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Lawson calls for strong start

Rory Lawson has called for Scotland to "hit the ground running" as Rugby World Cup preparations gather pace in Saturday's EMC Test with Ireland at Murrayfield.

The Gloucester scrum-half has been named as captain for the Murrayfield clash, as Scotland seek to avenge the 21-18 loss in February which was part of a disappointing RBS 6 Nations showing.

"It would be great to hit the ground running on Saturday and put in a good performance to build on," said Lawson.

"We've brought in a few new things to our training in attack and defence and we'll be looking to try those out.

"These things are never seamless when you're playing an international as the first game of the season. But if we get things right mentally and physically we won't be far away and we'll put ourselves in a good position to build on that."

Lawson has been curious to discover how Scotland's World Cup opposition have been preparing for the tournament and it was a subject of discussion at last weekend's Royal Wedding in Edinburgh.

Scotland head coach Andy Robinson and Lawson were guests of the latter's Gloucester team-mate Mike Tindall and Zara Phillips, while a number of the England centre's international team-mates were also present.

Scotland play England in the final World Cup Pool B match in Auckland on October 1 and Lawson hinted the banter between the camps is only just beginning.

He said: "I've spoken to Tins (Tindall) a little bit over the last couple of months about how their pre-season has gone and the strength of their squad is obviously there for everyone to see.

"There's going to be a bit of chat between now and October time, but there's a lot of things happening before then that are hugely important and that's certainly my focus."

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