Commonwealth Games Scotland (CGS) in conjunction with Scottish Rugby today announced the 12 Rugby Sevens players selected to represent Team Scotland at the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games this summer. Four of the 12 players have competed in the Commonwealth Games before, with two involved in Delhi 2010 when Scotland 7s had their best finish in the multi-sport event, sixth place.
Scotland 7s will compete in front of a 49,000 plus strong crowd, per session, at Ibrox over two days (26 and 27 July) and will share a group with New Zealand, Canada and Barbados. The group stages will follow a round-robin format on day one, just like the Sevens World Series, with Scotland required to win at least two of their three games to keep their medal hopes alive on day two.
The second day will be a knockout competition with the Gold and Silver medals up for grabs in the final. The Bronze medallist will be decided between the two teams that lose in the semi-finals in a third placed play-off. Scotland 7s’ best finish this season in the World Series was at their home tournament in Glasgow earlier this month. They finished fourth behind New Zealand, Canada and Fiji, the first two of which will compete in the Games, and beat Australia and South Africa along the way.
Rugby Sevens is one of 10 core sports at the Commonwealth Games and has been included in the Games programme since 1998 in Kuala Lumpur. Scotland 7s however, didn’t make their Commonwealth Games debut until 2002 in Manchester.
Scotland is the home of Rugby Sevens. In 1883 local butcher Ned Haig in a drive to generate funds for Melrose Rugby Club in the Scottish Borders suggested hosting a rugby tournament at the Greenyards as part of a wider sports day. It was felt that full, 15-a-side matches were too much so the number of players was cut to seven and the match time to 15 minutes.
The squad announced today will have one player who will win his first ever international Sevens cap. Glasgow Warriors’ Tommy Seymour is named in the squad after a string of impressive performances this year for his club and the Scotland national team, showcasing relevant skills to the abbreviated game. He has won eight XV-a-side Scotland caps to date.
He is joined by International capped Sean Lamont, who has 86 caps for his country, returning to Scotland 7s for the first time since May 2009 where he played in the final round of the World Series at Murrayfield. Lamont has previous experience in the Commonwealth Games; he was a member of the squad that competed in Manchester in 2002.
Also returning for the first time in a number of years is Edinburgh Rugby’s Roddy Grant who has won 12 World Series caps. Grant was last involved in the Edinburgh tournament in 2010. Scotland 7s full-time professionals Colin Shaw, who was involved four years ago in Delhi and captain Colin Gregor, who was involved in Melbourne in 2006, win their second Commonwealth Games caps along with Glasgow Warriors’ Lee Jones, who was a member of the Delhi squad.
The youngest member of the squad is Glasgow Warriors’ Mark Bennett who helped Scotland win the Bowl in Hong Kong in March this year. Aged just 21, he has won two World Series caps and scored seven tries. James Johnstone, 24, will also win his first Commonwealth Games cap, following his 18 World Series caps and 22 tries.
The remainder of the squad is made up of players who featured in Scotland 7s’ fourth place at the recent Emirates Airline Glasgow 7s. They are Glasgow Warriors’ Richie Vernon, James Eddie and Scotland 7s’ Scott Riddell and Scott Wight.
Richie Vernon Dundee / Glasgow
James Eddie Paisley / Glasgow
James Johnstone Dumfries / Edinburgh
Roddy Grant Jwaneng, Botswana / Edinburgh
Scott Riddell Edinburgh / Edinburgh
Colin Shaw Irvine / Glasgow
Lee Jones Edinburgh / Glasgow
Colin Gregor Glasgow / Glasgow
Scott Wight Galashiels / Melrose
Mark Bennett Irvine / Glasgow
Sean Lamont Perth / Glasgow
Tommy Seymour Nashville, Tennessee / Glasgow
Photo credit: Jeff Holmes