Making World Cup squad is Sean’s goal – not 100 caps

Sean Lamont was set to win his 96th cap today
Sean Lamont was set to win his 96th cap today
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Scotland wing Sean Lamont is refusing to contemplate reaching his century of caps at the World Cup – because he fears he may not even make Vern Cotter’s squad.

The 34-year-old Glasgow veteran was due to make his 96th appearance for the Dark Blues when Scotland play Italy at Murrayfield today.

And if he faces France in Paris next weekend, he would be on course to break into three figures when the Scots play their third Pool B match at England 2015 against South Africa in Newcastle.

It would be a huge achievement for the former Northampton and Scarlets back as Chris Paterson is the Scotland player to have been capped 100 times. He finished his career having played 109 international games.

But Lamont says he cannot even focus on the milestone until he clinches a place in Cotter’s travelling party.

The coach will announce his World Cup squad to his players tomorrow night and it will be announced publicly on Tuesday.

Lamont said: “The 100th cap is there in the background. If I don’t get it, I don’t get it. Whatever is best for Scotland is most important.

“Reaching that 100 caps cannot be my main focus when there is a World Cup to think about, and it is not.

“My only focus so far has been on making that 31-man squad.

“For me there is no guarantee. There is some excellent wingers out there and the competition is still very high. I don’t want to take anything for granted so that is my mindset. I’m not in the squad yet so I will be sticking to my guns and doing everything I can on the field. Then it will be down to Vern.”

Cotter will hope his side can come through today’s encounter in Edinburgh – the last match the Scots will play on home soil before the tournament – unscathed.

Their opening warm-up clash with Ireland two weeks ago in Dublin resulted in Ryan Grant stretchered off with an ankle knock and Cotter is still sweating on the involvement of Glasgow pair Sean Maitland and Alex Dunbar.

Asked if he already had the shape of his squad in mind, the head coach said: “I’d really like to get all the information we need before the squad is named and there are players injured which makes it difficult as well.

“Sean Maitland should be fine but we will know more about Alex Dunbar after the report from the specialist.

“Ryan Grant is coming on and he has been jogging in training which is a positive sign.”