Sevens squad makes doubly sure

Head coach John Dalziel, left, with Scotland 7s captain Scott Riddell (picture by SRU)
Head coach John Dalziel, left, with Scotland 7s captain Scott Riddell (picture by SRU)

Scotland 7s have named a 14-man core squad for the upcoming season.

Head coach John Dalziel has selected a blend of youth and experience for his first Scotland 7s squad, with three XV-a-side internationalists and three uncapped 7s players included.

The squad is looking to build on its best ever overall finish of seventh last season and, on top of the 10 World Series tournaments, will compete in the Commonwealth Games and Rugby 7s World Cup next year.

Once again, Scott Riddell will captain the squad. He is one of seven players involved in last season’s Cup final victory at Twickenham named for the season ahead.

Hugh Blake scored a try in the final against England back in May, while Jack Cuthbert, Jamie Farndale, Dougie Fife, James Fleming and Jo Nayacavou can also boast Cup winners’ medals going into the new season.

Having spent a large majority of last season injured, James Johnstone, Gavin Lowe and Nick McLennan all retain their place in the core squad.

Former Glasgow Warriors and London Scottish centre Robbie Fergusson is included in a core Scotland 7s squad for the first time. The 24-year old has previously played 13 times for Scotland U20.

Harvey Elms, Nyle Godsmark and Sam Pecqueur are all named on a part-time basis. Godsmark has 12 World Series appearances to his name and plays for Melrose in the BT Premiership. His clubmate at the Greenyards, Pecqueur, has played 10 times for the national U20 side, while Elms plays in the back three for Currie.

Ex-Melrose coach Dalziel said: “I’ve really enjoyed the first few months, working with the players and staff. They are a really driven and experienced group. We have a great mix of experience and youthful exuberance, which is very healthy, as we look at ways to evolve and improve as we move forward.

“Scott Riddell is an excellent professional and a very good leader. He has been a great support to myself in the early stages of my role and is a good person. He will be vital to the squad’s development, as both a player and with the experience he can bring to our young players.

“Jamie Farndale, Dougie Fife and James Johnstone have all be training with Edinburgh Rugby recently. It’s clear these players have developed greatly and have really impressed during their time.

“Their time at Myerside has been in full collaboration with ourselves, given our time out from competition, and further enhances Scotland 7s as a key development pathway for developing future pro and international 15s players.”

Scotland 7s core squad to compete on the 2017-18 HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series: Hugh Blake, Jack Cuthbert, Harvey Elms, Jamie Farndale, Robbie Fergusson, Dougie Fife, James Fleming, Nyle Godsmark, James Johnstone, Gavin Lowe, Nick McLennan, Jo Nayacavou, Sam Pecqueur, Scott Riddell (c).