Hamilton eyes regular spot
June 3, 2008
Scotland lock Craig Hamilton is hoping to use the tour of Argentina to establish a regular place in the starting XV.
The 28-year-old Edinburgh forward returns to the squad after a three-year absence - his last match being the 10-29 defeat to New Zealand at Murrayfield - and is focusing on winning his sixth cap.
''I am really happy and excited to be part of the national squad again and I am training at my best to earn a place in the team,'' Hamilton told PA Sport.
Scotland's 30-man squad, who trained at the GEBA club today, are preparing for Saturday's first Test against the Pumas in Rosario. The second Test is one week later in Buenos Aires.
Hamilton is in no doubt of the importance of the two clashes.
''They are very important matches because they also count for the next World Cup and a triumph could give us benefits in the group stage,'' he said.
''The Six Nations is over and these encounters are our last chance this year to improve our performance.
''I don't know if we are going to win both of them. We are going to try but they will be very tough rivals. I hope that we finish 1-0 up on Saturday.
''I watched the World Cup match on television and there was a lot of passion in the two sides. Unfortunately, we lost that match and now I think the games coming up will also be very good ones.''
Glasgow Warriors captain Alastair Kellock, who has fully recovered from knee surgery, has targeted club-mate Bernardo Stortoni as a key danger man for the Pumas.
''Berny Stortoni is a top guy,'' said Kellock. ''He is very good player who is very good under the high ball.
''This was his first season at Glasgow so we didn't know him well. He was outstanding, putting everything into every match from the start.
''At the end, the squad picked him as the player of the year.''
However, the 26-year-old is wary of the whole team, not just one player.
''We are aware of Argentina's potential,'' he added. ''We have to control them if we want to go on top.
''We know they have incredible players but we hope that playing at our best we can win.''
Firdose Moonda talks to Rob Louw about the difficulties of being a South African touring New Zealand at the height of Apartheid
Huw Richards profiles French forward Walter Spanghero, a man who even rugby's hard men thought was a tough nut
"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