Scotland wing Darcy Graham has revealed that he and Duhan van der Merwe are chasing down the country’s all-time try record as their World Cup campaign begins.
The Edinburgh pair have formed a deadly partnership out wide for Scotland in recent years, with Graham’s elusiveness and Van der Merwe’s power a real weapon.
Graham currently sits on 19 tries for Scotland while Van der Merwe is on 20 as they look to close the gap on Stuart Hogg (27) and eventually overtake the full-back.
Springboks first up
The Rugby World Cup is a great platform to chip away at Hogg’s tally and first up for Scotland is a mouth-watering fixture against reigning champions South Africa.
“Yes, definitely,” said Graham when asked if he sees the tournament as a chance to cut the gap. “Obviously Hoggy’s got it and me and Duhan are hunting him down.
“We’re both pretty confident we’re going to break it, it’s just about who’s going to do it first. We’re having a wee competition between ourselves.
“I’ve played with Duhan for a while now and when he scores I’m chuffed to bits for him but we’re hunting the record down.”
With both Graham and Van der Merwe being frequent try scorers for Scotland of late, the former has put that down to the way the team have been functioning.
“We’ve improved massively over the last two years as a Scotland team and everybody knows their jobs,” he revealed at a press conference in Aix-en-Provence.
“You look at me, Kyle (Steyn, who has three tries in his last two games) and Duhan, we’re all scoring. We’ve scored tries every game this season.
“But that’s our jobs, we’ve got to take our chances. We might only get a couple against South Africa and we’ve got to take them.
“That’s what we’re there to do, to finish off those tries out wide and I think there will be a huge opportunity tomorrow for us to do that.”
It’s a massive boost for Scotland that Graham has been passed fit and returns to the side for a crucial game against the Boks and he can’t wait to be involved.
Excited to be back
“I’m ready just to get stuck in and get going,” said Graham. “I got over that niggle reasonably quick. I think I could probably have played that Georgia game but it was better saving myself.
“With the bigger picture, I was happy to sit that one out and get myself ready for this game.
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“We’ve had a good training week this week and the boys are excited to get out on the pitch.
“You don’t get any bigger stage than the World Cup and especially playing against the world champions, it doesn’t get any more special.
“We’ve been ready for the last couple of days. All the work’s done. It’s all about turning up on the day and performing.”