Over the next month and a half www.scottishrugby.org has signed-up the services of Scotland 7s back James Johnstone, to provide a diary of his experiences as he prepares for and competes in his first Commonwealth Games.
Johnstone has cemented himself in the Scotland 7s squad on the HSBC Sevens World Series throughout the 2013-14 season. To date he has won 18 caps and scored 22 tries. He signed full-time with the abbreviated national team following a spell as an elite development player with Glasgow Warriors.
With just one month to go until Games time, Johnstone shares his thoughts, with his first diary entry, as his team prepare for their final tournament, in Moscow this weekend (28-29 June), before entering the Team Scotland preparation camp in Stirling on Saturday 5 July.
I am so proud to be selected for and have the chance to compete in the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow this summer and to represent Team Scotland.
This has been a goal I have been aiming towards and I am really excited to be competing in a unique home games atmosphere.
This week (week commencing Monday 23 June) has seen more of the Commonwealth Games players join the full-time sevens squad at our training base at Ravenscraig Regional Sports Facility near Motherwell.
With Roddy [Grant], Sean [Lamont] and Richie [Vernon] all coming into camp this week we can start to build on and refine our preparation for the Games, which is now only a few weeks away.
It is great to have someone like Sean come into the group, as he brings with him a vast experience with being Scotland's second most capped international. He definitely adds to the group with his knowledge and is someone that I look to learn from during this time. I’m pleased to have the opportunity to train and play alongside him, and Richie and Roddy as well.
Training this week has been focused on getting some of the guys coming into the squad for the Games up to speed with the different technical aspects sevens has compared to the XVs code. We’ve been settling into playing with the new players on the field and the squad is developing a fine balance.
Furthermore, we have been continuing to develop our game across all aspects of play, including our attack, defence and set piece. We have been running different combinations within the squad, which has been useful because it allows us to realise different options we have within the team, in the way we want to play by blending our individual strengths together.
This week has also seen us look forward to our second FIRA-AER tournament in Moscow this weekend.
This tournament will be important towards our preparations and will provide us with essential game time. We will be aiming to ensure we are sharp in each match and that we are putting into practice all the things we have been working on.
We have a strong squad and a great opportunity has been handed to Nyle Godsmark who comes in from Edinburgh Accies. It is credit to his hard work and his inclusion highlights the progression that can be made within international sevens.
We want to perform well and consistently play to our game plan, in Moscow, so we are commanding the tempo of each fixture.
This is an exciting time for my career and it’s a massive privilege to be involved.