Scotland winger Tommy Seymour believes that uncapped World Cup hopeful Kyle Steyn has fitted in “seamlessly” to the training squad and is pushing hard for a spot on the plane to Japan come September.
South Africa-born Steyn has had an amazing year, playing in the first four World Sevens Series events of 2018/19 for the Scotland Sevens team to take his cap tally up to six and then joining Glasgow Warriors as cover in February.
He played regularly for the pro team in the final few months of the campaign, scoring a brilliant try in the Guinness PRO14 semi-final play-off triumph over Ulster.
And now the 25-year-old centre/winger is close to a full XVs cap with Seymour saying of his less experienced team mate: “He’s acquitted himself well in training so far, he’s a great guy to have around the place and has fitted in seamlessly.
“Having played with him at Glasgow I know what he brings, he’s really talented, very calm on the field, he’s got a good head and doesn’t get flustered. He brings a lot in defence and in attack in terms of physicality and his reading of the game.
“Kyle’s done what I thought he’d do [in the Scotland camp]: trained really well, fitted in and is always asking questions.”
Meanwhile, Seymour admits he would love to break the Scotland try-scoring record at the World Cup later this year, but at the minute the 31-year-old is solely focused on making sure of his place in the squad that flies to Asia.
This week the extended 44-man Scottish squad have been back in training at Oriam on the outskirts of Edinburgh following a two-week break.
They are now into their second block of training ahead of matches home and away against France, and Georgia in August and early September.
During that run of games head coach Gregor Townsend, pictured inset, will select the 31-man squad that will head to he showpiece event in Asia.
Seymour has 19 tries from 50 appearances for his country to date and is alongside Stuart Hogg in being just five short of the record for Scotland held by the legendary ‘Flying Scotsman’ Ian Smith and 1990 Grand Slam hero Tony Stanger with 24 each.
Seymour, the Warriors man, could get over the 20 mark and nearer to the holy grail of 25 during the warm-up Tests, but with Hogg, Sean Maitland, Darcy Graham, Blair Kinghorn, Byron McGuigan and Kyle Steyn all alongside him competing for places in the back three, Seymour is purely thinking about making the World Cup squad currently.
“I wouldn’t say I focus on it [the try record], but it’d be really nice to have,” he said.
“I’m not going to sit here and say I’ve never thought about it and of course it’s something you could only have dreamed of doing when you were young so I’d love to push for it. For me right now the focus really has to be in putting in training performances that put me in the right spot with the coaches and to make sure I selected for the warm-up games.
“The competition is incredibly fierce in the back three. We’re pushing each other really well and luckily there’s a great collective mindset to do that. If I find myself on the park in Japan I’d obviously love to be scoring tries.
“I’m really happy with the way I ended the season, with Glasgow we put in a lot of good performances towards that latter third.
“I feel in a good place right now with my rugby.”