Blair Kinghorn heard talk from home about how Scotland are the forgotten team at this Rugby World Cup and how the two-week break between the game against South Africa and the second game against Tonga on Sunday has sapped their momentum.

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Scotland Vs Tonga Tickets | RWC Tickets
Scotland Vs Tonga Tickets | RWC Tickets

One fan, Kevin S Brown, contacted the BBC Scotland rugby podcast: Forgot we’re still in the RWC. Another, Martin Welsh, wrote: Oh wait, are we at the Rugby World Cup? Another shot, Jonny Adamson, says: It looks like our tournament is almost over.

Scotland Rugby World cup team’s Focus in France

Speaking on the latest podcast, Kinghorn is here to say Scotland is just getting started here in France. Our focus has never been higher and the guys are looking forward to it, he says. It’s a shame we had such a big downtime, but I think it only made us better. We’re going to get out of the blocks and shoot.

Kinghorn was in good form Thursday. Read the history of his international career and you’ll see a guy who scored Test tries at full-back, right-back, left-back and half-back. He scored one Six Nations hat-trick with 11 goals on his back and another Six Nations hat-trick with 10 goals. If he plays the next three games in France, Kinghorn will win his 50th cap in the Rugby World Cup Group B climax against Ireland in Paris next month.

He was once a newcomer to the Edinburgh team, a teenage wonder with size, speed and skill set that shone like a beacon. He was still a relative child when he played for Edinburgh for the 100th time, becoming the club’s youngest ever centurion. 

Scotland Vs Tonga Tickets | RWC Tickets
Scotland Vs Tonga Tickets | RWC Tickets

In fact, it’s still tempting to see him young now when he’s actually 26. Quite young, but there are 11 younger players in Gregor Townsend’s squad in France. How did this happen? I’m still one of the youngest, he laughs. I don’t age, but I’m mature, don’t I?

Motivation to Bounce Back

Like everyone else in the Scottish team, Kinghorn was stifled by the Boks in the first match in Marseille. Everyone wants to go back there and right some wrongs, he suggests. We didn’t play our best against South Africa, but this is a great opportunity to bounce back and show everyone what we can do.

“It’s very strange that Ireland played three games and we only played one. It’s weird to have this two week break. This was both good and bad. it was good, but it was good in the sense that we could recover and connect with each other.”

Part of this bonding process was what looked like a monster team barbecue with the South African contingent at the helm of the team, Doohan van der Merwe – the only one who was topless – and V.P. Nelom, sweating.

Analysis of the Springbok game itself will be hot and heavy. For 70 minutes we didn’t allow them to score a try and then there was a 10-minute period where they scored two quick tries and then all of a sudden the feeling of frustration that you feel because things aren’t going as well as they should have. creeps in a little more, Kinghorn says.

“We’re down 6-3 and we haven’t played our best rugby and we’re like, ‘We can hone this and try from somewhere’ and then there’s this 10-minute period. The game has huge advantages. Defensively and physically we’ve been outstanding, so we’re hoping for that.”

Tough Opponents for Rugby World Cup

The sheer size of their Sunday opponents is a major factor. Like the running game that wasn’t released last weekend but is still around. They’ve definitely got some fantastic ball-carriers, some very elusive runners and if they get their tails up they’ll be hard to stop, he admits. It’s all about staying focused for 80 minutes.

Scotland Vs Tonga Tickets | RWC Tickets
Scotland Vs Tonga Tickets | RWC Tickets

This is a huge motivation for us. We are playing for our country at the Rugby World Cup. This is a huge privilege. They have their goals that they want to achieve, and we have our goals that we want to achieve, and we will go out and show the game that is necessary for a big win.

After years in the back row, from opening forward to return back, to occasional starting fullback in the famed Blair Switch draft and moving up to No 10, Kinghorn enjoyed a nomadic Test career. RWC fans can buy Rugby World Cup Tickets from our website.

Stuart Hogg’s retirement brought him back the number 15 shirt and it is now his. The truth is that even if Hogg had not left the scene, Kinghorn would still almost certainly have started these games in France. His Six Nations form demanded it. I’m just glad I was able to get into a position that I think is the best for me, he says. I’m very happy to be back there. I feel comfortable there.

Contributions as a Defender

“I have the ability to cover the opposition if necessary, but as a defender I can offer my strengths to the team. It’s something I don’t want to give up and something I don’t take lightly. The day is about trying to get better and keep that jersey.”

In a parallel universe, of course, everything could be different. Kinghorn was a skilled footballer and Heart of Midlothian fan in his day. He makes fun of himself when he talks about his ability with the round ball, but it was said that he would have had a chance if he had taken it.

I don’t think I was really that good at football, he says. I was just a big piece of defender who was pretty quick and could head it. It was a good decision at the moment [to play rugby], but we’ll never know for sure.  That didn’t stop him from singing a Hearts song in an ice bath the other day. Memorable. Its me and Gilco [Grant Gilchrist], but he’s a Rangers fan. Chomi (Pierre Schumann) may also be a Hearts fan. I’ll have to clear that up.

Scotland Vs Tonga Tickets | RWC Tickets
Scotland Vs Tonga Tickets | RWC Tickets

They’re a long way from Tynecastle and Edinburgh here in Sophia Antipolis on the Côte d’Azur and will want to hang out outside the city for a while. The critical first step is to get Tonga behind with a big lead that will fuel their campaign and boost their confidence.

Calum Rettie hopes work boosts Scotland at Rugby World Cup

Heriot-Watt University student Calum Rettie is undertaking an internship with Scottish Rugby as part of his BA (Hons) Sports and Exercise Science degree. The 18-year-old footballer took part in the national team’s preparations for the global tournament, which started earlier this month.

Calum admitted it had been a surreal experience working alongside the country’s best rugby players and praised the unique learning opportunities the university offers. The former Knox Academy student said: It was a dream come true as I want to work in this field when I leave university.

As a performance analyst, I film all of the team’s training sessions and then use our software to break them down into individual segments, making it much easier for coaches to identify any problems or areas for improvement.

“My studies really helped with this and I found that working in the ‘real world’ opened my eyes to my course and gave me a better understanding of how a team works. I also have support from my mentors if I ever need it, which is reassuring.”

A Keen Edinburgh Rugby World Cup Fan

A keen Edinburgh rugby fan, the Haddington teenager, who has two younger brothers, Archie and Ethan, has spent the last year working as a performance analyst, using data to interpret each player’s contribution in matches and training.

Using in-depth analytical techniques developed through his research, he provides factual data to coaching staffs. The Sports and Exercise Science program provides students with a comprehensive understanding of the physiological and psychological factors that influence athletic performance.

Scotland Vs Tonga Tickets | RWC Tickets
Scotland Vs Tonga Tickets | RWC Tickets

Calum, who played in midfield for both Haddington and Knox Academy before suffering a serious shoulder injury, told the Courier. Working with the Scotland team is great. It sounds obvious, but they are ordinary people, but they got along great with me. Sometimes I have to pinch myself when I see them on the field.

The Scotland men’s rugby team began their Rugby World Cup adventure on September 10 with a defeat to defending champions South Africa.

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