London Sevens: Scotland make four changes for finale
Calum MacRae brings in three uncapped players as Dark Blues look to secure best ever finish in the HSBC Sevens World Series
Scotland have made four changes to their 12-man squad for the Marriott London Sevens this weekend after their sixth-place finish in Glasgow.
Head coach Calum MacRae has brought in three uncapped players for the final round of the HSBC Sevens World Series at Twickenham Stadium with Glasgow Warriors duo Hugh Blake and Glenn Bryce and Edinburgh’s Jamie Farndale all in line for their international debuts with James Eddie, James Fleming and Chris Dean missing out.
The new caps will bring an attacking edge to the group as it is something that comes naturally to all three of them.
They are joined by Lee Jones, who returns in place of Russell Weir, after coming off the bench for the Warriors in their Guinness PRO12 defeat to the Ospreys in Swansea last Friday.
Blake and Bryce were part of the Warriors Sevens team that retained the Ladies Cup at the prestigious Melrose Sevens last month and MacRae believes all three uncapped players will bring an attacking threat to his side.
“The new caps will bring an attacking edge to the group as it is something that comes naturally to all three of them,” MacRae said.
“Jamie has trained extremely well and deserves this opportunity. His powerful running game makes him a valuable asset and is adaptable in a hybrid role, where he can operate at prop or wing.
“Hugh has gone about his business quietly in training, but it’s evident there is a real competitive edge to his personality. His footballing ability and evasion skills will compliment our attacking play.
“Glenn is a player I’ve tracked from the start of the season, his broken field running ability is as good as any I’ve seen in Scotland. It’s a big opportunity for him to demonstrate he is ready for international rugby.
“Finally, Lee is an outstanding sevens player, he has match winning ability both in attack and with the graft he puts in when defending.
“He performed very well in Tokyo and is looking forward to playing now his injury niggles are behind him.”
MacRae’s men will take on hosts England, 2016 Olympic Games hosts Brazil and Kenya in Pool C in front of a capacity crowd in London on Saturday.
After making the Cup quarter-finals of five of the eight rounds in this season’s World Series, Scotland can secure their best-ever finish this weekend if they outperform eighth-place Argentina, while they could finish as high as sixth if the USA – who are seven points ahead – have a poor tournament.
“Kenya are a physical and free running team, they have strong runners when given space to open up,” MacRae added.
“Brazil have adapted quickly to the top level of competition in Dubai and Las Vegas where we played them.
“They move the ball to space well and shift the point of contact. As a team they are improving with every competition they play.
“There is always an added element of excitement when you play England. They are aiming for Olympic qualification, so to go up against them on the last game of the day sets that match up to be quite a finale.
“As ever we’re aiming to win at least two games on day one to ensure we’re in the Cup competition come Sunday.”
Scotland 7s squad for the Marriott London Sevens: Scott Riddell (captain), Jamie Farndale (Edinburgh Rugby), Hugh Blake (Glasgow Warriors), James Johnstone, Colin Gregor, Mark Robertson, Damien Hoyland (Edinburgh Rugby), Nyle Godsmark, Joseva Nayacavou, Glenn Bryce (BT Sport Scottish Rugby Academy/Glasgow Warriors), Lee Jones (Glasgow Warriors) and Gavin Lowe (BT Sport Scottish Rugby Academy/Glasgow Warriors).