Scotland v Ireland, Murrayfield, August 6
Kellock primed for Ireland test
August 1, 2011
Kellock is set for a return to action against Ireland at Murrayfield on Saturday © Scottish Rugby/PA Images
Scotland lock Alastair Kellock is relishing his return to rugby's front line against Ireland at Murrayfield on Saturday.
Kellock was one of five Scotland players sidelined from club rugby by head coach Andy Robinson in March, in order to ensure their fitness for the Rugby World Cup. Kellock and the others - Richie Gray, John Barclay, Ross Ford and Allan Jacobsen - have all been told they will face the Irish in the first of two warm-up games ahead of the New Zealand tournament, with Robinson due to name his team tomorrow.
The Glasgow forward missed the first half of last season following knee surgery but returned to captain Scotland during the Six Nations, and he insists he is raring to go as he side attempt to step up their World Cup preparations. "I'm feeling good and we've had seven weeks of a pre-season," Kellock told Press Association Sport. "We have worked really hard, been pushed hard and everybody is driving each other on.
"It's been quite a long while since I played a game but it's been a long time for everybody. The body takes a bit of getting used to the bumps and bruises again after we resumed contact but it's good to get back to it. The game gives you a focus. It's going to be a tough game.
"With the first game of pre-season being a Test match, it makes sure we have to be up to the right intensity straight away. The training has been geared towards making sure we get everything we can out of these games - they are very important in the build-up to the World Cup."
Kellock missed the 2007 tournament after dropping out of the squad at the final stage, but he is not using that bitter experience to motivate himself. "The last one doesn't really enter my head," the 30-year-old said. "It's all about this one, trying to make sure I play well enough to get there and get selected.
"And then if I do, to make sure I do myself and the team justice with my performances. I can't control what went on four years ago. I moved on pretty quickly from it and I think that helped."
© ESPN EMEA Ltd
"If there was a cross breed of canine called an Underdogdoodle it would win best in show at Crufts." Mark Durden-Smith looks at the Aviva Premiership Final
With the Lions' tour to Australia fast-approaching, ESPN's Austin Healey and Mark Durden-Smith sat down to share their memories of the 2001 trip Down Under
Ask John answers questions on the Leopards' tour to Italy in 1974, brotherly Test sides, Pat McGrath, England's games against the Barbarians and Jacques Brunel
"We were only five metres away in the last Test of getting that try and with Jonny's inevitable conversion, we'd have won it." Tom Hamilton talks to Lions fullback Matt Perry