Rugby sevens: James Fleming back for Scots

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SCOTLAND’S hopes of remaining part of the HSBC Sevens World Series have been boosted by the return of flying winger James Fleming.

The squad dropped out of the world’s top 12 at its home event at Scotstoun last weekend and will play in a new qualifier at the final leg of the series in London, in a bid to be part of the circuit next season.

Fleming was surprisingly left out of the Scottish side in Glasgow. However, with John Houston failing to shrug off a neck injury this week, the door has opened for Fleming to return and bring his experience of 20 caps, and 54 tries in the world series, to bear at Twickenham.

Scotland will kick off today against Georgia (9.22am), face Zimbabwe at 12.34pm and Hong Kong at 4pm in the group stages, and will then be drawn into quarter-finals for Sunday. The top three in the tournament will secure core status for next season’s HSBC Sevens World Series so Scotland can clinch that by reaching the final. The two losers of the semi-finals will feature in a third-placed play-off, with the winners of this match also earning core team status.

Closer to home, the Selkirk Sevens move the ‘Kings of the Sevens’ closer to a conclusion with Ayr, Glasgow Hawks, Edinburgh Accies and Watsonians joining the local clubs in the most competitive line-up of sides this spring, kick-off 2pm.

Hamilton host the latest leg of the Legacy Sevens with their ‘Bulls’ side fourth and eager to make up ground on Stirling and Hawks, with Howe of Fife out in front, 11 points clear, with one final round at Cartha remaining after this weekend. Ties kick-off at 1pm with the final at 5.15pm.

Scotland 7s team (for the HSBC Sevens World Series Qualifying tournament at Twickenham today and tomorrow): Chris Dean, Struan Dewar, Michael Fedo, James Fleming, Alex Glashan, Colin Gregor (capt), Lee Jones, Michael Maltman, Byron McGuigan, Scott Riddell, Colin Shaw, Andrew Turnbull.

Lawrie’s Garage Selkirk Sevens (first tie 2pm): Gala v Heriot’s, Edinburgh Accies v Hawick, Selkirk v Falkirk, Glasgow Hawks v Kelso, Watsonians v Hillhead/Jordanhill, Ayr v Berwick, Melrose v Peebles, Jed-Forest v Langholm.