Areas that need to be right for Russia
After being named in the Scotland team to face Russia this Wednesday, Pete Horne and Gordon Reid spoke to the media about the Rugby World Cup so far and what needs to be right.
How does it feel to be selected to start for your first involvement in this World Cup?
“I have just had to be patient. I’m delighted to be involved. It feels like my World Cup final almost and I’m really looking forward to it.
“Obviously it’s frustrating [not getting picked]. You are desperate to be out there, adding to the team. But you have got to handle it in a professional manner. If you are not selected, you can either sulk about it to the detriment of the team or you can take it on the chin and be the best team-mate you can.
“I have just tried to put all my energy into that, getting the boys into a good position going into the games.”
What will it be like to start a World Cup game alongside your brother George?
“It will be cool. It will be great for the family. It is one of those where you try to take the game away from the occasion.
“Mum and Dad will be really proud back home. I am sure when I look back on my career it will be something really special. I am sure we will get goose bumps at the anthems – like you do anyway – but as soon as that whistle goes, you are there to do a professional job.”
What needs to go right against Russia?
“We need to be clinical. When Ireland played them, they were a bit loose – which is very unlike Ireland – and offloading, getting caught in behind the Russians and allowing them to build pressure.
“In that situation you have just got to take your medicine, look after the ball and construct the game. My opposite numbers are both physical guys who will want to get involved in the game. We are very aware of what they are going to do. It is going to be a tough game, but one we are looking forward to.”
How do you feel getting a start after two appearances off the bench?
“I’m really excited about the challenge ahead. Russia are a great team, they offer a lot in the forwards and lineout. I have been doing a lot more analysis this time around than any other game.
“Their tight-head (Kirill Gotovtsev) is a big strong boy and given an opportunity he can cause a bit of damage. I need to try to do my best to counter that.”
How have you found the World Cup so far?
“I’ve loved it. I just said I wanted to go and have fun, fun in training and spend time with the boys and have a laugh and enjoy my rugby. Last year with London Irish I was going through a bad time, I missed my family and it just wasn’t good for me.
“I’ve kind of overcome that now and training with the boys has been fun and has given me a new lease of life. I want it to continue. Gregor has given me an opportunity to come over here and I just want to grab the chance with both hands and go out there and prove myself.
“Delly (fellow loose-head prop Allan Dell) has been great, he’s definitely number one choice and was unlucky to get injured (a head knock against Samoa). He is growing arms and legs in the scrum and I have to go out there and prove what I’m about.
“Not everyone gets to experience these things and come out here – Japan, you know, you can only dream about it. People would give their left leg, their right leg, their left everything to be over here, to be in the position we are.
“We have got a chance to do something special.”
What do you make of this possible typhoon hitting the Kanto region?
“Come on, we are from Scotland. We have had worse weather – rain, hail, everything in one day. It doesn’t matter. It’s fine.
“We have coped well with a lot more. We are from Glasgow, from Ayrshire. We’re not as posh as some from Edinburgh, but we are from Scotland. We are used to this kind of thing.
“Whatever it is, rain or shine, snow, it doesn’t matter. We’re going to go out there and play and give 100 per cent.”