Denton braced for bruising encounters
June 1, 2013
David Denton has won 12 caps since his debut against Ireland in 2011 © Getty Images
Scotland No.8 David Denton is relishing the extreme physical challenge his side face in the next fortnight.
The Scots, who enjoyed their best Six Nations showing since 2006 earlier this year with victories over Ireland and Italy, are set to take part in a four-team tournament that will see them tackle Samoa on June 8 and hosts South Africa a week later on June 15.
"It's going to be massively physical," the Zimbabwe-born forward told PA Sport. "We are going to play on hard ground, against big hitters, big people. That suits my game down to a tee so I'm looking forward to it and I'm sure the rest of the guys are as well.
Interim head coach Scott Johnson has named a number of uncapped players in his squad with Pat MacArthur, Peter Murchie, Peter Horne, Alex Dunbar, Tommy Seymour, Tim Swinson, Steven Lawrie, Greig Tonks and Duncan Taylor all given the chance to impress for the first time - and Denton has welcomed his bold approach.
"Johnno (Johnson) said from the get go that his selections were going to be based on form in future," Denton said. "It's about building a team but we are going out there to win. He's not selecting people who don't deserve to play just because they are young; he's selecting the best players. It just so happens that those guys are young. I'm really looking forward to the challenge and so will all the other guys.
"There is no doubt, and it's been said before, about how much potential this team has got. We've got a lot of young players, particularly on this tour, that actually have a wealth of international experience now. There are a few of us at the age of 22, 23, who have played a few games and it's just making sure that we learn from the right people."
Johnson will remain in charge of the side and juggle the role with his new position of director of rugby until Clermont Auvergne coach Vern Cotter takes control in June 2014. The Kiwi was unveiled by the Scottish Rugby Union last week and Denton is looking forward to working with the highly-respected coach.
"He's done really well with his club team so I'm looking forward to him joining us," he said. "It's always nice to change things up a bit. I think bringing him in is going to be great, along with the senior players that we have. Hopefully now we can get that consistency through to the World Cup.
"It's been great working with Johnno and he's still going to have a big involvement with the team, which is great. I think he has been a real benefit to Scottish rugby."
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.