By Greg Stutchbury
SHIZUOKA, Japan (Reuters) – Scotland prop Gordon Reid is savouring every moment of what is likely to be his last Rugby World Cup and says he is relishing the prospect of facing a player whom coach Gregor Townsend described as one of the best tightheads at the tournament.
Reid, 32, has come off the bench in Scotland’s two previous matches in Japan but will start against Russia in Shizuoka. It is a game the Scots must win with a bonus point to give them their best chance of reaching the quarter-finals.
“Their tighthead is a big strong boy and, given an opportunity, he can cause a bit of damage,” Reid said of Kirill Gotovtsev, who had Olympic ambitions as a wrestler and bobsledder before switching to rugby in 2014.
“He’s a bit like myself,” he added, pausing for comedic effect. “In stature.”
Russia have proved tough to break down at the World Cup, with Ireland only securing the crucial bonus point in the final quarter of their match last Thursday.
While Scotland’s meeting with Japan in Yokohama on Sunday is likely to determine which of them goes through to the quarter-finals from Pool A, the players have been at pains to stress how important it was to focus on Wednesday’s clash with Russia.
Reid, who is behind Allan Dell in the loosehead pecking order, said he has loved his time with the squad in Japan.
“I just said I wanted to go and have fun, fun in training and spend time with the boys and have a laugh and enjoy my rugby,” added Reid, who has displayed his sense of humour through his social media videos.
“Not everyone gets to experience these things and come out here. People would give their left leg, their right leg, their left everything to be over here, to be in the position we are.”
There has been one aspect of Reid’s time in Japan that he has struggled with — Japanese food.
“I’ve tried sushi. It is not really agreeing with me to be honest, but I’m trying it,” he said.
“I went to the supermarket and … saw these, you can only really describe them as meatballs, but one was purple and one was green.
“Didn’t have a clue what it was but I tried it. I’m not going to lie. It was quite good, but I don’t know what it is.”
(Editing by Peter Rutherford)