Gemmell Challenges Young Squad

Coach Stephen Gemmell has challenged the Scotland 7s squad to bounce back from their disappointment in Hong Kong last week when the latest leg of the IRB World Series begins in Adelaide, Australia tomorrow. Scotland did not qualify for the knockout stages of the Cup last week, the first time that had happened in more than one year on the showpiece circuit of the abbreviated game.

Coach Stephen Gemmell has challenged the Scotland 7s squad to bounce back from their disappointment in Hong Kong last week when the latest leg of the IRB World Series begins in Adelaide, Australia tomorrow.

Scotland did not qualify for the knockout stages of the Cup last week, the first time that had happened in more than one year on the showpiece circuit of the abbreviated game.

Yet in spite of facing formidable pool opponents Gemmell believes his squad can give a much better account of themselves this weekend as they build up towards the circuit's finale, the Emirates Airline Edinburgh 7s at Murrayfield on 31 May/1 June.

"I'm not going to shy away from the massive disappointment of last weekend, largely based around our defeat by China in the pool stages. The other games we lost (against Kenya and Argentina) were against teams ranked above us albeit we have beaten them in the past," Gemmell noted.

We've spent a lot of time analysing what happened against China. It's easy to say 'oh it was just a bad day at the office' but my view is we had to find out ways in which we can try to prevent such scenarios in the future. We probably ended up trying to do too much as individuals and, maybe even sub-consciously, there was a little bit of complacency there as well.

But we have worked hard this week and I still believe we have good game breakers in the likes of Richie Vernon, James Thompson and Greig Laidlaw and we have to be confident in our ability._x001D_

Scotland begin tomorrow against Cook Islands, conquerors of England in the Wellington tournament, then face Argentina, before completing their pool against the leaders of the IRB series and winners of the last five tournaments, New Zealand.

Gemmell added: _x001C_Cook Islands are physical in the tackle and have the virtues that you'd expect from Pacific Islanders. Historically it's been close against Argentina and then we've got New Zealand who are unbeaten in 42 games, so there are no easy games for us

Last year Kenya were beaten semi-finalists in the Hong Kong bowl (the lowest ranked competition) and ended up as Cup semi-finalists in Adelaide so we have to aim to show that last week was simply a blip. It's important because the players are wearing the blue jersey and because we know that tournaments are coming up in London and Edinburgh and how we do here will impact upon our draw for the last two events._x001D_

Scotland 7s Pool A fixtures tomorrow

Scotland v Cook Islands, kick-off 12.15pm local time
Scotland v Argentina, kick-off 3.21pm
Scotland v New Zealand, kick-off 7.26pm

Scotland 7s squad (sponsor Murray) to compete in the IRB Sevens World Series tournament Adelaide (5 & 6 April): Scott Forrest (Ayr)* CAPTAIN, Mike Adamson (Glasgow Warriors), Ben Addison (Stirling County)*, Chris Fusaro (Heriot's)**, Roddy Grant (Heriot's)*, 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

Jamie Hunter, the Glasgow Hawks scrum-half, has been ruled out of the tournament after he required surgery to remove his appendix on Wednesday. Hunter has been discharged from hospital and is now recovering at the squad hotel.