Comments from Scotland second-row Scott Cummings on Tuesday as they prepare to face Romania in Lille on Saturday, 30 September.
Scott Cummings, second-row
On how they have emerged physically from the Tonga game:
“Everyone came out the game feeling a bit sore. Tonga had some big guys and were putting some pretty big hits in. It was obviously a physical game but most of the guys came through OK.
"As much as we were happy with the scoreline, there were still parts of our performance where we didn’t hit what we wanted to hit. There’s definitely room for us to look at those areas and put in a better performance this weekend.”
On whether it’s hard not to let minds wander forward to the Ireland game:
“Not really. We know we need three wins, probably with bonus points. We can only control what we can control. Romania is a big game for us. We need to get a win there and then we can move on to Ireland after that.”
On being at this second RWC:
“Being in Japan was an amazing experience but now, being a bit older, I’ve understood what it means a bit more the second time round and the magnitude of it. We’ve loved being here. We’d had a fantastic camp and a lot of fun, training hard and played in some tough games. I’ve really enjoyed it so far.”
On his own route to international rugby:
“I probably started playing when I was about eight. I never took it too seriously, just enjoyed it as young guy. There was a stage when I was 12-13, I didn’t really play too much rugby, I looked at other sports. It was probably only when I got to 14-15, I started pushing back in and doing some age-grade stuff with Glasgow, then Scotland Under-16s. That’s when I started to think there may be a pathway into this, so I have never looked back from there.”
On the influence of Gregor Townsend on his career:
“He’s been massive. For me, World Cups have always been a good time for me. Eight years ago was when I made my debut for Glasgow, as we had about 22 guys away at the World Cup. Gregor gave me my debut, and then I managed to get in the squad for the last World Cup, and then this one. Gregor’s been a massive influence on my career. He has helped shape me into the player I am.”
On whether Townsend has changed much as a coach:
“I better not say anything! Yeh, I think he probably has. The game has changed as much as anything. We play a different style to what we did back then. He has always been an attacking coach, something I like. I don’t want it to be slow. Gregor has always had a fast-paced game plan and I’ve really enjoyed playing under that.”
On hooker Johnny Matthews being called up to the squad:
“Johnny had an amazing season last year, as anybody who follows the URC will know. He’s been playing unbelievably well for Glasgow and it’s very well deserved. We’re all absolutely gutted for Stuart [McInally] not to get that 50th cap he really deserved. But Johnny came out on tour with us last year to Chile, so he’s been in and around the squad before, and he massively deserves the opportunity. I am excited to hopefully see him play.”
On how to avoid getting stale after so much time together:
“It’s tough. You’re coming in every day, doing the same sort of things, building towards the same stuff, living in a hotel. We’ve been in our hotel for about three weeks now. It is just about not letting people to go into their shells, going out for a meal sometimes on a day off. There’s a lot of Playstation being played, getting tournaments going, things like that, keeping morale up as much as we can.
"A lot of players’ partners and families have been out, so they have been around the hotel, people seeing their kids. The squad is in a great place. It’s been a real family ethos – we are all great mates who are all getting on and enjoying spending time with each other.”
On how Ben Healy has fitted in:
“Ben’s great. He’s an amazing player and had a great season with Munster. He’s taken his opportunities well when he has played for us. He will be a massive signing for Edinburgh and has fitted into the squad very well and he is the exact sort of player we need in that position.”
On the chance to head north and play in Lille after being based in Nice:
“It should be a bit colder up there so it will be nice to get away from the sun for a bit and get out the hotel, have a couple of days somewhere else, see a different part of the country. France is an amazing country and I really enjoyed Marseille and staying out in Provence. It’s a lovely part of the country but it will be good to see somewhere else and not always be in Nice.”