TWO debutants have been included in the Scotland squad for the opening two rounds of the World Rugby Sevens Series, with the first leg in Dubai later this week before the squad travel to the second, in Cape Town, a week later.

Scott Bickerstaff and Femi Sofolarin have both been selected for the first time by head coach Ciaran Beattie, while Robbie Fergusson has been chosen as captain for the duration of the series, which runs until the end of May and will see the squad visit ten venues.

Sofolarin will pull on a Scotland shirt after playing for England 7s as recently as June, although he has represented Scotland at under-18 level. However, he made a sudden switch when it came to allegiances and will make his Scotland 7s debut in Dubai.

Bickerstaff currently plies his trade on the right wing with Marr RFC and will make his Scotland debut over the next fortnight.

The remainder of the Scotland squad boasts a wealth of experience, with the players having made a total of 133 previous tournament appearances on the circuit, with Gavin Lowe hoping to hit the 500 point mark in his 35th tournament.

Head Coach Beattie believes his squad have prepared well for the start of this season’s series. “The effort and application I’ve seen from this group so far has been exemplary,” he said.

“They have bought into the way we want to train and approach games, so it’s about putting into place our structures and expressing ourselves to the very best of our ability.”

Fergusson, who was co-captain last term, added: “It’s a huge honour to represent Scotland and being captain is something that I’m very proud of.

“We’re a tight-knit group that have trained hard over the past few months and we’re all excited to test ourselves against the most talented sevens players in the world.

“As a group, we want to show progression throughout the season, starting with these opening two tournaments in Dubai and Cape Town.”

Scotland will begin their campaign in Dubai against Australia on Thursday before facing the USA and Ireland on Friday.