Scotland call up Highlander Hardie for RWC training

Scotland have called Highlanders Super Rugby back rower John Hardie into their extended squad preparing for the Rugby World Cup 2015.

The 26-year-old stalwart – who missed the club’s Super Rugby championship triumph over the Hurricanes with a rib injury – arrived in Scotland to join the national team’s pre-campaign preparations.

Head Coach Vern Cotter said: “We’re pleased to welcome John into the group and look forward to him intensifying the competition for places in an already fiercely contested area of our squad.

“Depth is crucial to any World Cup campaign and it will be vital to see the contributions of the entire squad in our four warm-up matches, before making a decision on the final 31.”

The flanker – who qualifies for the country through his grandmother Christina Lumsden from Low Valleyfield, Culross in Fife, and whose brother Grant played for Peebles RFC in the 2009/10 season – was delighted to earn selection.

“Representing Scotland has been on my radar for a long time so I’m delighted to get this chance to compete for a place in the squad for the Rugby World Cup,” said Hardie.

“I’m under no illusions how tough it’s going to be to make the final selection but I’m looking forward to getting started and showing how much this opportunity means to me and my family.”

Scotland will face France, Ireland and Italy as part of the national team’s build-up to the Rugby World Cup 2015.

The four-match schedule played on consecutive Saturdays from mid-August (15th) will begin when Cotter’s men travel to face Ireland at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin.

Back-to-back fixtures against Italy will follow in Turin (22nd) and Edinburgh (29th), before concluding preparations against France in Paris at the start of September (5th).

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