Singapore Preparation Vital For Gemmell

Scotland 7s coach Stephen Gemmell hailed last years SSC International Rugby Sevens in Singapore as a key event in the calendar for his squad as they prepare for the start of the IRB Sevens World Series next month. However, the event - where the Scots will play under the guise of Scottish Thistles - is as much about uncovering new talent to carry the Scotland team through the IRB Sevens World Series as it is to get match practice.

Scotland 7s coach Stephen Gemmell hailed last years SSC International Rugby Sevens in Singapore as a key event in the calendar for his squad as they prepare for the start of the IRB Sevens World Series next month.

However, the event - where the Scots will play under the guise of Scottish Thistles - is as much about uncovering new talent to carry the Scotland team through the IRB Sevens World Series as it is to get match practice.

"For me, it's an opportunity to expose new players to international rugby sevens outwith the IRB Series.

Grant Anderson, Jim Thompson, Chris Fusaro and Chris Kinloch were all introduced to international sevens in Singapore last year and they all made significant contributions to the squad over the course of the Series. The likes of Jim Thompson and Chris Kinloch have since gone on to gain professional contracts with Glasgow and Edinburgh."

Although the new talent heading to Singapore will be eyeing a place in Gemmell's squad for Dubai next month, they will all be looking to secure a spot in the squad for their return to the United Arab Emirates for the Rugby World Cup Sevens in March.

The focus of our year is the World Cup and this gives the players the opportunity to put a marker down in terms of selection before going into start of the IRB Sevens World Series.

It'll be hot, humid and have great underfoot conditions so there are a lot of similarities to Dubai. Singapore will also get the newer players used to playing back-to-back days which isn't the case when playing sevens for their clubs._x001D_

Preparation is the key for Gemmell and he is also looking to get ahead of the game in terms of homework on the opposition and developing new training techniques within the Scotland camp.

France, Tonga, Fiji and South Africa will all be there so we'll have a look at a few teams before we head to Dubai for the first IRB event at the end of November.

We'll try a few new things off the field as well as on it. We don't want to go into an IRB tournament without any game-time together and this is the perfect opportunity to do so._x001D_

It was hugely invaluable to us last year and I'm delighted that Scottish Rugby has backed us once again._x001D_

Ayr centre Scott Forrest will captain the squad for the third consecutive season and Gemmell credits Forrest with some of the success of his squad during his tenure as coach.

Scott now brings a huge amount of experience on and off the field. He's worked with me over the last two seasons and has made a huge impact on a continually changing squad._x001D_

Scottish Thistles squad to play in the SCC International Rugby Sevens in Singapore on Saturday 1 and Sunday 2 November: Scott Forrest (Ayr)* CAPTAIN, Roddy Grant (West of Scotland)*, Chris Fusaro (Heriot's)*, Struan Dewar (Heriot's)**, Alex Dunbar (Selkirk)*, Ashleah McCulloch (Aberdeen Grammar Rugby)**, Mike Adamson (Glasgow Warriors), Alex Blair (Edinburgh Accies)*, Graham Hogg (Hawick)*, Rory Hutton (Hawick)*, Grant Anderson (Ayr)*, Tom Bury (Boroughmuir)**

* = Member of Scottish Rugby's National Academy
** = Member of Scottish Rugby's Area Institute supported National Academy