Sam Hidalgo-Clyne ready to embrace World Cup experience with Scotland
Scotland scrum-half Sam Hidalgo-Clyne has admitted he does not know what to expect ahead of his first World Cup experience - but he aims to be as prepared as possible.
The 22-year-old sets off with his Scotland team-mates for Gloucester on Wednesday morning ahead of their opener against Japan seven days later.
The Edinburgh player has experience of the IRB World Junior Championship in France in 2012 but, like most of his team-mates, he is aiming to quickly discover how to deal with the pressures of the ultimate rugby tournament.
"I'm excited," the Spanish-born back said. "I have never been to a World Cup before, I have only done the junior stuff, so I am trying to relate as much as I can to that and think what it's going to be like, but I don't really have a clue what it's going to be like.
"There are maybe around six guys who have been to a World Cup before so I'm trying to get a bit of feedback from them. Seeing what the pressure is like, how you deal with the short turnaround in games, how you go about your work, how you deal with your downtime and the media. That is all important."
Hidalgo-Clyne, who made his international debut in France in the RBS 6 Nations this year, added: "It's always been my lifelong dream to play for Scotland and being at World Cups.
"Being with the under-20s was just a taste of it. It was brilliant, I really enjoyed it and getting that experience and taking it on board.
"The hardest thing was the turnaround. Having four days between games is really tough on the body. You have a day off then you are pretty much back to the team run and you are ready to go again.
"It's about getting that balance because your legs are always feeling heavy, getting into the ice baths and doing your recovery.
"That's the big thing for youngsters, finding what works for them. The older guys have had years to figure that out. It's about how you can feel ready for that next game."
Hidalgo-Clyne has made a total of eight appearances for Scotland but only one has been from the start.
With captain Greig Laidlaw also competing for the number nine jersey, he will make the most of any time he gets on the park as Scotland prepare to take on Japan, United States, South Africa and Samoa.
Hidalgo-Clyne said: "Greig has been playing brilliantly, which is good for me, because I need to step up as well. With him being captain it will be hard to get game time but when I do I just need to take my chance and do as well as I can for the team."