Scotland Sevens bid starts Down Under

SCOTLAND will again launch their HSBC Sevens World Series campaign against hosts Australia on the Gold Coast next month.

In a vital year, as Scotland builds towards hosting the Commonwealth Games Sevens at Ibrox next August, the Scots will face three sides ranked above them, in Australia, Argentina and Samoa. However, they also defeated all three last season.

The Gold Coast 7s will officially begin the 2013-14 season and Stephen Gemmell, back in charge after handing over the reins unsuccessfully this time last year to Phil Greening, is hopeful that the lure of Glasgow 2014 will provide an extra incentive to return to the cup knockout phases this term.

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The Scotland head coach said: “We’re looking forward to taking our first step towards Glasgow 2014 next July and measuring where we are at.

“We’ve had a good pre-season. We come into this competition in the fourth group of seeds, so naturally the draw was always going to be difficult. However, it’s a new season and Argentina and Samoa have new coaching staff so it’ll be tough to analyse them fully.

“As far as Australia is concerned, it’s their home tournament so they’ll come into this group with a lot of potential. But we’ve shown when we play our game at the top level we are capable of getting results, so we will continue working on doing that more often.”

The squad will fine-tune preparations by taking part in the FIRA-AER European Grand Prix Sevens Series in Bucharest next week. There, they will play Russia, France, Spain, Germany and Ukraine in Pool B.

The 2013-14 HSBC Sevens World Series also features Dubai, South Africa, USA, New Zealand, Japan, Hong Kong, Scotland (Glasgow) and England.