SCOTLAND winger Tommy Seymour does not believe his lack of sevens experience will hamper him at this summer’s Commonwealth Games.
The eight-cap international will swap the 15-a-side game for the shorter version after being named in a 12-man squad for Glasgow 2014. Ahead of group-stage clashes with New Zealand, Canada and Barbados at Ibrox on 26 July, the 25-year-old admits his sevens CV is short on detail.
Seymour, however, insists his performances for both Scotland and club side Glasgow, coupled with some handy hints from his team-mates and coach Stevie Gemmell, will help him take to the shorter game with ease.
He said: “My sevens history is non-existent really. Apart from a minor tournament here or there, there is nothing major. So it’s a new challenge and I will give it a good bash. I’m excited about it – it couldn’t be playing on a better stage than Ibrox.
“I’ve been getting a lot of information from the other guys at Glasgow and Scotland who have had a go at sevens this year. They have all enjoyed it and I’m sure I will, too. I’ve had a good year with Scotland and the Warriors and I’ll be speaking to a lot of the guys over the next few weeks, so I’m sure I will handle the transition.”
Seymour earned his first Scotland XVs cap against South Africa last summer and featured in three of the Dark Blues’ RBS Six Nations clashes this year. But, before he can start focusing on the Games, he still has the small matter of Glasgow’s RaboDirect Pro 12 final against Leinster in Dublin a week on Saturday and he will jet out for new Scotland coach Vern Cotter’s first two games in charge against the US and Canada next month.
“I could not have asked for a better 12 months,” added Seymour. “I got my first cap last summer, played a lot of games for Scotland and, club-wise, things have been amazing.
“Glasgow is where I spent the majority of my time and the fact the boys around me are enjoying their rugby so much is great for me too. It’s been exciting but there is still a lot to do before the Games. We have the Rabo final next week and the Scotland tour to come first, so I won’t have too much time to sit and get nervous about running out at Ibrox.”
Like Seymour, fellow Scotland international and Glasgow team-mate Sean Lamont has been drafted in to help the Scots’ medal bid ahead of the Commonwealths.
The 86-times capped wing, however, has sevens experience after competing in the Manchester Games of 2002, while Richie Vernon – another full international with 20 outings in dark blue – is helping out, too, after taking part in the recent Emirates Airline Glasgow 7s at Scotstoun.
Also named in the 12-man squad are skipper Colin Gregor, Roddy Grant, Colin Shaw, Lee Jones, Mark Bennett – a Scotland B cap – James Johnstone, James Eddie, Scott Riddell and Scott Wight.
Coach Gemmell said: “The conversations about getting access to the likes of Sean and Tommy have been going on for a while. I picked a squad that I thought was capable of doing the job then I had to go and make the approaches. But, all along, I’ve been confident that the support of Scottish Rugby was there to enable us to do the job.”
l Rob Harley has been named the Glasgow Warriors McCrea Financial Services Player of the Season. The 23-year-old was presented with the award by Douglas McCrea at a gala dinner in Glasgow last night.
Jonny Gray, in his first season as a full professional, was voted the Players’ Player of the Season, after being named the RaboDirect PRO12 Young Player of the Year earlier this month. Other winners included Finn Russell, who was named Young Player of the Season after making 13 appearances for the club and being included in the Scotland squad for the first time for the upcoming games against USA and Canada.
Tommy Seymour’s fantastic solo effort against Treviso in Italy last month was named Try of the Season. The touchdown completed Seymour’s hat-trick that night and ensured a bonus-point win for the Warriors.
The Most Improved Player award was handed out to Gordon Reid, while James Eddie won the Coaches Award for the second consecutive year and the Test Player of the Season award was given to Alex Dunbar.
Scotland Sevens squad for Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games: Richie Vernon, James Eddie, James Johnstone, Roddy Grant, Scott Riddell, Colin Shaw, Lee Jones, Colin Gregor (captain), Scott Wight, Mark Bennett, Sean Lamont, Tommy Seymour.