Ansbro: RWC place not guaranteed
August 8, 2011
Ansbro's late try was enough for Scotland to beat Ireland on Saturday © Getty Images
Scotland centre Joe Ansbro insists he still has a fight on his hands to claim a place in Andy Robinson's final 30-man squad for the World Cup.
The 25-year-old London Irish back scored his first international try to secure a 10-6 victory in the Test with Ireland at Murrayfield on Saturday in Scotland's opening World Cup warm-up match.
Ansbro would also like to feature in the only other Test prior to the tournament in New Zealand, the August 20 fixture with Italy, but recognises there are numerous more opportunities to impress before head coach Robinson names his 30-man squad on August 22.
Ansbro told Press Association Sport: "Every day we're working with the coaches, they're seeing what we can do. Every day is a challenge and I'm sure they're thinking about selection.
"The games are important for selection, but the training is as important. I've just got to keep focused."
The impression made by Nick De Luca off the bench, setting up the decisive try, reaffirmed to Ansbro how challenging it will be to make the final cut. Ansbro added: "There are other good players in my position, so competition's high. There's still a long way to go. There will definitely be things I can improve and I'll never get complacent."
Scotland were the more enterprising team against a largely second-string Ireland, but the familiar failing of struggling to convert opportunities was evident until Ansbro's 76th-minute score.
Ansbro added: "It was the first game, so things weren't always going how we wanted, but I think we built enough momentum to score a try. It is quite satisfying and it's encouraging more than anything.
"The win was paramount. I think we're all very pleased."
Robinson, too, was satisfied his charges were able to emerge from a scrappy contest - befitting of the first match of any season - victorious. The opening Pool B fixture with Romania in Invercargill on September 10 was Robinson's focus.
The head coach said: "If we go to a World Cup and come through with the mentality that we've had here, with the ability to play as we did and the mindset to actually go out and win the game, then I'll be very happy with that."
© ESPN EMEA Ltd
"People on the outside think unfounded thoughts on Toulon." Tom Hamilton talks to RCT lock Nick Kennedy ahead of Saturday's Heineken Cup final against Clermont
Will Genia should lead the Wallabies against the Lions, Joe Tomane to win the final wing spot and Israel Folau at fullback, writes Greg Growden
"Has there ever been such a large disconnect between France's club teams and the international side?" Ian Moriarty weighs up the state of French rugby
"By carrying a Great Britain label to the Antipodes, and getting beaten by the Kiwis, they established a tradition which has lasted to this day." Huw Richards rewinds to 1888