Glasgow Warriors duo Lee Jones and James Eddie get Scotland 7s call
Calum MacRae names 12-man squad for Dubai and South Africa rounds of the HSBC Sevens World Series in December
Lee Jones and James Eddie have been named in the Scotland 7s squad for next month’s HSBC Sevens World Series rounds in Dubai and South Africa.
The Glasgow Warriors duo, who have been regular servants for the side, are joined by 19-year-old Gavin Lowe — a BT Sport Scottish Rugby Academy full-back with the Warriors and aligned to Glasgow Hawks, who played 15s rugby for Scotland in this summer’s Junior World Championship — winning his first Sevens cap.
Scotland 7s head coach Calum MacRae has made four changes in total from the squad that finished equal 11th in the opening round on the Gold Coast in October.
Colin Shaw joins Eddie in returning for the first time since turning out for Team Scotland at the 2014 Commonwealth Games, with Joseva Nayacavou also returning for the first time in a year as Gregor Young, Struan Dewar, Rory Hughes and Lewis Young miss out.
“Gavin has adapted to training very well and has worked hard since he entered the programme,” MacRae said.
“He is a quality ball player and is a genuine attacking threat, I’m very much looking forward to seeing how he performs.
“Joe and James will bring their dynamic ball carrying to this squad. For me, Joe has worked hard coming back from an injury at the start of the season and has a strong offloading ability.
“James played well at the back end of last year’s Series and can’t wait to get back out there again.
“Finally, Colin has a huge amount of experience under his belt. He has shown in the past that he can perform well at this level.
“This is an opportunity for him to show me what he has to offer the team and to take his good form from training into competition.”
Scotland face another tough pool at The Sevens stadium on Friday 5 December after being drawn with reigning champions New Zealand, along with Samoa and Japan in Pool B.
They have never defeated New Zealand in 28 attempts, with the average score 34-5 in favour of the Kiwis, but their last three meetings in Dubai make for grim reading with the All Blacks scoring 126 points to Scotland’s five.
Their record against Samoa is slightly better with four wins and two draws from 32 attempts, but their last victory over the Pacific Islanders came in the Plate semi-final in Tokyo in March 2013.
Scotland last faced Japan in the final round of the 2013-14 HSBC Sevens World Series in London, losing 26-19 in the Shield semi-finalal. Despite their 9-3 winning record from 12 encounters, Scotland’s last win over Japan came in the pool stages of the New Zealand Sevens in February 2012.
“In training over the past few weeks we have looked on the teams we’ll come up against in our group,” MacRae added.
“The tackle contest will be a focus because our three opponents will be very physical in that area.
“Our fitness levels have stepped up a gear from the work done with our new strength and conditioning coach, Nick Lumley.
“I’m looking for that to transfer into a relentless defensive effort and high tempo attacking game.”
Scotland squad for Dubai and South Africa:
Scott Riddell, James Eddie (Glasgow Warriors), Colin Shaw, James Johnstone, Colin Gregor, Mark Robertson, Damien Hoyland (Edinburgh Rugby), Nyle Godsmark, Joseva Nayacavou (Heriot’s), Scott Wight (captain), Lee Jones (Glasgow Warriors), Gavin Lowe (Glasgow Warriors).
Scotland fixtures on Day One in Dubai:
Samoa (07:30 GMT), New Zealand (10:52) and Japan (16:25)