Scott Riddell ready for Rio shot after World Sevens success

Scotland Sevens star Scott Riddell will head into the first Great Britain pre-Olympic camp next week with a spring in his step after what he described as an 'unbelievable' weekend in London.

Scott Riddell is tackled by South Africa's Philip Snyman during the final of the World Rugby Sevens Series
Scott Riddell is tackled by South Africa's Philip Snyman during the final of the World Rugby Sevens Series

Riddell, the former Stewart’s Melville player who grew up in the Capital, earned his 50th HSBC World Sevens Series cap as Scotland won their first ever tournament on the circuit at Twickenham.

On Sunday, they defeated England in the quarter-finals and then beat USA and South Africa to triumph in the final event of 2015/16.

Riddell, 30, said: “We knew that if we could stay within two scores of South Africa in the final then we were always in with a chance.

“When they went 26-15 up with two minutes to go we knew we were going to have to push it, but we just threw everything at it and to come away with the victory was unbelievable.

“I can’t say enough about the spirit of the guys in the squad. I have played in 50 of these events and I know that putting six good games back-to-back over two days is incredibly draining.

“However, every time we looked like we were down and out the guys found energy from somewhere and we pulled it out of the bag.

“Now I believe we can use this win to really give us momentum heading into next season and starting to challenge for more success.”

After a long, hard season most of the contracted sevens players now have a month or so off, but Riddell will be heading down south early next week.

That is because he is in the extended Great Britain sevens squad for the Rio Olympics along with fellow Scots Mark Bennett, Jamie Farndale, Gavin Lowe and Mark Robertson.

“I have been focusing fully on Scotland in recent months, but now I am looking forward to a few days of rest with my family and then I will refocus and get ready for the start of the Great Britain training,” Riddell stated.

“The thought of playing at the Olympics is still a long way off, there are 25 guys looking to make a 12-man squad so I will just try and get my head down and put in the hard work required.”

Scotland Sevens head coach Calum MacRae said of Riddell: “He is a key man in or squad and one of the guys who really drives the team forward.”