cyprus and Kazakhstan.

Bournemouth winger Ryan Fraser has also withdrawn, while Leeds United's Liam Cooper pulled out on Monday.

Midfielders Lewis Morgan and Graeme Shinnie have been added to the squad.

Manchester United midfielder McTominay damaged his ankle in the 3-1 Premier League win over Brighton and Hove Albion and had to be substituted.

The 22-year-old is expected to have tests on the problem later this week.

Scotland cannot qualify for Euro 2020 through Group I as they are 12 points behind top two Belgium and Russia with two games to play.

However, they will be involved in the play-offs in March after finishing top of Nations League C, Group 1.

Scottish Rugby has been fined £70,000 and ordered to apologise after threatening to take legal action if the Rugby World Cup clash with Japan was cancelled due to Typhoon Hagibis.

The crunch Pool A clash showdown between the hosts and Scotland at International Stadium Yokohama last month was in doubt with one of the most destructive typhoons in decades approaching.

Scottish Rugby chief executive Mark Dodson said the organisation had received legal opinion for a potential case against World Rugby if the match was called off, with Scotland needing a win to reach the quarter-finals.

Japan beat Gregor Townsend's side in a contest that went ahead as scheduled and Scotland have now been sanctioned for Dodson's remarks, though a second charge brought against an unnamed Scottish Rugby spokesperson was dismissed.

A statement from the world governing body said: "World Rugby strongly believed the comments, which suggested an unfair and disorganised treatment of all teams, to be inappropriate and ill-judged at a time when Japan was preparing for the largest and most destructive typhoon in decades. 

"The international federation believed that such comments brought the game into disrepute, not only in relation to World Rugby's handling of an extraordinary situation but also in the message that it sent to the Japanese people. 

"Having considered all the evidence, including submissions by World Rugby and the SRU, the committee determined in respect of the first charge that comments attributed to Mark Dodson amounted to misconduct and brought the game into disrepute. 

"In respect of the second charge, the available evidence was insufficient for the committee to be satisfied on the balance of probabilities as to the source of the offending remarks and therefore it dismissed the charge."

Scottish Rugby said it would reflect on this outcome and further consider all our options, which may include arbitration.

Liverpool defender Andy Robertson is relishing Sunday's battle with Scott McTominay and says his Scotland team-mate has been "excellent" for Manchester United this season.

The international colleagues will come face to face when Liverpool travel to Old Trafford in the Premier League this weekend.

McTominay has started all eight league games of a disappointing campaign for United, who are down in 12th place after winning just two of those matches.

Despite his club's on-pitch struggles, the 22-year-old has been hailed as a shining light by compatriot Robertson.

"He's been excellent all season in a United team that has had its critics. I think he's carried himself very well," Robertson said, quoted in several British newspapers.

"I'll be looking forward to facing him on Sunday. Obviously, I hope to come out on top."

While United have struggled in Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's first full campaign, bitter rivals Liverpool are flying at the top of the table after making a perfect start.

However, the Reds are winless in their last five away league meetings with United - something Robertson is keen to put right.

"I think what makes the fixture so special is that it's historic," he said. "There have been such great battles down the years.

"And they've always had top teams who have always fought against each other for everything on the pitch.

"It's always like that. And it's genuinely a different atmosphere when you play against them. It's one game that we always look forward to.

"Since I've been a Liverpool player, we've not managed to get a result at Old Trafford. So hopefully that changes on Sunday."

Scottish Rugby has questioned whether misconduct charges brought by World Rugby are "appropriate".

It was confirmed on Tuesday that comments made by chief executive Mark Dodson are to be probed by rugby union's chief governing body.

Dodson had threatened to take legal action if Scotland's crucial Pool A encounter with Japan was cancelled, with the match under threat as a result of Typhoon Hagibis.

The contest went ahead with Scotland losing 28-21 to exit the competition but the row continues to rumble on.

A Scottish Rugby statement issued on Wednesday read: "Scottish Rugby once again expresses its sincere condolences to the people of Japan and all those affected by Typhoon Hagibis which struck last weekend.

"We have been able to convey our best wishes directly to the mayor of Yokohama and the chairman of the Japanese Rugby Union. We stand with the great people of Japan.

"Following receipt of correspondence yesterday from World Rugby, Scottish Rugby confirms that it has received a notice of complaint from Rugby World Cup Ltd. Scottish Rugby is querying whether the matter is an appropriate one for the bringing of misconduct charges.

"If misconduct proceedings are to proceed, Scottish Rugby looks forward to receiving a fair hearing in this matter. No further comment would be appropriate at this time." 

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