It’s not much use for headline writers but sometimes in sport you really need to have a ‘steady as it goes’ moment, not necessarily a dull backward step, but a development lacking huge excitement. We had such a day in Scottish rugby yesterday.

There really were no surprises in the two announcements made by the SRU yesterday. Though I personally thought he might go back to club coaching after the World Cup, the rumours of a contract extension had grown apace, and at least we now know that Gregor Townsend will continue as head coach of Scotland for two years after the tournament in France this autumn.

It’s a good and well-timed move as Townsend can now concentrate on preparing his squad and marshalling them through the World Cup without the distraction of having to arrange his own future. That can only be good news for Scotland’s men as they prepare for the biggest stage in the sport and a mighty tussle in Pool B against Ireland, South Africa, Tonga and Romania.

Slowly but surely, Townsend has built a squad that really does have strength in depth and recent results and performances have been very encouraging, so that it is not inconceivable that Scotland as underdogs might just produce a match-winning performance against either world champions South Africa or world number one side Ireland or both, the minimum that will be needed to qualify out of the pool.

The SRU statements yesterday emphasised ‘consistency of selection’ and having worked with this squad and improved them, it will help that Townsend is in a good place and not distracted. He knows his men thoroughly and though it will take a monumental effort to qualify past the group stage, if anyone can lead Scotland to that success then it is Townsend.

The second announcement made by Townsend himself was of the 41 players selected for the World Cup training squad, and again there were no real surprises, though I think Mark Bennett and Fraser Brown might consider themselves unlucky not to be going to the training camp.

Knowing an unfortunately huge amount about knee injuries I surmised Jonny Gray had no chance of making the training squad which gets together for the first time on May 29.

A dislocated kneecap sustained on April 30 which required surgery means a minimum of ten weeks recuperation but I don’t agree that it looks as though the giant lock will miss the entire tournament which is still 17 weeks away. If Gray’s operation proceeds well, he could conceivably be called into the 33 man final squad that must be named before the Cup begins, or be called up during the tournament if another lock is injured.

He is one of the forwards that you would name as an automatic choice if fully fit, and so I prefer to think of Gray as being in a race against time to heal what I can personally assure you is a bloody sore injury — and that’s putting it politely.

If Jonny Gray needs some inspiration to realise that you can come back from serious injury in good time, then he need only look at the squad sheet and see the names of Darcy Graham and Rory Darge, both of them crocked so badly they missed the Guinness Six Nations but now back in the national squad and raring to go. Oh, and his older brother Richie has several times recovered from career-threatening injuries and in my opinion is now playing better than ever.

I wish Jonny Gray well, and I hope all those selected in the training squad make it to France without further injury, but Scotland have to play four tests in preparation for the Cup and two of those are against France so no one will be covered in bubble wrap for those games and injuries appear inevitable, and that’s if everyone makes it to the end of the season intact.

The point is that the naming of the squad marks a turning point in Scotland’s preparation for the World Cup. From now on it’s serious stuff with everything geared towards September and Scotland’s tenth appearance in the most important tournament in rugby, starting with the opening tie against the Springboks in Marseille on September 10.

Lastly a word of congratulations to Hawick on their impressive double success, especially the way in which they came from 3-6 down against Marr at Murrayfield to clinch the Cup 31-13, following their Premiership triumph in March. Coach Matty Douglas has a squad of good young players to work with and I can see them developing still further.

Congrats also to Watsonians women for their 26-25 victory over Corstorphine Cougars in the Sarah Beaney Cup. Again it was a come-from-behind success and Francesca McGhie - 20 on Sunday - showed why she is the future of Scottish women’s rugby with two cracking tries.