Follow live updates as Scotland take on Georgia in a Rugby World Cup warm-up match.
Ryan Wilson may be leading Scotland out for the first time in his 44 caps against Georgia on Friday night, but he will no doubt captain exactly as he plays: direct, no-nonsense, without a thought to how he's perceived. So when he talks about genuinely fearing that he wasn't going to make the Scotland World Cup squad after a season in which the 30-year-old flanker has struggled to make Glasgow's starting line-up, you know he means it.
"It has been a tough year for me," he admits. "So I wasn't expecting to be in. At no point was I feeling comfortable. It has been massively difficult for me. I was a bit of a nervous wreck to be honest."
Scotland coach Gregor Townsend said yesterday that just before the squad left for Georgia, the coaches "could hear Ryan outside the meeting room saying 'this might be me guys, that's me, I just want to say bye now'," in case he wasn't at the squad announcement this week. Wilson himself says that car journeys to and from training camps were dominated by chat about the squad's composition for months.
"I've had chats with loads of the players driving back to Glasgow, the likes of Tommy Seymour, and every time we said, 'put yourself in it and then pick the rest of them'," he laughs. "It's been difficult. For the last two or three months, at every family event people ask if you're looking forward to Japan. When I say I'm not expecting anything they say 'surely, you must expect to be in there'. That pressure is constantly coming at you. You don't want to talk about it anymore. You want to forget about it."
Wilson had good reason to be nervous. When he didn't make the starting line-up for the Pro14 final at Celtic Park, it confirmed his gentle slide down the pecking order at Scotstoun. With Jamie Ritchie, Magnus Bradbury and Matt Fagerson in the World Cup training squad and all offering youthful vigour, while newcomers Sam Skinner and Blade Thomson offered greater size and similar physicality, his fears were not unreasonable.
- Daily Telegraph UK