Johnstone: “Let the games begin”

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.  The Dumfries-born player signed full-time with the abbreviated national team following a spell as an elite development player with Glasgow Warriors.

With the team now settled into the athletes village in Dalmarnock, in Glasgow’s east end and competition now under way, following a colourful and exciting opening ceremony last night (Wednesday 23 July), Johnstone shares his experiences and feelings with only two days left until the rugby sevens begins. 

Roddy Grant and James Johnstone prepare for the opening ceremony 

James Johnstone: Commonwealth Games week five

This week a lot has been happening, we entered the village on Sunday (20 July) and it has been a really unique experience so far.  We have been mixing in with all the other athletes from all different sports, which doesn't happen very often. 

It can be pandemonium at times especially in the dining hall.  However, it is a great place to be staying and there is always a buzz around the village.

Our squad is situated on Scotland Street in a house block.  The rest of the Scotland team are also situated on the street in other houses and the other teams are on streets nearby.  The facilities have been great and we have settled in quickly.  It has all been made easier having a roommate with some good music taste in Mark Bennett.  I particularly like, 'Riptide' by Vance Joy.

On the training side of things, we have had gym in the mornings and rugby in the afternoon.  We have also trained against Australia on Tuesday and today (Thursday 24 July) which was useful for us to get some competition against a quality opponent.

On Wednesday we had a rest day.  This gave us a chance to go into Glasgow and see family and friends.  Our only commitment yesterday was the opening ceremony in the evening, which was spectacular.  We loved ever minute of it and I know it was a once-in-a-lifetime experience, so it was great to be part of it.  Every sport decides if they will attend depending on how it will affect their performances.

Now only two days out of competition we’re all firmly focused on our goal over the weekend, which is to contribute to team Scotland's medal haul.

Our last session will be our team run which will be done at Ibrox tomorrow to get a feel for the place before we run out against New Zealand on Saturday afternoon (kick-off 1.56pm). 

We’re all excited to get going and the atmosphere from the opening ceremony has definitely lifted our anticipation. 

I know we will have a huge support behind us from our fellow Team Scotland athletes and certainly not least, our home support.  Let the games begin!

Rugby Sevens at Ibrox

Scotland 7s compete at Glasgow 2014 on Saturday 26 and Sunday 27 July at Ibrox Stadium. Their pool games on Saturday are against New Zealand (1.56pm), Barbados (6.02pm) and Canada (9.04pm). Sunday's matches are determined by Saturday's results.