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'I slipped away, had quite a lot of injuries and struggled'

By PA
(Photo by Ross Parker/SNS Group via Getty Images)

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Damien Hoyland is delighted to have a chance to try and reassert himself in the Scotland fold after his international career failed to take off the way he had hoped. The Edinburgh wing made his debut for his country seven years ago as a replacement in a pre-World Cup match against Italy in Turin. However, he has won only four caps in total, with the last of them coming in 2017.

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Injuries have played a big part in Hoyland being unable to build on the promising start to his international career. But now aged 28, he feels ready to make his presence felt in Gregor Townsend’s squad after being selected to travel to South America for a summer tour comprising of an A team match against Chile this Saturday and then three Tests against Argentina.

“Probably not the way I would have liked with the national team, to be honest,” said Hoyland when asked to reflect on how his time as a Scotland player has been to date. “I did really well to get involved seven years ago, but I slipped away.

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“I had quite a lot of injuries in that period and struggled to get back in the mix. I’m just really excited to be back involved and to be where I am now. I just want to make the most of this opportunity.

“Every time you’re in camp with Scotland it’s an opportunity to showcase what you’ve got. I’m here to get the best out of myself and show what I’m about. If that goes well, you never know what can happen.”

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Hoyland is delighted to have made the summer tour squad after being sidelined from early December until late April with a serious knee injury which he initially feared had ended his season. “I’m absolutely buzzing for the opportunity I’ve got right now,” he said. “I feel like I hit some good form at the start of the season which I’ve maybe not had for the last few years, so when I got that injury, I was pretty devastated.

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“I felt like I’d worked hard to get back to where I was. Then after that injury, it took me a few weeks to get back into the rhythm but I feel like in the last couple of games – towards the end of the season – I was finding my form again. I’ve got confidence in my body now so hopefully I can kick on from here.”

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