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'This is biggest year of our careers'

The Scotland Sevens squad were given an auspicious send off yesterday as they prepare to fly out to Las Vegas for the fourth leg of the HSBC Sevens World Series.

Stephen Gemmell and his players were joined at Murrayfield by coaches and youth players from their former clubs, as well as Scotland's minister for Sport and Commonwealth Games, Shona Robison.

The Scots will play their group matches over two days - the time difference will mean that all takes place on Saturday 25 January as far as a UK audience is concerned - starting against Fiji. Fixtures against New Zealand and Australia will then follow.

Gemmell could give Scott Wight, the Glasgow Warriors' stand-off, his first cap during the trip after he was drafted into the 12-strong playing squad. Russell Weir and Struan Dewar could also signal their returns following spells out with injuries.

Those comprise the facts of the squad, although they would seem diminished during the ceremony at Murrayfield yesterday. "This is the biggest year of our careers, so we want to make it as special as possible for the players," said Gemmell.

"Every stage of 2014 is extremely important. We have six more World Series events - including our own tournament in Scotstoun in May - [and] our players returning from injury may play in the Kings of the Sevens circuit and Legacy Sevens Series in order to gain game time. We will finish the year with a home Commonwealth Games in Glasgow."

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