Morrison out to banish ghosts
September 1, 2011
Morrison missed out on World Cup selection in 2007 © PA Photos
Scotland centre Graeme Morrison is out to enjoy every moment of the World Cup and admits he struggled to contain his excitement when the plane landed in the southern hemisphere ahead of rugby's premier tournament.
Morrison just failed to make the squad for the 2007 World Cup before making himself a key member of Andy Robinson's set-up. But, just as he was fulfilling his potential for his country, the 28-year-old missed out on this year's Six Nations campaign with a knee injury.
Morrison has recovered in time to force his way back into Robinson's thoughts and started both of Scotland's warm-up games for the New Zealand tournament, which resulted in victories over Ireland and Italy. Speaking from Scotland's training camp in Australia, Morrison said: "It really hit home when we were on the flight. I was talking to Max Evans, we were sitting together and saying it's really surreal that we have been in training for 10-12 weeks as a squad and finally we're going to the World Cup.
"We were both saying how exciting it was, just pinching ourselves that we were finally on the plane. It is fantastic to be away with the guys. I know exactly how it feels to be sitting at home watching it. It was difficult to take knowing I had been so close and knowing it would be an extremely long wait until my next chance.
"This World Cup I'm far better placed to be here in terms of experience and what I can offer the team."
The Glasgow Warriors player believes he is in good shape ahead of the September 10 opener against Romania after returning from a four-month lay-off in April.
"Obviously it was difficult missing the Six Nations," the Glasgow Warriors player said. "I felt I was playing consistently well for Scotland getting picked regularly.
"I have worked pretty hard over the summer to get myself in peak physical condition. It was brilliant Robbo decided to play me in both of those (warm-up) games. I felt I needed the game time and I felt I did all right.
"I will do as much as I can in training and off the pitch in terms of analysis and leadership roles to get me back to where I was in terms of consistency on the training pitch and back on the pitch as well."
Scotland, who will also face Georgia, Argentina and England in their pool games, left for their training camp at Sanctuary Cove on Queensland's Gold Coast on Saturday. Morrison said: "We have basically just been acclimatising, getting used to the difference in time zone. It's winter but I got burnt today - it's still pretty hot.
"We have had a couple of light sessions just to get the blood flowing again and get over the jet lag. We started doing weights again today and started a team run-out yesterday and today to get back into it."
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
"To be part of the Commonwealth Games, I'd wear anything. I'd wear a clown suit." Tom Hamilton talks to Scotland's Sean Lamont
Scrum Sevens looks back at how rugby has fared in both the early Olympics and the past four Commonwealth Games
"Cheika's been phenomenal. He gives you an incredible level of mental strength." Tom Hamilton talks to Waratahs star Jacques Potgieter
While the Super Rugby season enters the all-important knockout phase, elsewhere pre-season training never looked so enjoyable. We round-up the best snaps in our Week in Pictures