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 Sports Media Ltd.
Tom Hamilton pays a visit to Oxford University Women's Rugby Football Club who have recently made headlines across the world, from Tokyo to New York
"Gentlemen, if you want to see the World Cup going south yet again, you are going the right way about it," John Taylor looks at the state of European rugby
The Heineken Cup proved once again just why it is the best domestic rugby competition in the world at the weekend and Monday Maul picks out some of the key talking points