Honour may not have been satisfied by Tim Visser’s decision to welch on a bet, but dignity has certainly been preserved.Photo: PA
Earlier this season, the Edinburgh winger struck a friendly wager with his younger brother Sepp, who plays for Northumbrian side Blaydon, over who would score more tries over the forthcoming campaign.
There was no prize for the winner, but it was agreed that the loser’s forfeit should be a naked sprint down Edinburgh’s Royal Mile.
With the season nearly over, the older Visser’s try-count stands at 14.
Thirteen of those were collected in Magners League matches – a new record in the competition – but his haul is still far short of the 21 young Sepp has scored for Blaydon.
On balance, however, Tim has decided that he can live more easily with the shame of breaking his word than the embarrassment of streaking through the Scottish capital.
With an international career in his sights – the Dutch-born player will become eligible for Scotland on residence grounds next year – his discretion is probably understandable.
Visser will be in his familiar berth at Murrayfield tonight as Edinburgh seek to extend their recent run of good form against Newport Gwent Dragons.
Towards the end of a difficult campaign, Edinburgh’s home wins against the Ospreys and Aironi over the past month have levered them into eighth place in the Magners League table, and a bonus-point victory could see them leapfrog the Dragons into seventh.
“The motivation is to finish well because we have had such an up-and-down season,” said interim Edinburgh coach Nick Scrivener, who will be heading back to Australia at the season’s end.
“It’s not so much about my leaving, but about another coach coming in, and they will want to impress him.
“There is also a Worl Cup around the corner and there are just two games left for guys to put their hands up for selection. We also want to put in a good performance for the fans in our last home game. They have been on the rollercoaster with us and we want to repay them.”
Among those with international ambitions, the return of Ross Rennie at openside could be the most significant development.
The flanker has missed the last few weeks with a foot injury, but he had been close to his best before that setback and a couple of strong performances in the final two games could go a long way to securing his place in the World Cup squad.
At the other end of the M8, Glasgow’s final home match of the season, against the Scarlets, has the look of a going-away party, with many of the players who will be on duty at Firhill tonight taking their leave of the club within a few weeks.
The affection of the Glasgow fans is likely to be focused on Bernardo Stortoni, the Argentinian full-back who has been a firm favourite of the crowd since he arrived from Bristol four years ago.
Stortoni, 34, might yet be tempted to remain in rugby if a suitable offer came in, but he is preparing himself for a return to his homeland and a job on his father’s cattle ranch.
“I’m going to try to be a gaucho,” Stortoni smiled.
Besides Stortoni, the others playing tonight who will not be at Glasgow next season are Richie Vernon, James Edddie, Kevin Tkachuk and Aly Muldowney.
Glasgow, second from bottom in the Magners table, have little to play for, but the Scarlets are chasing a play-off place and will therefore have no concern for the poignancy of the occasion.
However, Glasgow coach Sean Lineen believes his side still want to finish their season on a high.
“The boys have trained well this week,” Lineen said.
“We’re looking for one hell of a performance.”