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Scotland name Sevens World Series squad

Contributor:
Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Head coach Graham Shiel today named the 12-man Scotland squad that will kick off the 2011/12 HSBC Sevens World Series at the inaugural Gold Coast Sevens in Australia, in a fortnight's time.

England, Wales and Tonga lie in wait in Pool D of the 'Fever Pitch' tournament which will launch three consecutive weekends of international rugby, with the Dubai Sevens and South Africa's new host tournament in Port Elizabeth following hot on its heels for the first time in the recently expanded nine-leg World Series.

Shiel has selected the top performers from a pool of 24 players all of whom have a specific sevens focus.

The team consists of seasoned international sevens campaigners and emerging young professional elite development and sportscotland institute supported club players, who have benefited from specific high performance expertise from the sportscotland institute of sport, and will continue to do so during the competition phase.

Shiel said: "The key thing for these players is that they are an identified group of specific sevens specialists, which is a significant change in the strategy of Scottish Rugby and where sevens sits in the overall programme.

"The players are committed to this game and therefore bring a far clearer approach to sevens and will become far better versed in the transition from the 15-a-side game and that understanding will, I'm sure, pay dividends as we progress through the season.

"We have some very exciting runners, we have speed, we have power and we have guys who have lot of experience on this stage. It's a massive challenge but also a huge opportunity for them to perform for Scotland.

"It's part of the long term development of some of the younger players but also the bigger picture of us being competitive on a more consistent basis, raising our profile on the world stage and being in a position to compete for a medal at the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow."

POOL A: New Zealand, Fiji, Kenya, Niue

POOL B: South Africa, Australia, United States, Japan

POOL C: Samoa, Argentina, France, Papua New Guinea

POOL D: England, Wales, Scotland, Tonga

As defending World Series champions, New Zealand were automatically seeded first and placed top of Pool A for the opening round on the Gold Coast, while last season's runners-up South Africa were seeded second and placed top of Pool B.

From the remaining teams in the top band of eight, Samoa and England were drawn into Pools C and D respectively. Fiji, hosts Australia, Argentina and Wales were then drawn into Pools A, B, C and D respectively, meaning that New Zealand will face Fiji and Australia will take on South Africa in two of the most eye-catching matches on the first day of the new season.

The second band of teams drawn comprised the nations ranked from ninth to twelfth last season - Kenya, France, Scotland and USA - while the third band of teams was made up of the four regional qualifiers for the event - Japan, Tonga, PNG and Niue.

In future, the pool draw for each Round of the HSBC Sevens World Series will take place live on television before the Cup final at the preceding event.

Scotland 7s squad for the opening three tournaments of the HSBC Sevens World Series

Adam Ashe, Sam Hidalgo-Clyne, Struan Dewar, James Eddie, Michael Fedo, James Fleming, Colin Gregor, Peter Horne, Sean Kennedy, Ross Miller, Scott Riddell, Andrew Turnbull

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