Scotland head coach Gregor Townsend reckons the national team’s Highland training camp has been the ideal way to kick start their preparations for this year’s Rugby World Cup in Japan.
The Scots’ provisional 42-man squad has spent the last two days based at Highland’s Canal Park in Inverness, with Townsend aiming to reduce his squad to 31 in time for the opening fixture against Ireland in Yokohama on September 22.
Scotland will also travel to Portugal for a hot weather training camp, before taking on France and Georgia both home and away in a series of warm-up matches before they travel to the Far East.
Townsend has been impressed by newly-promoted National 1 outfit Highland’s 3G facility, which was completed in 2017, and insists his squad have welcomed the change of scene.
Townsend said: “It has been really beneficial. We wanted to do something a bit different at the start of this World Cup camp.
“We had an idea of somewhere in the north and looked at a few places. Our management and fitness teams came up here and were really impressed. To me it’s fantastic set-up and a great template for other clubs to look at.
“It costs money to build, but just the feel around the place, the quality of facility, the feel when you’re out there – we’ve been very impressed.
“In terms of what we wanted to do rugby wise it’s been great but also just that feeling of us coming together at place not many have been at.
“We tend to train in Edinburgh, or close by, during the Six Nations so to see this beautiful part of Scotland has been excellent.”