TIM Swinson’s jetlag morphed into a higher form of delirium on Sunday when he received the surprise news that he was in Scotland’s World Cup squad.
The lock forward was not long back from Nova Scotia after playing for Glasgow in their 19-12 defeat by Canada at the weekend when the call came from national head coach Vern Cotter.
“On Sunday morning I missed a call from Vern and I was a bit confused,” explained the 28-year-old Swinson. “Especially after having not slept for just over a day with the travel and the game. I finally got through to him and he gave me the news. I was really shocked.
“I didn’t know how to react because it was something which wasn’t even on my radar. It is a huge honour for me and I am so excited. I had really no idea why I had that missed call. I wondered if he was just phoning everyone who had been in the original 46 just to say thank you for helping out and everything. It was only when I spoke to him on the Sunday that he gave me the news.”
Swinson travelled to the training camp in Font Romeu at the start of the World Cup preparations but he was carrying an ankle injury picked up at the back end of the Pro12 season and it soon became clear he would not be able to train.
The injury lingered and he was replaced by Edinburgh’s Ben Toolis in the training squad, before making his comeback in Halifax on Saturday and putting in a man-of-the-match display.
Swinson said: “I don’t know what Vern is thinking, not many people do. I just figured, go there and enjoy playing again after four months out due to injury which was unfortunate. I enjoyed playing and felt like I played some good stuff.
“I had a tough couple of weeks because I thought it was all over. But then I got on with it and realised I had been in worse situations and it really wasn’t that bad.
“I was playing with Glasgow with a good group of guys, I was just trying to take myself forward and get better.
“I really took that with gusto and it seems to have worked.”
Of course joy for one meant pain for another as Warriors team-mate Rob Harley misses out but Swinson said: “I spoke to him yesterday. He was hugely supportive.
“It takes a big man to say what he said. It was fantastic support from a good friend.
“I certainly feel for those who have missed out. Having gone through believing I wasn’t going to make it because of my injury, I know it isn’t nice.
“It is quite a tough time for those guys and hopefully I can support them as much as they have supported me so far.”