Jim Hamilton praises Scotland squad for Argentina Test series win

SCOTLAND rugby try hero Jim Hamilton has pointed to teamwork as the key to the national rugby side's series victory in Argentina.

The lock, who has announced that he is leaving Edinburgh for Gloucester, bagged Scotland's only touchdown of the two tests as Andy Robinson's men sealed a historic 13-9 victory in the second encounter with the Pumas, a result that came hard on the heels of 24-16 success seven days earlier.

The triumphant squad flew into Edinburgh Airport yesterday morning, and Hamilton today played down his contribution, saying: "It was great to score my first try for Scotland in such an important game but it was a team try. Parks put us in position off the penalty, a driving lineout, Moray Low went for the line and I'm just lucky that I'm 6 foot 8 and I've got long arms and managed to touch it down.

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"It was fantastic but the thing we've taken out of the tour is that it wasn't just the fifteen guys on the pitch, or even the twenty two guys. It was the whole squad, the management, the guys behind the scenes, our nutritionist, our kit man, our psychologist, our analyst, the list is endless. We were all in it together.

"To do what we've down was brilliant, especially after the long season a lot of the guys have played, 30-plus games. To go down there and win against a very good Argentina side in two very hostile places was fantastic."

Hamilton, who has been hampered by injury during his two years in the Capital, insists he was aware that the Scots were ready to make progress when he returned to the international fold for the RBS Six Nations clash with Wales in Cardiff.

"Looking back to the autumn, the win over Australia instilled some confidence and we've developed from there.

"But we really had the belief before the game against Wales. That was my first game back after being injured for seven months and, in the changing room, I've never felt that confident going into a game, especially away from home.

"The results didn't go our way against Italy and Wales. The draw against England made us feel we were going in the right direction and to get the win in Ireland was deserved.

"Now we've kicked on with two wins against Argentina and the guys are already speaking about New Zealand (in the autumn test), so it's fantastic."

The 27-year old will now have a three-week respite before linking up with a large Scottish contingent at Gloucester to begin the build up to next season's Guinness Premiership.

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He is looking forward to challenging for honours on his return south of the Border and, with an eye on next year's IRB World Cup, is hopeful that it can provide the impetus to keep improving his game.

He departs with high praise for his erstwhile colleagues at the Murrayfield-based club, adding: "Edinburgh is a fantastic place to live. It's my favourite city in the whole world." Then, reflecting on how events on the pitch have unfolded, he added: "Last year, we finished second and one of my rugby highs was winning away in France. I was at Leicester for seven years and never won in France. Working with Andy Robinson day in day out helped my game immensely.

"Obviously, I've had a frustrating year with a couple of injuries but it's a great bunch of guys and there is world-class talent there. They are maturing as a team and they've got great team spirit."