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The 'good goal' that has set up Sione Tuipulotu to be at his best

By PA
(Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)

Scotland centre Sione Tuipulotu hopes he is on the last leg of a two-year journey to play in the Rugby World Cup as he bids to cement his selection for Gregor Townsend’s 33-man squad. The former Australia U20s international signed for Glasgow in 2021 with the intention of switching allegiances and had one eye on this September’s tournament in France even then.

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The Australian-born player, who has a grandmother from Greenock, is well on course to achieve his dream after winning his 17th cap in Saturday’s warm-up win over France. “I think back to two years ago when I made the decision to come over here,” he said.

“This was one of the big reasons – I wanted to play in a World Cup. The two years have flown by. There have been ups and downs in my journey here in Scotland, but I feel like it’s all heading towards this direction of the World Cup.

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Boks team announcement – Siya

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Boks team announcement – Siya

“First and foremost, my main goal when I moved here was to play for Scotland. When I ticked that box and could see myself developing as a player, I saw the World Cup as being at the end of my initial two-year contract.

“It was a good goal for me to set up mentally. It pushed me to keep working hard at my game and keep on developing. I feel like I have done that – but I also know that I have still got so much growth left in me. It’s exciting.

Team Form

Last 5 Games

3
Wins
2
2
Streak
2
13
Tries Scored
12
6
Points Difference
0
2/5
First Try
3/5
1/5
First Points
3/5
2/5
Race To 10 Points
3/5

“Every time I come in with Scotland, I always want to be a better player than I was in the previous camp. That takes a lot of hard work off the field. Now we are at the start of hopefully what is a World Cup journey for me. I’m looking forward to it.”

Tuipulotu’s chances increased when fellow Warriors centre Stafford McDowall was cut from the squad on Sunday but he is still feeling the pressure of securing his selection ahead of Saturday’s return clash with France in Saint-Etienne.

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“I have never been involved in World Cup preparation before so this is all quite new to me,” the 26-year-old said. “It’s a high-pressure environment and everyone is competing and trying to do their best to get on the plane.

“When the games start rolling around, like these big games against France, that kind of takes your mind off everything. You have got the challenge ahead of you at the weekend and you’re not looking much further down the road.

“You lean on the others who have been through this kind of environment, been to a couple of World Cups. Guys like Finn (Russell) and some of the other boys.

“You ask them what the next couple of weeks are going to look like, then the best thing you can do is focus on yourself and your own game, trying to put your best foot forward.”

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