Scotland Sevens supersize for Hong Kong
A squad of 18 Scotland Sevens players will travel out to Hong Kong for the sixth round of the HSBC Sevens World Series next weekend on 22-24 March.
Every player named at this stage is in contention for the World Series event, with coach Stephen Gemmell announcing a 12/6 split early next week, with the six overflow players competing for the Scottish Barbarians at the HKFC Tens on 20-21 March.
“It’s great that we can take 18 players out to Hong Kong through our relationship with Hong Kong Scottish and the Hong Kong Rugby Union. Having an extended squad will help our preparations," said Stephen Gemmell, who was recently re-appointed as Scotland Sevens head coach.
“We will announce who will play in which tournament next week. For the six players who will play in the 10s tournament, it will be a good opportunity to train as part of the Sevens squad and then compete in the 10s to enhance their game in an international competition.
“Our performances in the last two World Series events have been good and we have finished in the top six. The players who got us there are involved again and they very much deserve that chance.
“The additional players have also trained very well recently and for some of them they are travelling with us for the first time.
“We’re still in an important battle in the World Series, where we currently sit in 12th place, but we need to build on the good stuff from the last two tournaments and make sure we achieve greater consistency and continue to strive for World Series points that are vital.”
Making their first trips with the squad will be Jed-Forest and Scotland 7s elite development player Lewis Young, Watsonians’ Jack Ferguson, Stewarts-Melville’s Liam Steele and Doncaster Knights’ Joe Nayacavou.
Also from the club game Melrose’s Callum Anderson returns to the squad, having played in Edinburgh in 2011, and Kelso’s Darren Gillespie, who was involved in Dubai and South Africa this season.
In Hong Kong the Scots face pool matches against Portugal, Samoa and England.
Scotland wider squad of 18: Alex Glashan (Scotland 7s EDP), Andrew Turnbull (Scotland 7s), *Callum Anderson (Melrose), Chris Dean (Scotland 7s EDP), Colin Gregor (Scotland 7s), Colin Shaw (Scotland 7s), *Darren Gillespie (Kelso), *Jack Ferguson (Watsonians), James Fleming (Scotland 7s), James Johnstone (Glasgow Warriors), Joe Nayacavou (Doncaster Knights), Lewis Young (Scotland 7s EDP), *Liam Steele (Stewart’s-Melville FP), Mark Robertson (Scotland 7s), Michael Fedo (Scotland 7s), Michael Maltman (Scotland 7s), Russell Weir (Scotland 7s) and Struan Dewar (Scotland 7s).
*sportscotland institute supported player
Series qualifying explained: Hong Kong & London
From the end of the 2012/13 HSBC Sevens World Series, promotion and relegation from core team status comes into effect, with a pre-qualifying competition in Hong Kong (round 6) and a final core team qualifier in London (round 9).
The Cathay Pacific/HSBC Hong Kong Sevens will feature 28 teams and two competitions: In the first, the 15 current core teams and the winner of the HSBC Asian Sevens Series, Hong Kong, will compete for the famous Hong Kong title and World Series points. In the second, 12 regional teams - two from each of the six IRB regions - will compete for four places at the core team qualifying final in London.
The Marriott London Sevens will feature 20 teams and two competitions: In the first, the top 12-ranked sides in the HSBC Sevens World Series after round 8, the Emirates Airline Glasgow Sevens, will compete for the London title and final World Series points. In the second, the 13th-, 14th- and 15th-ranked core teams after the Glasgow event will compete against the four qualifiers from Hong Kong and Asian champions Hong Kong for the three available core team places on the 2013/14 HSBC Sevens World Series.
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22-24 March 2013
Venue: Hong Kong Stadium
City: Hong Kong