Tommy Seymour believes he has no more point to prove than he ever does playing for Scotland as he returns to the side that will face Russia in Shizuoka on Wednesday.
The 31-year-old Glasgow wing, who will win his 54th cap, was part of the much-vaunted “most experienced Scotland starting XV ever” which went on to underperform badly in the opening World Cup Pool A match against Ireland.
The experienced back-row pair of John Barclay and Ryan Wilson are also brought back to a team which will undergo more wholesale changes for Japan on Sunday - a game which needs a good win over the Russians by Scotland to set up a shoot-out in Yokohama for a place in the quarter-finals.
“Every time you pull on a Scotland shirt you want to prove a point,” said Seymour. “The three guys mentioned [himself, Barclay and Wilson] won’t look at this game any different to any of the other lads. We want to go out and put our best performance out on the park.”
Seymour believes the sprinkling of senior players through the team can bring some calm and composure to the quest for a bonus-point win which would take Scotland to within four points of Japan going into that final pool game.
“We realise the difficulty and the challenge we face. Playing so many Test matches teaches you you should never underestimate any opposition. They are international matches. A war of attrition,” said Seymour.
“There are no blow outs the first ten, 20 minutes in international rugby, you have got to have that element of patience and have that element in your approach. Make sure you build into the game and implement the game plan you have been training towards all week.
“We watched every single one of Russia’s game and saw how long it has taken for opposition teams to break them down. We will use patience and get the result we want over 80 minutes and not in a short space of time.”
Seymour accepts that the 27-3 humbling by Ireland was grim stuff but Scotland’s joint-fourth highest ever tryscorer on 19 along with rested full-back Stuart Hogg, says he is ready to put things right.
“Obviously I was disappointed after the Ireland game, a lot of the guys were,” he said. “It wasn’t the result we would have wanted. On a personal level it was not the performance I would have wanted. I have to dust myself down and crack on.
“As a person you can sulk about your own situation or get on and do the things that will help us as a squad and help us compete for the World Cup.
“We had a great week last week against Samoa. We bounced back and it is up to the 23 selected [against Russia] to go out and do our jobs and keep us moving forward.”
Seymour added: “The magnitude of this game has been well established up here already and from my point of view I will be concentrating I do my part of the 23 to get us the result we need to keep moving forward in this competition. That is my only objective.
“The Russians have a very strong kicking game. Their ten kicked incredibly well against Ireland. They were into the thirties with kicks from hand and a range of kicks as well. We will need to be aware of that as a back three as we know that threat is coming.
“We need to run back in support, it is an aerial threat and we know it is coming. Getting the ball kicked back towards you is an opportunity to counter attack. We like those areas and exploiting teams on the counter attack. We will be looking to use that as an opportunity.”
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