Lamont relishing international return
August 9, 2010
The fit-again Rory Lamont is looking forward to pulling on a Scotland jersey once more during the autumn internationals © Getty Images
Fit-again Scotland international Rory Lamont cannot wait to add his support to his country's recent revival.
The talented Toulon back, who has featured at both fullback and wing since making his international bow in 2005, won the last of his 23 Test caps in the epic Six Nations 31-24 defeat to Wales earlier this year. But he sustained knee ligament damage in that game which subsequently ruled him out of the rest of the Championship that included a hard-fought draw with England and a victory over Ireland in Dublin.
He was also forced to sit out the Scots' historic away series victory over Argentina this summer - a fact that has only served to inspire the 27-year-old who was named in the latest Scotland training squad last week.
" I would have loved to have been a part of that and that's hard but I'm delighted for the guys," said Lamont of Scotland's recent 24-16 victory over the Pumas in Tucuman and their 13-9 success in Mar del Plata.
"The Six Nations was an incredibly tough experience because the only game we didn't really look like winning was the one against France where were a bit sloppy in defence. But in every other game we were the dominant team and certainly had the opportunity to win those games and with a couple of points here or there it could have been a very different Six Nations. But in Croke Park and Argentina we finally got the results the hard work deserved."
Lamont also heaped praise on coach Andy Robinson for breathing life into the Scotland set-up and is confident the side can improve further ahead of next year's Rugby World Cup in New Zealand.
"I think Andy Robinson has been incredible," enthused Lamont. "The boys love him and he is really good at getting everyone to buy into what he wants to do. He really is a fantastic motivator and Scotland are a really tough team to beat now and the aim is now to keep it going for the next year as we head towards the World Cup. We've got some tough games in the autumn with South Africa, New Zealand and Samoa as well, three very physical games, and it will give us a good idea of where we are and what we need to do to qualify from our group next year."
Next year's global showpiece sees the Scots line up against Argentina and England along with Georgia and the winner of the final qualifier between Romania and Uruguay.
"We've got a good rivalry with Argentina going back to the 2007 quarter-finals and in terms of group games you can't get any bigger than England," added Lamont who also believes that Robinson's winning mentality is rubbing off on the squad.
"Andy is a natural born winner who hates losing," revealed Lamont. "People were not too sure about how and Englishman would go as Scotland coach but he has been fantastic and the environment he has created is phenomenal and very refreshing. It's a high-energy approach where no stone is left unturned and it's there to get the best out of you."
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Graham Jenkins is the Senior Editor of ESPNscrum.