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Robinson close to finalising squad

Scotland head coach Andy Robinson has said he knows 25 of the 30 players who will make up his Rugby World Cup squad.

The 14 remaining players from the 39-man provisional squad will compete for their places at the tournament in New Zealand over the summer months and in the August 6 and 20 warm-up Tests with Ireland and Italy. The final squad must be submitted to World Cup organisers by August 22.

Robinson told Press Association Sport: "I know 25 of the squad who will be going, so there's 14 players fighting out for those five places."

He added: "Everyone has an opportunity and that's the great thing about the training camp.

"Each day you're able to see players, how they can work, the consistency of performance, but also the desire they have to get in the squad."

First the players must impress in training, which so far has featured all the players bar those currently contracted to clubs in England and France, and has combined strength and conditioning work with skill development. The absent players will join the training camp on Monday, July 4.

Five senior players are set to figure in the opening August Test after being withdrawn from the latter part of the domestic season by Robinson.

Alastair Kellock, who captained Scotland during the 2011 RBS 6 Nations, and his Glasgow team-mates Richie Gray and John Barclay and Edinburgh front-row duo Ross Ford and Allan Jacobsen are poised to be reintroduced to competitive rugby against Ireland on August 6.

Robinson added: "The guys who were rested after the Six Nations - Richie Gray, Al Kellock - I'll be looking for them to start in that game.

"Other players that haven't played for Scotland might get an opportunity to start. It will all come down to what's best for us looking at the preparations."


From Belfast Telegraph