Scotland 7s Launch Full-Time Squad

July 22, 2011

Twelve players have been named by the SRU in the new full-time Scotland sevens squad. They will compete at international level in the forthcoming season’s HSBC Sevens World Series and the announcement underlines Scottish Rugby’s desire to best prepare for the series and a successful medal challenge for the Scotland 7s squad at the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.

Speaking as the first squad was revealed at Murrayfield yesterday, Head of Performance Rugby Graham Lowe declared: “Sevens is a phenomenon. It’s growing rapidly and if we want to be competitive on the global stage then we had to find a set-up that would suit Scottish rugby.

“We believe the squad we are announcing will enable us to meet that goal in the HSBC Sevens World Series and with the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games firmly on the horizon we want to give ourselves every opportunity of improving on our sixth place finish at the last Commonwealth Games in Delhi and to be there challenging for medals on our home soil in three years time.”

The full-time squad consists of some seasoned international sevens campaigners, emerging, young professional players and Elite Development players.

The squad: Struan Dewar, James Eddie, James Fleming, Colin Gregor, Peter Horne and Andrew Turnbull, plus from Scottish Rugby’s Elite Development players: Adam Ashe, Sam Hidalgo Clyne, Kerr Gossman, Rory Hughes, Sean Kennedy and Hamish Watson.

Scotland 7s coach Graham Shiel explained: “Sevens is the priority for these 12 players. They can play with the pro-teams or in club rugby outwith the sevens window but, when it comes to preparation and playing in the HSBC Sevens World Series, then Scotland 7s has first call on their services and that’s different to the way we have operated in the past.

“When we have had consistency in our squad we have been able to be competitive on the world stage. In the past we have had players with some sevens expertise but, particularly when we have been choosing players from the pro-teams, we have been asking players whose focus was understandably on XVs to prepare in a very limited time frame, and play sevens. Now the emphasis for this group will be sevens and that matters a huge amount in terms of their preparation.”

Welcoming the news, Michael Cavanagh, Chairman of Commonwealth Games Scotland said: “We are delighted that the concept of a full-time Rugby Sevens squad has finally come to fruition and that the SRU has given a strong commitment to this growing element of the game and to success at the Commonwealth Games. Having the strongest and best prepared team possible is something we have been pushing for prior to every Games and we fully support this new approach.”

“Rugby makes a great contribution to Team Scotland at the Games. The sixth place finish in Delhi was a significant improvement and I have no doubt that a specialist full-time squad will lead to an even more competitive performance in Glasgow in three years time.”

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