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Cowan ready to make up for lost time

London Irish flanker Blair Cowan is desperate to make the most of his Rugby World Cup reprieve after he was called into the Scotland squad.

Cowan, who joined the Exiles in 2013 and made his international debut the following year, missed out on selection for head coach Vern Cotter’s initial 31-man squad.

Scotland kicked off the competition with back-to-back wins over Japan and USA, only for Grant Gilchrist to be ruled out with injury.

That, however, re-opened the door for Cowan and he could well play a part against South Africa in Newcastle on Saturday.

“It was devastating,” said Cowan of his initial omission. “I was hugely aware it was a big possibility because of the performances the other boys were putting out there.

“But I've been through it all before. My career hasn't been the smoothest – it's been a bit of a roller-coaster ride so know there are peaks and troughs you can go through.

“I just had to stay on my toes. There are some tight turnarounds at the World Cup so it's inevitable that injuries would happen. Just look at Wales, they've had it tough.

“So to get the call-up is sensational. It's every man's dream. It's just a shame it comes on the back of someone hurting themselves.

“I just saw the boys when I arrived and I was kind of caught off-guard by how stoked I was to see them. I was quite emotional. I'm just excited to be part of a World Cup now.

“The (coaches) know what I can do. I don't need to prove myself. I just want to come up here and be positive. Even if it's just in training, I'll just bring some energy.

“And if I'm called up to play on Saturday am I ready? Yeah – just show me the jersey.”

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