Rugby 7s: Scotland look for consistency in Tokyo

SCOTLAND 7s head coach Stephen Gemmell wants his players to look at where they are in the current HSBC Sevens World Series standings and use it as motivation for the seventh round in Tokyo this weekend.

The team lies 12th and only the top 12 teams are guaranteed a core place in next season’s series. The cut-off point comes after the Emirates Airline Glasgow 7s at Scotstoun on 4 and 5 May.

Currently, there are 15 core teams and the bottom three after the Scotstoun tournament will have to play-off at the final series event in London on 11 and 12 May – against Hong Kong, Zimbabwe, Russia, Tonga and Georgia, who qualified in Hong Kong last weekend – to ensure their status for next season.

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The team’s performance in Hong Kong was a typically Scottish rollercoaster – victory over England and a draw against the team currently third in the standings, Samoa, but defeats to Portugal, USA and Argentina.

Portugal and USA are currently just one tournament point behind Scotland in 13th equal place in the rankings.

Gemmell told Scottish Rugby website: “We did a full review before we left Hong Kong as to what we got right and what went wrong. We spoke about the need to be consistent in everything we do and we spoke about the importance of demonstrating our desire to impose our game on the opposition.

“We’re currently in 12th place in the rankings and our objective in Tokyo this week and at our own tournament in Glasgow in May is to improve on that. It’s in our own hands.

“We need to go out on Saturday and perform with accuracy and consistency but also with a hint of desperation, because we have to show that we need it more than some other teams in our pool and that has to be a motivator,” he explained. Scotland are drawn in Pool B in Tokyo and will face Kenya, in their first match (2.50am UK time) tomorrow. Next up are last weekend’s beaten finalists Wales (6.35am) and the pool fixtures conclude with USA (9.41am).

Scotland 7s squad for the seventh leg of the HSBC Sevens World Series (Saturday 30 and Sunday 31 March): Andrew Turnbull (Scotland 7s), Chris Dean (Scotland 7s EDP), Colin Gregor (Scotland 7s), Colin Shaw (Scotland 7s), Darren Gillespie (Kelso), James Fleming (Scotland 7s), James Johnstone (Glasgow Warriors), Mark Robertson (Scotland 7s), Michael Fedo (Scotland 7s), Michael Maltman (Scotland 7s), Russell Weir (Scotland 7s) and John Houston (Edinburgh Rugby).