Nick de Luca thrilled to be included in Scotland 7s squad

Scotland centre Nick de Luca happy to be included in Scotland 7s after being frozen out at Edinburgh

Richie Vernon and Nick De Luca Photo: SFU

Scotland centre Nick de Luca admits he is delighted to be included in the Scotland 7s team after being frozen out at his RaboDirect Pro12 club Edinburgh.

The 30-year-old, who has 41 senior international caps to his name, is set to move to Biarritz in the summer, but has been overlooked for selection by Edinburgh head coach Alan Solomons and doesn’t expect to be called upon for their final two league matches.

“The last four weeks I’ve not played much rugby so I’m just delighted to get this opportunity to be involved in the exciting time and push for a place in this squad and move forward from there,” De Luca said.

“As I’ve said many a time throughout my career, I take it week by week and my focus is very much on this Sevens tournament.”

De Luca last appeared on the Sevens circuit in 2006 at the Hong Kong round of the World Series and has had to get back up to speed quickly in the very fast, shortened form of the game, but he is keen to show he can still cut it against some of the world’s best Sevens players.

“[It was a] steep learning curve for me last week,” he added.

“[Head coach Stephen Gemmell] has done a good job and managed me well and I’ve got up to speed pretty fast, but it was an experience last week and hopefully that will hold me in good stead this week.

“My focus is on Glasgow 7s—we’ve got a good squad and a good chance of doing something special.

“I’m delighted to be here and pushing for a place in this squad and really excited about hopefully showing that I’ve still got it on a Sevens pitch.

“To be given an opportunity to play at the home Sevens in front of hopefully what is a packed crowd will be fantastic. I’m really looking forward to it.

“The training’s quite a contrast to what I’ve been used to this year, but you get ball in hands, you’re under pressure in defence, it’s really great to test yourself and your skills and I’m looking forward to this weekend.”

Scotland 7s are currently 12th in the World Series standings and despite winning the Bowl last time out in Hong Kong, nobody expects Scotland to challenge for the Cup final at Scotstoun Stadium.

But de Luca says the squad owes their supporters after disappointing outings since the Scottish leg of the tournament switched from Edinburgh to Glasgow.

“Regardless of where I am and what I do, I’m my toughest critic and put the pressure on myself, so I’ll be focusing on my jobs and hopefully my doing my jobs will allow the team to back up the result in Hong Kong,” he said.

“It’s a new tournament, it’s a new week and we have to start again and make sure we do everything right.

“If we worry about the last tournament and think ‘that was good’, we’ll not succeed this week, so everybody is focused on this tournament and getting in a good result for the fans after the last couple of times.”

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