Houston wings in to boost Scotland Sevens
Scotland's bid to avoid relegation from core team status on the HSBC Sevens World Series has received a timely boost with the news that Edinburgh centre John Houston will see out the remainder of his contract, until spring 2014, with the national Sevens side.
The arrangement between the pro-club and the SRU gives coach Stephen Gemmell more firepower and experience for the Emirates Airline Glasgow 7s on 4-5 May at Scotstoun Stadium, where Scotland most likely need to out-perform the USA to avoid the promotion / relegation play-off a week later at Twickenham.
At the final round of the Series, the Marriott London Sevens, the core teams ranked 13th, 14th and 15th after Glasgow, will play off for three available core team places next season with Asian champions Hong Kong, Russia, Zimbabwe, Tonga and Georgia - a scenario every core team wishes to avoid.
Currently Scotland and USA are tied in joint-12th place, ahead of Portugal and Spain.
Houston, 30, is a product of the Hawick club and won 11 caps for Scotland A in the 15-a-side arena. He made his debut for Edinburgh Rugby in 2008 against Ulster and went on to make 88 appearances, scoring five tries.
"I’m really happy to be able to see out my contract with Scotland 7s. I love the game and it will provide me with a new challenge," said Houston, who played on the last round of the Series in Tokyo.
“There is a lot of exciting things on the horizon in Sevens, with the home Commonwealth Games next year, but we’re fighting for survival in the World Series at the moment and we cannot take our eyes off the ball as we prepare for the Glasgow 7s.
“The first challenge for me now, will be to get to the same fitness levels as the rest of the squad. The demand on the body is different between 15s and Sevens, so that’ll take a bit of work.
“I’ve had a fantastic five-and-a-half years at Edinburgh Rugby and enjoyed my time there. However, this is the right time for a change and I’m fortunate to be able to join Scotland 7s.
Glasgow ticket offer for Armed Forces
The SRU has announced that members of the Royal Navy, Army and RAF will receive 40% off their booking to the eighth and penultimate round of the HSBC Sevens World Series.
In order to access the discount each unit has been sent a promo code to submit when booking tickets through the Glasgow 7s website www.glasgow7s.com or Scottish Rugby’s 24 hour ticket hotline, 0844 335 3933.