Scotland's RBS Six Nations wing Thom Evans and experienced flanker Ally Hogg will spearhead the country's challenge at the final two events on the IRB Sevens World Series, in London on 23-24 May and Edinburgh on 30-31 May.
Arguably the fastest man in Scottish rugby, Evans will team up with Edinburgh powerhouse Ally Hogg and long-standing captain Scott Forrest as well as other proven Sevens speedsters like Andrew Turnbull, Mike Adamson, Jim Thompson, although brother Max misses out.
The elder of the two siblings, Max Evans has also represented Scotland Sevens in the past but suffered knee ligament damage against the Ospreys last weekend.
“There’s no substitute for out-and-out pace and to have a player the calibre of Thom Evans is fantastic,” said Scotland Sevens coach Gemmell.
“Couple that with the likes of Hefin O’Hare and Andrew Turnbull and we’ve got some of the fastest players in Scotland available.”
Evans is delighted to be back involved in the Sevens set-up, which proved to be a useful springboard to full international honours for him.
“My first taste of rugby on the world stage came in Sevens and I can’t wait to be involved with Stevie and the squad once again," he said.
Evans: "We can challenge anyone"
“Sevens is one of the best spectacles in world rugby and it suits my game down to a tee. I love the pace the game is played at as well as the fitness aspect.
“Competition in London and Edinburgh is very strong because there are some exciting teams taking part. I’m confident in the squad announced today and believe that we can challenge anyone out there.”
Another big name in Gemmell’s squad is 48-times capped flanker Hogg and the coach has been impressed with his desire to play.
“Ally Hogg has played every game for Edinburgh this season and is still hugely excited by the opportunity to play for Scotland Sevens,” said Gemmell.
“Ally is a talented rugby player and has a lot of international experience so his involvement up front will help a lot with some of our regulars such as Roddy Grant, Scott Forrest and Colin Shaw.”
Despite the inclusion of some big names, the nucleus of Gemmell’s squad is made up of stalwarts on the World Series, including seven members of the squad that played at the Rugby World Cup Sevens in Dubai back in March.
Gemmell calls on Scottish fans to back team
“We have a good blend of ball-carrying and ball-winning ability in this squad. There are players here that can find space, create space, win ball and score tries.
“It speaks volumes for the partnership we have with the two pro teams that we are able to pull such a strong squad of home based players together.
“We now need to get together and gel as a unit before London so that we’re firing on all cylinders by the time we come to Murrayfield.
“There’s no question that these players will enliven the crowd and I hope the Scottish public come and get behind Scotland. All the players are excited about the opportunity and the challenge ahead and I hope the fans are too.”
Scotland squad to compete at the final two events on the IRB Sevens World Series, London (23-24 May) and Edinburgh (30-31 May): Scott Forrest (Ayr)* CAPTAIN, Mike Adamson (Glasgow Warriors), Thom Evans (Glasgow Warriors), Roddy Grant (West of Scotland)*, Colin Gregor (Glasgow Warriors), Allister Hogg (Edinburgh), John Houston (Edinburgh), Greig Laidlaw (Edinburgh), Hefin O’Hare (Glasgow Warriors), Colin Shaw (Glasgow Warriors), Jim Thompson (Edinburgh), Andrew Turnbull (Edinburgh) * = Member of Scottish Rugby’s Contracted National Academy
Tickets for each day of the Emirates Airline Edinburgh Sevens Festival - priced at £15 for adults, £10 for students and senior citizens and £5 for under 18s – are available to purchase by logging onto www.scottishrugbytickets.com, by calling the Ticket Hotline on 0131 346 5100 (open 9am-5pm, Monday to Friday) or in person from the Murrayfield Ticket Centre (open 9am-5pm, Monday to Friday)
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