Cummings keen to play his part
Currently playing what he feels is some of his best rugby, Glasgow Warriors’ second row Scott Cummings says he is willing to do “whatever job is necessary” for Scotland in the 2024 Guinness Six Nations.
Having amassed 33 caps for his country since his debut in 2019, Cummings has been in two Rugby World Cup squads and is approaching another Six Nations campaign with Scotland. He has been a mainstay in the second row at club level, two away from a century of starts for Warriors, scoring 11 tries. His focus now is to break through and do whatever it takes to nail down a place in Gregor Townsend’s starting XV.
“Obviously everyone aspires to start, there’s no denying that. You want to be in the starting fifteen, but we all understand that rugby is a team sport. Sometimes it might be that you’re coming off the bench because the team has been picked in a certain way for a certain reason.
“You know that there will be reasons for it, and you just need to back the team and try to prepare the team as best we can. I want to be a starter but if my job is coming off the bench then I will do that to the best of my ability. I’ve said I’ll do whatever job is necessary in the team.”
Looking back on his powerful run against Exeter recently, which helped set up fellow Warrior and Scotland teammate Sione Tuipulotu’s try, Cummings wants to develop that side of his game further to benefit both club and country, as well as his own personal push for a starting place.
“I’m enjoying where my rugby’s been going just now. I’ve still got areas to improve, I know that and I’m working on it.
“When I play my best that’s the sort of skillset I want to play with. Maybe a couple of years ago when I was a bit fresher, I used to make more of those sorts of runs but when I play I always try and play that way.
“I’m not the biggest second row; there’s other guys out there but I think I’ve got a good skillset and have a point of difference in running lines so if I can show that enough on the pitch that’s great.”
The relationships between the Scottish second row members are as healthy as they’ve ever been, with Scott joking that some lineout meetings have been met with “too many good ideas”. However, he believes that these strong internal bonds within the squad are pivotal to success.
“I think there’s healthy competitiveness between each other. One of the main things about being a second row is that there’s never just one of you, you’re always playing in twos, and you need to forge good relationships.
“I feel like I need to have good relationships with Sam (Skinner), Grant (Gilchrist), Richie (Gray) and Glen (Young) because on the pitch that’s the guy you’re going to be speaking to the most and bouncing ideas off. I think throughout the whole team we look out for each other.”
Setting his sights firmly on the Guinness Six Nations, Scott insists that Scotland are taking it one game at a time. Despite having two home games in a row against France and England, he says the opening game against Wales in Cardiff is the only one in their focus right now.
“We’re thinking about that Wales game first, that’s our most important game right now. I’ve never personally played in Cardiff so it would be amazing if I was selected for that.
“France is always an exciting one, they play such a good brand of rugby which will be a challenge for us but a challenge that we’re excited for. England always has that little bit of extra spice to it, just because of the history of the game. It’s not one of those you need to get up for. We know each time we play them we have to put in one of our best performances to beat them.”
As he approaches what will be his fourth Guinness Six Nations campaign, Scott Cummings knows that whatever role he needs to perform, Scotland will benefit from a player determined to give his all for the shirt.