DEWEY IN SCOTLAND 7s SQUAD
Scotland Sevens coach Rob Moffat has drafted three young debutants into the squad that will compete in the IRB Emirates Airlines London Sevens (4-5 June) at Twickenham and the IRB France Sevens in Paris (10-11 June).
Ross Rennie, Rob Dewey and Cameron Johnston, who have all represented Scotland at age-grade level, have been named in the squad of eleven today - another player will be added following matches this weekend. The inclusion of the three young starlets falls in line with the objective Moffat and his management team made at the beginning of the season.
Moffat said: "It was part of the long term aim of the sevens squad to bring in several young players - by the end of next season we planned to have included six young Scots in the squad. With this selection we will have achieved that goal a year earlier than expected. I wanted to do it and I have been pleased with how those players have performed."
So far this season Moffat has called-up under-19 back-row forward Alan MacDonald for the tournament in Dubai along with Scotland under-21 captain Neil Cochrane and his age-grade team mate Ben Cairns for last month's competition in Singapore.
Moffat continued: "This says a lot for young talent in Scotland - we take our development role very seriously and bringing in players has to be done at the right time for the individuals. It's not just a case of throwing them in at the deep end; they need to be ready for the demands that international sevens brings."
The three players that Moffat has named are ready in his eyes and will all benefit from the experience. Ross Rennie and Cameron Johnson have just returned from the IRB Under 19 World Championship in South Africa where both players performed well in difficult and demanding conditions.
Moffat said: "Ross was a member of the Scotland Sevens squad for the Commonwealth Youth Games in Bendigo last December so we know him well. We also received good reports about his performance in South Africa and I feel this is right for his stage in development. As an openside flanker this will help his physical and mental sharpness.
"Cameron is involved primarily for his pace. We have been looking for someone alongside Andrew Turnbull who is an out and out finisher. Andrew has made a huge impact in international sevens and every team is wary of him on the field. Again we feel that Cameron will benefit and learn from those around him," he added.
Rob Dewey finished the season as joint top try scorer in BT Premiership Division One with 16 tries for his club Heriot's. He impressed at club level and also when he was called into the Edinburgh Rugby squad for four matches this year, of which he started two. His hard running and solid defence have earned him a contract with the professional side ahead of next season.
On Dewey Moffat said: "He will bring power and strength to our back line, having been very impressive at Heriot's this year. His recent signing for Edinburgh Rugby demonstrates his potential and it will be interesting to see what he will add.
"I feel we have a real mix of youth and experience in this squad and I am really looking forward to London and Paris. It is important to keep moving forward and at the very least matching our successes this season - finishing fifth equal in the World Cup and qualifying for the cup competition at four of the last six tournaments," he concluded.
SCOTLAND SEVENS SQUAD FOR LONDON
David Gray (Gala) CAPTAIN, Oli Brown (Boroughmuir), Alasdair Strokosch (Edinburgh Rugby), Ross Rennie (Stewart's Melville FP), Johnny Weston (The Borders), Jamie Blackwood (Watsonians), Colin Gregor (Watsonians), Clark Laidlaw (Jed-Forest), Rob Dewey (Edinburgh Rugby), Andrew Turnbull (The Borders), Cameron Johnston (Newcastle Falcons) and A N Other
Moffat to coach GB sevens team for the World Games
Rob Moffat has been invited to head up the Great Britain team that will compete in the World Games in Duisberg, Germany (22-23 July).
Moffat will lead the squad comprised of players from Scotland, England, Wales and Northern Ireland to the tournament where they will compete against seven other nations on the rugby field - Fiji, South Africa, the USA, Argentina, Japan, France and Germany.
The World Games will attract 3500 athletes in over 40 sports including sumo wrestling, water skiing, gymnastics, handball, bodybuilding and orienteering.
Moffat will be accompanied by his Scotland Sevens management colleagues Peter Gallagher (manager) and Stephen Mutch (physiotherapist/scientist). They will announce the squad for the World Games at a later date.
Moffat said: "We are excited and delighted to be involved in this prestigious tournament. It will give our players the opportunity to play in another high quality international event and the chance to play alongside the best sevens players from the rest of the Great Britain.
"The World Games, like the Commonwealth Games, will also give us the opportunity to mix with athletes from other sports and see how they prepare and compete - I see this as being very important in our development. We will be aiming for a medal - gold being what we are striving for," he added.
Scotland's representative on the International Rugby Board Bill Nolan said: "The IRB regards rugby sevens as one of the best ways in which to develop rugby globally, particularly among the smaller, and emerging, unions, and that has already been recognised with Sevens now included in The Asian Games and The Commonwealth Games, as well as The Pan-African and Pan-American Games. The current IRB World Series has taken the sport onto the global stage in venues as far apart as Wellington, Los Angeles, Singapore, Hong Kong and Dubai this season with huge crowds turning out to admire the individual and team skills on show.
"Scotland have done well this season on the international sevens circuit, consistently achieving and justifying their high seeding at different venues and much of the credit for that success has been down to the way in which Rob Moffat and Peter Gallagher have prepared their squads. This invitation from the IRB for Scotland - and for Rob Moffat, in particular - to take such a leading role in heading up the Great Britain squad is certainly merited. All of us wish Rob and his squad well in what will be the biggest sporting event in the world this year.
"Ironically, The IRB will also be hoping that this will be the last time in which rugby sevens features in the World Games. For in July this year, in Singapore, the IOC will decide if rugby is to be re-admitted into the Olympic Games, something that the IRB has been seeking actively for the past few years. If that were to happen, then rugby could follow other sports, such as badminton, baseball, beach volleyball and triathlon, all of which are no longer included in the World Games but, instead, are now part of the Olympics. Hopefully, for the good of rugby globally, that will be the case but it does not diminish in any way the honour that the IRB has given to Rob and any members of the Scotland Sevens squad that might be selected to represent Great Britain in Germany this summer," he added.