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Hamilton named in Scotland World Cup squad

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Tigers lock James Hamilton has been included in Scotland's 30-man squad for next month's World Cup in France.

The 6ft 8in Hamilton made his international debut last season and is now in line to appear in his first World Cup.

A former England U-21 cap, Hamilton played an impressive in role in Scotland's 31-21 win over Ireland at Murrayfield last Saturday.

Led by Sale's Jason White,  the squad contains 20 players who will be playing in the tournament for the first time, including the only uncapped member, 20-year-old openside flanker John Barclay.

"I have selected a squad that has the ability to do something special at the World Cup and make our country proud," said Scotland coach Frank Hadden. "It is the most competitive squad we could muster.

"The decision to omit nine players from the squad was tough. I spoke with all but one of those players face to face yesterday and thanked them for their huge contribution to the preparation for the 2007 Rugby World Cup."

Hadden and his fellow selectors, assistant coaches George Graham and Alan Tait, have opted for 17 forwards and 13 backs. "It's not an uncommon split," Hadden explained. "It reflects how tough it's going to be, especially for the forwards playing so many games in such a close period of time, and also reflects on that wee bit more flexibility within the backs.

"Overall this is a more mature group than we could have chosen two years ago. There's a fair amount of experience there and a good balance between the power that was demonstrated in our win against Ireland last weekend and a bit of footballing ability."

Scotland squad for the 2007 Rugby World Cup

Forwards: John Barclay (Glasgow Warriors), Kelly Brown (Glasgow Warriors), David Callam (Edinburgh), Ross Ford (Glasgow Warriors), Jim Hamilton (Leicester Tigers), Nathan Hines (Perpignan), Allister Hogg (Edinburgh), Allan Jacobsen (Edinburgh), Gavin Kerr (Glasgow Warriors), Scott Lawson (Sale Sharks), Scott MacLeod (Llanelli Scarlets), Euan Murray (Northampton Saints), Scott Murray (Montauban), Craig Smith (Edinburgh), Simon Taylor (Stade Francais), Fergus Thomson (Glasgow Warriors), Jason White (Sale Sharks) CAPTAIN

Backs: Mike Blair (Edinburgh), Chris Cusiter (Perpignan), Rob Dewey (Ulster), Marcus Di Rollo (Edinburgh), Andrew Henderson (Glasgow Warriors), Rory Lamont (Sale Sharks), Sean Lamont (Northampton Saints), Rory Lawson (Gloucester), Dan Parks (Glasgow Warriors), Chris Paterson (Gloucester), Hugo Southwell (Edinburgh), Nikki Walker (The Ospreys), Simon Webster (Edinburgh)

Scotland's Rugby World Cup Pool C matches are as follows:

Sunday September 9 - Scotland vs Portugal, St Etienne (kick-off 5pm BST)

Tuesday September 18 - Scotland vs Romania, Murrayfield (kick-off 8pm BST)

Sunday September 23 - Scotland vs New Zealand, Murrayfield (kick-off 4pm BST)

Saturday September 29 - Scotland vs Italy, St Etienne (kick-off 8pm BST)

Omitted from the training squad: Simon Danielli (Ulster), Nick De Luca (Edinburgh), Alasdair Dickinson (Gloucester), Thom Evans (Glasgow Warriors), Alastair Kellock (Glasgow Warriors), Calum MacRae (Edinburgh), Graeme Morrison (Glasgow Warriors), Gordon Ross (Saracens) and Alasdair Strokosch (Gloucester).