Newlands On Back Row Mission

ImageScott Newlands believes Edinburgh's international class back row is one of the best of the business but revealed he intends to use his Scotland 7's experiences to try and earn a black and red jersey.

The 22-year-old was called into Stephen Gemmell's squad for the tournaments in_Dubai, South Africa,_Wellington and San Diego and believes he has improved into a more confident ball carrier.

But the Heriot's man admits he is under no illusions about the sheer magnitude of dislodging an Edinburgh back row consisting of Allister Hogg, David Callam and Ross Rennie; all of whom have been involved in Scotland's RBS 6 Nations campaign.

Newlands said: "Back row is always a competitive position at any club, but especially here at Edinburgh.

'that has been shown by the fact that David, Allister and Ross have all been called up by Scotland.

"It is always going to be difficult to nail down a place, but I have just got to keep working hard and then hopefully my chance will come.

"I think playing for the Sevens team has helped me to improve and getting away from the winter weather in Scotland helps a lot.

"You"ve got the sun on your back and the dry, hard ground which helps you to play running and off-loading rugby. Your skills then become a lot sharper and your confidence grows."

Scotland's 7's reached the quarter finals of both tournaments, but Newlands says the squad felt they had possibly underachieved slightly and are aiming to put that right in April during the next part of the IRB World Series in Adelaide.

He said: "I think we did reasonably well to reach the quarter-finals in both tournaments. But as a group we now expect more than that and we were disappointed not to push on further.

"We did a good job by topping our Pool in Wellington which gave us a favourable draw against Australia. But I don't think we took our chance to make it through to the semi-finals.

'then in San Diego we had a difficult Pool and we had a chance against Samoa. But it was a case of not taking our chances and then a slip-up in defence cost us a semi-final place. We are looking forward to the next tournament and we will be looking to get through to the semi-finals."