Lions’ den is ultimate aim for Denton
SCOTLAND No 8 David Denton hopes to build on his first season as an international by ending his second in the touring party to Australia with the British and Irish Lions.
The 22-year-old was one of few Scotland players to enhance their reputations in a poor 2011-12 season, which did finish on a high with June tour wins in Australia, Fiji and Samoa. Denton missed the trip with an ankle injury and has made a slow start to the season with Edinburgh. He also knows that, to fulfil his ambition of a Lions touring place, he must first break into the Scotland team, a task made all the tougher with Kelly Brown named as captain this week.
Denton who, like Brown, can play at No 8 and blindside flanker, said: “A lot of people have been talking to me about second-season syndrome. It’s a massive goal of mine to make sure that doesn’t happen. I’ve got to get us on the front foot and them on the back foot. If I do that, that’s essentially me doing my job well. I’ve thought about that a lot, as everyone does in a Lions year. But, at the moment, I just need to focus on getting my position in the Scotland team, which I’m going to have to work very hard for.”
Brown’s promotion to skipper means at least one position in the back row is occupied for the 11 November EMC Autumn Test against world champions New Zealand.
But the fact Saracens’ Brown can play number eight or on the flank gives head coach Andy Robinson options in a competitive and quality back row.
Ross Rennie and John Barclay are the options at openside flanker.
Brown could play at No 8, with Alasdair Strokosch at No 6, or Denton at eight and Brown at six. Stuart McInally is also a versatile option, but has been named in the Edinburgh side this weekend so is therefore unlikely to feature against the All Blacks.
Denton is not in the Edinburgh squad, so is in the mix to add to his first six caps. “I’m really looking forward to it, if selected,” he added.
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