Painful exit not a motivating factor
Scotland and Edinburgh lock Grant Gilchrist insists that his early exit from the last Rugby World Cup in England is not a motivating factor as preparations intensify for the 2019 edition in Japan.
The former Alloa and Stirling County second-row was ruled out of the national team’s plans after he sustained a soft tissue injury mid-way into the first-half of Scotland’s second round Pool win over USA at Elland Road.
When asked about his motivations at the national team’s warm weather camp in Portugal, he explained the prospect of a seat on the plane to the game’s global showcase is motivation enough.
“I don’t really like looking back too much," said Gilchrist.
“I was really proud to go to the world cup and was obviously gutted it ended early but I’m desperate to prove I’m good enough to go make this squad and to go and perform well as a team, should I make that 31.
“My motivation hasn’t changed, regardless of what happened at the last world cup.”
Proving one’s worth in an elite sporting environment means performances in training are under daily scrutiny, something to which – with 33 caps under his belt to date – Gilchrist has become accustomed.
“You kind of get used to it. It’s what it’s like," he explained.
"Every time you do anything, you’re being judged to make sure you’re trying to get better and making improvements in your game.
“You’ve GPS on you all the time you’re out on the pitch, so there’s certainly no hiding places and there’s no hiding places in the gym because the S&C staff are on you all the time, making sure you’re working to a level of professionalism that fits in with this team and will mean you’re the kind of man they’ll want to take to the world cup.
“That’s a good challenge, you feel under pressure, which is a good thing. It’s what you feel in a game.”
And the prospect of making the final 31?
“It would mean so much,” he added.
“When I was selected last time, it was one of the proudest moments of my career. To be picked for your country for a world cup is huge so, if I can get on the plane this year it would mean a lot to me.”