Dun­can vows to do Scot­land proud at World Cup

Rutherglen Reformer - - The Back Page - Jonathan Ged­des

Scot­land’s rugby team are set to take on the world – and Cam­bus­lang lad Dun­can Weir can’t wait to get started.

The for­mer Cathkin High pupil and Cam­bus­lang Rugby Club star has been named in the squad of 31 set to take part in the Rugby World Cup, with the tour­na­ment get­ting un­der­way this Fri­day when Eng­land play Fiji at Twick­en­ham.

Scot­land start their cam­paign a week to­day (Wed­nes­day Septem­ber 23) against Ja­pan in Glouces­ter, be­fore go­ing on to play the USA, South Africa and Samoa, with the top two teams pro­gress­ing to the quar­ter-fi­nals.

For Dun­can, mak­ing the cut was a big achieve­ment, es­pe­cially af­ter he missed this year’s Six Na­tions due to in­jury.

He told the Re­former: “Af­ter get­ting in­jured at Christ­mas time, the World Cup was a huge tar­get for my­self. Get­ting back play­ing for Glas­gow and into con­tention for the squad was the first aim, and it’s great to get into that fi­nal 31.

“It shows that I worked pretty hard over the sum­mer and that coaches ob­vi­ously liked what they saw.”

The Scots played four warm-up games to de­cide who made the fi­nal squad, with the fly-half get­ting to start an away tie against Italy.

He said: “I got my chance against Italy in Turin and it was a dif­fi­cult match. It was a hot and hu­mid en­vi­ron­ment, which was tough to play in, and I didn’t get a lot of the ball in at­tack.

“But the coaches had seen enough from me. It was good to get 80 min­utes un­der my belt though and that I’d done enough to make the fi­nal 31.”

Many pun­dits ex­pect the crunch games for Scot­land to be against two-time world cham­pi­ons South Africa and the al­ways dan­ger­ous Samoa. How­ever Dun­can, who’s from Kirkhill, knows Vern Cotter’s man can’t re­lax in their first two games ei­ther: “Ja­pan have got a good squad and they’ll be a hard chal­lenge.

“We can’t look past the first game be­cause if we lose that then we’ll be chas­ing our heels. They’re a qual­ity out­fit and we’ve been do­ing an anal­y­sis of them be­fore head­ing to Eng­land on Wed­nes­day.

“Hope­fully we’ll be go­ing guns blaz­ing in that first game.”

Those games against the South Africans and Samoans will both take place at St James Park in New­cas­tle, mean­ing the Glas­gow War­riors player will be watched by plenty of friends and fam­ily.

He added: “I’ve got ex­tra tick­ets for those games so I’ll have fam­ily and friends there. Hav­ing them in New­cas­tle is great be­cause we’ll have great sup­port com­ing down and hope­fully we’ll soak up the energy from the fans.

“I’m so proud to be se­lected and I just want to do the na­tion proud in re­turn.”

Ready Dun­can in train­ing this week

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