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Former Ireland fan Seymour gunning for Schmidt's men in bid to get Scots 'moving in right direction'


Kenny Logan believes Tommy Seymour is the best winger Scotland has unearthed in a long time

Kenny Logan believes Tommy Seymour is the best winger Scotland has unearthed in a long time

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Kenny Logan believes Tommy Seymour is the best winger Scotland has unearthed in a long time

Had Tommy Seymour's life taken a slightly different course then his focus this weekend' might have been on helping Ireland to clinch the championship rather than helping Scotland to avoid the wooden spoon.

Four years ago, with his stalled career at Ulster taking him nowhere in particular, Seymour crossed the Irish Sea to join Glasgow. The Scottish club had precious little budget at the time, and Seymour's arrival spoke more of their limitations in the marketplace than their aspirations on the field.

Yet if you wanted to winkle him away from Glasgow now you would have to break a few banks before doing so.

Kenny Logan believes Seymour is the best winger Scotland has unearthed in a long time. The 26-year-old is far from the quickest around, and he lacks the power and physical presence of the modern touchline blaster, but he has vision and craft and guile.

If only Scotland could make more of those qualities. The Scots go into their Murrayfield clash with the Irish on Saturday with a bucket of whitewash hanging by a fine thread above them.

They have played some lovely rugby at times - Mark Bennett's try against England last weekend is a contender for the best of the championship - but they have finished on the wrong side of the scoreline four times.

And yet Seymour, who spent the first 10 years of his life in the United States before passing his teenage years in Northern Ireland, says he has never looked back over his shoulder and wondered what might have been. His mother Sue was born in Glasgow - and that, for Seymour, pretty much settled the allegiance question in his mind.

"It was natural (to support Ireland)," said Seymour of his early years. "We were in Ireland, I hadn't come across rugby until then so that's when my entry point was. It would be unnatural for me to say that it wasn't. I supported Ireland when I was growing up, just like the rest of my school mates.

"But I made it abundantly clear when I moved over that my aim was to play for Scotland. I wanted to play in this tournament. I certainly never got any personal contact, so this feels like the way it was meant to be and I'm very happy with it."

Even at Glasgow, Seymour emerged slowly. His breakthrough came in 2013 when he was called up to Scotland's summer tour to South Africa, from which he returned home with a couple of caps. He has pretty much been a first choice since, with 16 caps.

Yet in eight Six Nations outings - he missed this year's Wales match through injury - he has won only once, when in Rome last year.

But still, he is confident that the results will come, citing the try that was created for Bennett at Twickenham as evidence of the kind of game Scotland are capable of.

Seymour said: "Everything we did from the lineout to the finish was perfect: the speed of ball, the lines of running, not allowing the defence to settle. We need to say, 'Right, we have done that, it worked, let's go again'. Reset and repeat.

"We have raised the bar, we have raised expectations. We now need to start producing performances that get to that standard or exceed it. If we can do these things we will start moving again in the right direction." (© Daily Telegraph, London)

Irish Independent