Kelly set for sevens bow in New Zealand
Glasgow Warriors back Paddy Kelly is in line to make his Scotland 7s debut at the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series event in Hamilton, New Zealand, next weekend.
The former U20 internationalist, a recipient of the prestigious Macphail Scholarship in 2016, replaces Scott Bickerstaff in the only change to a squad that reached the quarter-finals in Cape Town last month.
That encouraging performance in South Africa saw Scotland lose to eventual winners New Zealand, with whom they are drawn in Pool A in Hamilton, alongside USA and Wales.
Head Coach Ciaran Beattie wants his players to embrace the challenge of facing the All Blacks in their own back yard.
He said: “It’s important to not get carried away after a really good showing in Cape Town, but there were signs that we're improving as a group.
“It’s a tough pool with USA and Wales as well as the tournament hosts, but we showed in our last match against New Zealand that we can cause teams problems.
“Consistency and having faith in our structures will stand us in good stead both here in Hamilton and going forward to Sydney and beyond.”
Scotland take on both USA and Wales in the early hours of Saturday 25 January (GMT). They then tackle New Zealand on Sunday, with remaining fixtures to be determined by other results across the four pools.
Scotland 7s squad to compete in the third leg of the 2019/20 HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series in Hamilton
1. Paddy Kelly (uncapped)
2. Ally Miller (15)
3. Alec Coombes (12)
4. Robbie Fergusson CAPTAIN (21)
5. Harvey Elms (17)
6. Tom Brown (8)
7. Dougie Fife (18)
8. Femi Sofolarin (2)
9. Sam Pecqueur (12)
10. Gavin Lowe (36)
11. Max McFarland (22)
12. Ross McCann (13)
13th man Nyle Godsmark (27)
(World Series tournaments in brackets)
Scotland 7s fixtures in Hamilton – live on Sky Sports (all time shown in GMT)
Saturday 25 January
Scotland 7s v USA 7s (kick-off 1.09am)
Scotland 7s v Wales 7s (kick-off 7.05am)
Sunday 26 January
New Zealand 7s v Scotland 7s (kick-off 12.41am)
All other fixtures dependent on pool stage results