Rugby World Cup 2019: Ben Toolis eager to belatedly grab Scotland chance

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By Tom English
BBC Scotland at Japan
You didnt need to have the powers of Jim Taggart to understand Ben Toolis World Cup has felt like murder. It was all there in his unsmiling face along with his head that is angry.
Toolis is one of five players who have yet to see that a minutes activity in Japan – Pete Horne, George Turner, Blair Kinghorn and Henry Pyrgos being others. All five will go into the fray if Scotland play with Russia in Shizuoka on Wednesday and obviously Toolis believes that the opportunity is overdue.
If I am being honest, it has been very annoying, he said on Saturday in Kobe. For the past few years that the most important goal is to get into a World Cup. You place in the work that is hard, you play consistently well, but there is a great deal of competition in the second-row. That is sport in the days end and boys are going to miss out.
I dont think my performance levels have diminished. I feel like Ive played well. When I know Ive been doing, I could be quite hard on myself. I have had stages in my career in which I have not been playing well and you have to be truthful with yourself. This time I do not feel as though Ive experienced a dip in form.
You must be a fantastic team partner at the stage and make sure everybody else has prepared nicely. It is hard, but you have to attempt to help the team that is what I have been trying to do and get a result. Hopefully I will get my chance on Wednesday.
Toolis came here as third choice second-row behind Jonny Gray and Grant Gilchrist but he has dropped a spot in the pecking order after the elevation.
This was a thing of a surprise since Toolis played at the Six Nations starting from Italy and England – he and 80 minutes played with in Twickenham – and featured at three of the four warm-up games. Toolis started at Nice against France and played together with everyone, but he slipped back and played in the win against Georgia in Tbilisi scoring a try into the bargain.
Cummings offers something different, although toolis is a player. A bit more footwork, a carrying. The man is on a mission, however.
I have been playing nicely, Gregor (Townsend) just needed something different off the bench. Grant and Jonny have been playing really well. You take confidence in the fact that the rows are players. That is life, although its hard.
You can get comments from the coaches, but it has not been anything Ive done wrong. They have only been rewarding different boys. With everything I have been performing I havent been disappointed. I have been doing the same. I feel as though Im on top of the game and I want to make sure Im not overly hard on myself to get something that I havent done wrong.
His views were not delivered in rant mode – Toolis is a measured individual – but there was no mistaking his irritation. Townsend appears to have a fired-up player having a focus on showing what he is made of. That is no bad thing to the Russia match, Russia becoming a group of players using a focus on revealing what theyre made of. Scotland wont be denied a winning bonus point by them but on present form they are very likely to create the Scots work hard to receive it.
Toolis has 21 caps and continues to be pretty much a mainstay in a game day 23 for much of the past few decades. He was involved in two of the four November internationals and all three of those matches in last years summer tour in USA, Canada and Argentina.
He said that he must remain positive , although the demotion has rankled with him. I know that things will change quite quickly. You see boys playing for other nations and if they get back in the group theyre outstanding. If youre negative the whole time you wouldnt be prepared to go straight back from there. As possible, you only need to keep as positive. I will continue what I am doing.
Its something thats a mental skill. As you develop you wish to play professional rugby and do the best that you can. You believe a couple of years ago, if youd been in this place you would be entirely stoked, but since you get more and more you want more and more
His chance will arrive in a much-changed Scotland side. Toolis is likely to begin with the player who has usurped him Cummings, by the squad in the second-row. It is possible that Townsend will make 14 changes to your Russia match with Darcy Graham appearing to be the one in the frame after beginning against Samoa, to go.
Frontliners even given a break using an eye on the do-or-die match with Japan, or will be held in book.
You will need to have every opportunity and thats how it is, explained Toolis. You see it all over the world – players maybe have missed and come back in and have experienced a fantastic game. You find these boys becoming man of the match awards and you want to use that as gas
Toolis is not lacking in motivation, thats as plain as the frown on his head.
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