Cowan emotional about selection

Scotland back-row Blair Cowan, who has been called up to replace Grant Gilchrist in the World Cup squad, has acknowledged that the past two days have been emotional.

Cowan missed out on selection for the initial squad before the tournament began and had since lowered his expectations, which is why he was caught somewhat off guard when coach Vern Cotter asked him to join the squad this week.

"It hasn't sunk in yet. I haven't seen the whole squad yet but I've seen a few of the boys and it caught me off guard with how stoked I was to see them. It was a bit emotional," said Cowan, following his selection.

The 29-year-old said competing in the World Cup had always been a dream, adding that there was considerable excitement when he received the news.

"You grow up as a kid watching World Cups, and even at the peak of your career watching other World Cups, to be a part of it – I'm pretty wrapped. I was just chilling at home after training when I got the call. You would have seen a dust shadow of me getting off the couch to pack my bags," added Cowan.

Cowan said that his priority ahead of this weekend was to play for London Irish in the Premiership, adding that he was thinking of nothing else at the time of the call. What it also meant though, is that he was already in the right physical and mental state to compete at this level.

"I was about to start for London Irish on Friday night, so my head was in that game, getting myself sorted physically and mentally for playing a game of rugby. So when I got the call-up, I was ready to play," he said.

"I'm up here to do whatever they need to push us forward. They know what I can do. I just want to come here and be a positive influence. I know there'll be some banged bodies so I just want to bring some positive energy."