COACH Calum MacRae insists the doubt surrounding the future of Scotland Sevens is not a distraction for his players as they head into this weekend’s sold-out Emirates Airlines Glasgow 7s at Scotstoun Stadium.
There is a possibility that this may be the last Scottish leg of the IRB World Series circuit for some time, with suggestions that authorities want to scrap the Glasgow tournament after this year. The SRU is attempting to persuade World Rugby that the birthplace of the abbreviated game should continue to be represented but admitted last month that the future of the international sevens squad is “under review”.
MacRae said yesterday: “I don’t think it’s been too much of a distraction to be honest. The players are a very professional bunch.
“There is obviously speculation about it being the last tournament at Glasgow. That hasn’t been confirmed by World Rugby as yet. So our focus remains the same. I haven’t seen a change in the players’ demeanour at all.”
The Scots have seen an upturn in performance this season under new coach MacRae and, currently seventh, are on course for a highest-ever final placing.
Following the roaring success of the sevens at Ibrox in last year’s Commonwealth Games, this weekend’s event at Scotstoun has been completely sold out.
MacRae has made two changes to the side that won the Hong Kong 7s Bowl and which competed at the last HSBC Sevens World Series event in Tokyo, six weeks ago.
Glasgow Warriors flanker James Eddie comes in for club team-mate Fraser Lyle to win his 11th sevens cap, while Gavin Lowe replaces Lee Jones.
Sevens stalwart Colin Gregor will become Scotland’s joint most capped player, when he takes the field this weekend, matching Andrew Turnbull’s tally of 57.