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Rennie not distracted by World Cup

Ross Rennie is focusing on performing well in his first Scotland start this weekend, rather than the prize of a place in the Rugby World Cup squad.

The Edinburgh openside flanker is set to win his seventh cap after being named in the starting XV for Saturday's EMC Test with Ireland, the first of Scotland's two World Cup warm-up matches. Rennie is joined in the back row by number eight Johnnie Beattie and Alasdair Strokosch, with Jim Hamilton named at lock and Graeme Morrison returning at centre.

Rennie said: "It's really good for me to be given an opportunity - I've got to try and perform well and to perform for the team. I don't want to think about the World Cup too much now. I've got to focus on this weekend and try and get things right there."

He added: "If I can do that, hopefully the rest will look after itself."

Morrison, likewise, is looking to seize his chance, having missed the RBS 6 Nations with a knee injury and being cut at the final selection for the 2007 tournament.

The 28-year-old Glasgow Warriors centre is determined to make amends and be one of the 30 players named in head coach Andy Robinson's World Cup squad on August 22.

Morrison said: "I think it's quite a positive thing that I'll be playing in this game. I'll get the opportunity to show what I can do on Saturday and hopefully it goes well.

"I'm desperate to go to a World Cup, given I missed out on the last one.

"It still hurts, but I've learnt a lot since then."

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