SEAN Lamont has called on Scotland supporters to recreate the noise levels of an Old Firm game at Ibrox this summer and help roar the host nation on to Commonwealth Games glory this summer.
The 86-times capped Scotland international winger will swap the 15-a-side format for the shorter game when the home of football giants Rangers is used to stage the rugby sevens at Glasgow 2014.
The Perth-born St Johnstone fan, still on a high from his team winning the Scottish Cup last weekend, has never seen match action at the stadium before but is well aware of its reputation for creating a ferocious atmosphere. And he believes their chances of escaping a group containing New Zealand, Canada and Barbados will be significantly boosted if the home support can crank up the sound to match the type of blast normally reserved for clashes between Rangers and arch-rivals Celtic.
Lamont – who will return to Commonwealth duties on 26 July, 12 years after appearing at Manchester 2002 – said: “I’m not a massive football fan and I’ve never been to a game here before. Being from Perth I’m a Super-Js fan!
“But I live in Glasgow now and everyone knows about Ibrox. We used to train up at the Palace of Arts and I would drive past here every day. I’ve heard a lot about the atmosphere this place can generate and sevens is known for its carnival atmosphere, so a home crowd going nuts will do us good. But what would be ideal is if the crowd were a bit more aggressive than your usual sevens crowd. Get the bams in and let them carry on the Ibrox tradition of going nuts.
“An Old Firm-type atmosphere would be perfect. It can make a difference. It can sway refs, it can change the momentum on the pitch and frighten the opposition. I’ve been on the receiving end of that type of thing and I know how important it is. That bit of edge can be the difference between winning and losing.”
Before Glasgow Warriors back Lamont can get himself too excited about the prospect of competing in a home games, however, he still has a busy month ahead to be taken care of first.“We’ve got the Rabo
Direct PRO12 final with Glasgow a week on Saturday and then the Scotland tour to America and Canada in June, so there won’t be too much time to sit about thinking about the Games,” said the 33-year-old.
“I’ve been trying all my career to get a title so the final against Leinster is a massive deal for me.
“But I’m pretty much flying straight out from that game to join up with the Scotland squad for a couple of weeks.
“It’s only after that I will get a wee bit of a break but then we have to do what is essentially a pre-season because I need to get myself sevens-fit – it’s a different game with different requirements,” added Lamont.
“So, once that is out the way, is when I’ll be able to start thinking about the Games. But that’s the way I like it.”