Fife: Omission a blessing
Scotland winger Dougie Fife feels missing out on Vern Cotter's initial squad for the World Cup can ultimately prove a blessing.
Fife was left out of Cotter's 46-man training squad at the start of June but was back in just before the end of the month after Saracens centre Duncan Taylor was hit by ongoing shoulder problems.
Fife has had a season of highs and lows with club and country, struggling at the start with Edinburgh before reaching the European Challenge Cup final, and scoring a try against France in the RBS 6 Nations opener before conceding a penalty in a 9-8 defeat by throwing the ball away.
The 24-year-old was left out of the squad for Scotland's second Six Nations clash so he knows how to handle disappointment.
And he vowed to come back stronger after getting a reprieve from Cotter last month.
"It gives you that extra bit of hunger to come in and show what you can do and prove yourself again," he said.
"I have had a good couple of weeks, I feel I have done pretty well and fingers-crossed the games go well for us all.
"Every time you are in the squad and wearing the thistle at training, it's massive. But I was gutted not to make the first cut and the second chance has given me that extra bit of hunger. You don't know what you've got until you've lost it.
"I'm grateful to be back and really looking forward to putting the hard work in again. It's a massive tournament and it would mean everything to make that final squad."
Cotter took the time to explain Fife's initial omission, which has given the versatile back something concrete to work on.
"I got a call from Vern to say that I had just missed out on the squad, due to the way Edinburgh play and Scotland play, sometimes it's hard to gel into the way they want to play with Scotland," Fife said.
"I just had to get my head down and take it on the chin, but he told me to keep myself fit because there was a good chance I could come back into the squad, as it's a long process and long tournament.
"At least I know now what to work on and what my weaknesses are.
"When we come in for the Six Nations we have a couple of weeks. But now we have a couple of months together, I can really work into the way they want to play with Scotland.
"It's going to make my game better and I'm going to be able to change my game to where they want me to be."