Scott Lawson is delighted to be in the Scotland fold for the forthcoming Six Nations campaign.
And the Lanark-born front-rower, who stands on 39 caps, one away from the magic 40, is keen to flourish on the international stage.
“Hopefully I can train well and get myself in contention for a place in the match day squad for the start of the Six Nations,” said the 32-year-old hooker.
“I’ve been fortunate enough to have played for my country for a good number of years, and I want to play for Scotland for as long as possible.
“I’m just really looking forward to the challenge that lies ahead,” he added.
Admitting that there is no better feeling than strutting his stuff in front of a packed Murrayfield crowd, Lawson said: “It’s an absolutely awesome feeling to represent your country, particularly on home soil and the Six Nations is the biggest tournament in the Northern Hemisphere, so I want to play at that level for as long as poosible.”
Lawson uprooted his family to the North East in the summer following a season-long stint with London Irish. Making 12 appearances this term following a pre-season injury set-back that put paid to the start of his season, the jovial Scot hopes his side can get their league campaign back on track after a patchy run of games of late.
“Our recent form has been disappointing, but I’m confident we can turn things around and we have a big run of games coming up following the LV= Cup break,” said Lawson.
“On a personal level it was frustrating to have missed the start of the season through injury, but I’m back now and I’m keen to hold down a regular first team place,” added Lawson.
Last week’s Amlin Challenge Cup clash against Bucharest Wolves at Kingston Park saw fellow hooker and academy prodigy George McGuigan step up to the mark with a man-of-the-match display. Lawson is relishing the competition for a front-row berth at present, saying: “George is a very talented individual and has certainly taken his chance in the team. It’s healthy for the squad when you have players competing for the same position.”
Forwards: John Beattie (Montpellier), Kelly Brown (Saracens), Geoff Cross, David Denton, Alasdair Dickinson, Ross Ford (all Edinburgh Rugby), Chris Fusaro (Glasgow Warriors), Grant Gilchrist (Edinburgh Rugby), Ryan Grant, Jonny Gray (both Glasgow Warriors), Richie Gray (Castres), Jim Hamilton (Montpellier), Robert Harley (Glasgow Warriors), Scott Lawson (Newcastle Falcons), Kieran Low (London Irish), Moray Low, Pat MacArthur (both Glasgow Warriors), Ross Rennie (Edinburgh Rugby) Alasdair Strokosch (Perpignan), Tim Swinson and Ryan Wilson (both Glasgow Warriors)
Backs: Chris Cusiter (Glasgow Warriors), Nick De Luca (Edinburgh Rugby), Alex Dunbar (Glasgow Warriors), Max Evans (Castres), Dougie Fife (Edinburgh Rugby), Stuart Hogg, Ruaridh Jackson, Sean Lamont (all Glasgow Warriors), Greig Laidlaw (Edinburgh Rugby), Sean Maitland (Glasgow Warriors), Matt Scott (Edinburgh Rugby), Tommy Seymour (Glasgow Warriors), Duncan Taylor (Saracens), Greig Tonks (Edinburgh Rugby) and Duncan Weir (Glasgow Warriors)