Roddy Grant out to justify Commonwealth Games pick

RODDY Grant is determined to vindicate his Commonwealth Games selection after being reunited with Scotland Sevens.

Grant is looking forward to a "special" 2014 Games in front of a home crowd. Picture: Ian Rutherford
Grant is looking forward to a "special" 2014 Games in front of a home crowd. Picture: Ian Rutherford

Grant stopped playing sevens shortly before Delhi 2010 but the Edinburgh flanker’s Commonwealth chance has come belatedly after he was brought into a strengthened pool that also features the likes of British and Irish Lions cap Stuart Hogg.

The 27-year-old said: “For not being a contracted sevens player and being called up, it’s very flattering that people think I can make a difference. That’s not lost on me.

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“I owe Stephen Gemmell, the coach, and people above and I need to repay them and play well. It’s hugely flattering, humbling and exciting to be part of a Commonwealth Games squad and such a strong squad.”

Grant returned to sevens action two weeks ago at the Moscow 7s, where Scotland finished third behind England and Portugal, while most of the Glasgow 2014 squad will take part in a Sevens and the City competition at London’s Allianz Park on Saturday.

Grant said: “It was a great to get a run-around and just get used to the game again. We didn’t play to our ability, we came third, but the last game we played really well and we are looking to continue that.

“In Moscow we probably had half our Commonwealth squad so it will be great to play with the full squad this weekend.

“It has the same oval ball and pitch but apart from that it’s a very different game. You have to get used to positioning, running lines. You are very isolated and there is loads of space and it’s all about getting your body used to moving in certain ways, and obviously working with each other again. I feel fully into the swing of things again.”

Grant and his team-mates then have two weeks to prepare for Glasgow 2014 and the welcome that awaits at Ibrox.

“A home Commonwealth Games is going to be really special,” he said. “A home crowd makes such a huge difference. It will be a huge occasion.

“It’s great the way the ticketing has been done, you will get people going to sports that they don’t follow normally.

“It’s an amazing sport. It’s hugely entertaining, whether you know the rules or not. You can appreciate the athleticism and the contact and what the boys are doing with their bodies. It’s not stop-start, there is action all the time.”