Little Things Make A Big Difference For Scotland 7S

Scotland 7s coach Stephen Gemmell is targeting a tenth consecutive Cup quarter-final place this weekend as his squad prepares for the fifth leg of the IRB Sevens World Series in Hong Kong. The Scots have reached the quarter-final stages of every Cup competition this year and in order to continue that run of form, Gemmell is focussing on every detail of the squad's preparation and performance.

Scotland 7s coach Stephen Gemmell is targeting a tenth consecutive Cup quarter-final place this weekend as his squad prepares for the fifth leg of the IRB Sevens World Series in Hong Kong.

The Scots have reached the quarter-final stages of every Cup competition this year and in order to continue that run of form, Gemmell is focussing on every detail of the squad's preparation and performance.

Speaking from Hong Kong, Gemmell said: "At this level its little things that make the difference and that's what I keep saying to the players. If they get their individual roles right, their individual responsibilities right, and the management can get things sorted for them off the pitch then I believe we can take that next step."

Gemmell has opted for a consistent approach to this year's Series with ten of the players who competed in Wellington and San Diego involved with the team once again as they look to continue their momentum into the Edinburgh finale on 31 May and 1 June.

I've been going back after the previous tournaments and saying that it's important to get some continuity and I've been lucky this time that the [Scottish Rugby] Union and the two professional teams [Glasgow Warriors and Edinburgh Rugby] have fully supported that.

Although the majority of the squad is the same, there are two familiar faces joining the ranks for the tournaments in Hong Kong and Adelaide.

As I say, ten players back plus Ben Addison and Roddy Grant, both of whom played regularly for us last season and have unfortunately been out injured this season. They're both back fit and strong additions to the squad._x001D_

The results in the next two tournaments are not only important in terms of overall results, but Gemmell has always kept an eye on the final leg of the Series in Edinburgh.

We've always known that this year the seedings are based on your performance in the last two tournaments so that brings real focus to the players.

How we finish in Hong Kong and Adelaide will determine the order of games in London and Edinburgh.

_x001C_If we travel to London and Edinburgh as a top eight team then we will be playing in one of the last games on day one of those tournaments and that's where we want to be, especially when we return home to Murrayfield at the end of May._x001D_

However much Gemmell looks ahead to the last event on the Series in his homeland, he can't detract his admiration for the Hong Kong event.

When you're growing up and people talk about sevens rugby, everyone associates Hong Kong with that. Last year was my first year here and it was an awesome experience.

_x001C_We reached the quarter-final and played Fiji and at one point there were 40,000 people chanting for Scotland and that's something that's unique to Hong Kong.

_x001C_We get great support all around the world but I certainly think that Hong Kong is up there.

_x001C_With there being 24 teams, that brings added difficulties. But it's a three day event, there is a big party atmosphere for the people that are in the stands watching and we certainly hope that from a Scottish point of view we can all give them something to cheer about._x001D_

Scotland 7s squad (sponsor Murray) to compete in the IRB Sevens World Series tournaments in Hong Kong (28, 29 & 30 March) and Adelaide (5 & 6 April): Scott Forrest (Ayr)* CAPTAIN, Mike Adamson (Glasgow Warriors), Ben Addison (Stirling County)*, Chris Fusaro (Heriot's)**, Roddy Grant (Heriot's)*, Jamie Hunter (Glasgow Hawks)*, Greig Laidlaw (Edinburgh), Scott Newlands (Edinburgh), Colin Shaw (Glasgow Warriors), James Thompson (Heriot's)*, Richie Vernon (Glasgow Warriors), Ali Warnock (Edinburgh)

* = Member of Scottish Rugby's Senior National Academy
** = Member of Scottish Rugby's Junior National Academy and supported by Area Institute of Sport

Scotland 7s' Pool E fixtures on day one and day two of the IRB Hong Kong Sevens:
Day 1 - Scotland 7s v Portugal, kick-off 7:32pm
Day 2 - Scotland 7s v China, kick-off 10:52am
Day 2 - Kenya v Scotland, kick-off 5:28pm
(All times are local time.)

Scotland 7s' Pool A fixtures on day one of the IRB Adelaide Sevens:
Scotland 7s v Cook Islands, kick-off 12:15pm
Scotland 7s v Argentina, kick-off 3:21pm
New Zealand v Scotland 7s, kick-off 7:26pm
(All times are local time.)

IRB Sevens World Series
Dubai (UAE), 30 November-2 December
George (South Africa), 7-8 December
Wellington (New Zealand), 1-2 February
San Diego (USA), 9-10 February
Hong Kong (China), 28-30 March
Adelaide (Australia), 5-6 April
London (England), 24-25 May
Edinburgh (Scotland), 31 May-1 June

Emirates Airline Edinburgh 7s - 2008
Rugby sevens will return to the country of its birth, Scotland, on 31 May & 1 June for the Emirates Airline Edinburgh 7s, the final leg of the IRB Sevens World Series.

The Emirates Airline Edinburgh 7s will feature the world's top teams over two days of fast flowing, skilful and dynamic international rugby sevens together with a fun-packed Festival of Rugby on the back pitches at Murrayfield.

The sevens are coming... back! Visit www.edinburgh7s.com