Tom English

BBC Scotland's chief sports writer

Analysis and opinion from BBC Scotland's chief sports writer

About Tom

Tom is BBC Scotland's chief sports writer. He is a... Read more about Tom English six-time winner of the Scottish feature writer of the year award and has twice won Rugby Book of the Year at the British Sports Book Awards. His columns and radio documentaries have been short-listed for media prizes in Scotland and the UK.

He has been a sports journalist for 25 years, the highlight being an afternoon spent with former world heavyweight champion Joe Frazier. He joined BBC Scotland in 2014 and writes and broadcasts on many different sports.

Gregor Townsend

Townsend seeks 'best ever Glasgow win'

Read full article on Gregor Townsend: Beating Saracens would be the best result in Glasgow's history

Gregor Townsend comes blinking into the light of an upstairs room at Scotstoun, a respite from what he calls the "Saracens bunker", the place where the Glasgow Warriors coaching team have been holed up for more hours across more weeks and months than any of them are capable of calculating.

This is nirvana for Townsend. A first Champions Cup quarter-final, on Sunday, in his fifth and last season at Glasgow, an away quarter-final against the English and European champions, a team that is so packed with power and class that they've never lost a European match at Allianz Park - 12 games, 12 victories - a side so full of mental and physical strength that they have not lost a game in this competition, home or away, for almost two years.

Scotland players

Scotland rally still leaves much to do

Read full article on Scotland rally with Slovenia win but still have mountains to climb

The most surreal of occasions had the trippiest of finales, an unloved footballer booed on to the field by his own fans, who then becomes a match-winner, who's then compared to such luminaries as Kenny Dalglish, Alan Hansen and Gary McAllister by his manager in the giddy aftermath.

Chris Martin - from a statuesque figure of derision to a defiant, goal-scoring hero.

Scotland coach Vern Cotter shows his emotion after his side's 29-0 win over Italy

Reluctant hero Cotter bows out in style

Read full article on Vern Cotter: Scotland coach departs 'heroically deadpan, a tour-de-force of sternness'

He didn't quite crack, but Stern Vern wasn't so firm out there in the middle on the full-time whistle.

As he took to the microphone against a backdrop of Murrayfield emptying its appreciation on top of his head, les yeux de glace - the 'eyes of ice' - were beginning to melt. He took one question and was gone. Two questions might have been too much even for one as tough as him.

Gordon Reid

Scots need reaction against Italy - Reid

Read full article on Scotland need to finish on a high after Twickenham pain - Gordon Reid

Gordon Reid is not the type to, as he puts it, "prance around" the reality of what happened at Twickenham last Saturday.

"They destroyed us," he says. "I'm not going to lie. They smashed us. We got pumped. Getting done by 60 points hurts big-time. It's an experience I don't ever want to feel again. A thing like that sits in you. It's like a rot. It's a rot in the pit of your stomach. You move on to the next game, but you never really forget. Nor should you."

Scotland scrum-half Ali Price and centre Huw Jones reflect on defeat by England

Scots suffer 'worst kind of nightmare'

Read full article on Six Nations 2017: Scotland suffer 'worst kind of nightmare' in record England hiding

Had the grim reaper visited Vern Cotter at his bedside in the middle of Friday night into Saturday morning and presented the Scotland coach with a picture of what horrible fate would befall his team at Twickenham, it could not have been any more terrifying than the reality.

For the Scots and their much talked-about revival, this was perspective. Way, way too much perspective. It wasn't just a slap in the face, it was a kick to the solar plexus and a proper shoeing in the aftermath.

Scotland assistant coach Jason O'Halloran

'Organised chaos' behind Scots' attack

Read full article on Six Nations 2017: Scotland attack coach Jason O'Halloran brings 'organised chaos'

Jason O'Halloran has heard the chat, the compliments but also the caveats, the praise for what Scotland are doing in this Six Nations but also the stuff about 'smash and grabs' and how Ireland and Wales 'should have won' those games.

"I've heard that, yeah," says O'Halloran, Scotland's attack coach brought in from Manawatu in time for the 2016 Championship.

Fraser Brown

'Rugby pulled me out of depression'

Read full article on Six Nations 2017: Fraser Brown - Rugby pulled me out of depression

We could see Fraser Brown's happiness on Saturday, down there on the field when the last whistle went, embracing his team-mates, saluting the fans, drinking in the atmosphere on a special day.

Later, in interviews, he touched on his broader story, but there is more to that than he cared to share at the time. We knew the outline; how, as a younger player with Edinburgh, he was dogged by injury, how he sustained dislocated shoulders and a bulging disc in his neck, how he missed two years of rugby, how Edinburgh let him go.