Belfast Telegraph

Tuesday 30 September 2014

Kellock revels in 'huge honour'

Alastair Kellock

Alastair Kellock missed out on Rugby World Cup selection in 2007, but four years on the Glasgow Warriors lock will travel to New Zealand as Scotland captain.

The 30-year-old was on Monday named as skipper as Scotland head coach Andy Robinson revealed his 30-man squad for the tournament in New Zealand, which for Scotland begins with the Pool B opener against Romania in Invercargill on September 10.

Kellock, who has captained Scotland on eight occasions, told Press Association Sport: "The last one's gone, this one it's a huge honour. It was a huge honour to make the squad and when Andy asked me to be captain it was definitely the peak of my career."

Kellock will be able to sympathise with his Glasgow team-mate Johnnie Beattie, the most experienced of the seven omitted players.

Robert Harley, David Denton, Ryan Grant, Greig Laidlaw, Ben Cairns and Jack Cuthbert also missed out on the final selection, but all seven will be placed on standby and called upon if required.

Beattie was a victim of the intense competition in the back row.

Kellock, too, will have a battle to make sure of his place in the starting line-up, with Richie Gray, Jim Hamilton and Nathan Hines also vying for the two second-row places.

Kellock added: "It's by far the hardest it's been since I've been in the Scotland squad to get that starting jersey."

British and Irish Lions Chris Cusiter and Euan Murray proved their fitness to make the final playing party, while Chris Paterson is set to become the first Scot to play in four World Cups following appearances in 1999, 2003 and 2007.

Scotland's schedule, on paper at least, suggests the standard of opposition increases, with the Georgia game taking place on September 14, Argentina on September 25 and England on October 1.

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