Scotland tour: Tommy Seymour happy to embrace Japan culture

By Bryn PalmerBBC Scotland Sport
Tommy Seymour trains with Scotland at Murrayfield ahead of their Japan tour
Seymour has scored 13 tries in 27 Tests, including seven in his last 10

Tommy Seymour says Scotland's players will embrace the culture of Japan as they tackle the hosts' high-speed brand of rugby on their two-Test tour.

The squad have been given a handbook with a 'dos and don'ts' section which includes tips on the right way to bow and customs around tattoos and shoes.

Players have been told to cover up tattoos to avoid causing offence, and take clean shoesexternal-link for use in the gym.

"There are obviously things we will have to adapt to," the wing noted.

"A lot of the guys came in and said 'have you read through that part of the handbook?'

"I think we will have do some bowing. You have got to take part in their culture and go with their way of doing things.

"It is something all the guys will embrace. Hopefully we can get it right, and we won't be embarrassing ourselves out there."

Tattoos are considered taboo by many Japanese citizens, who also tend not to wear shoes inside.

'They do things very quickly and very efficiently'

Scotland depart on Saturday and arrive in Tokyo the following day, before moving on to Nagoya on Wednesday ahead of the first Test in nearby Toyota City on Saturday, 18 June.

They have won all five of their previous meetings against Japan, including at last year's World Cup, four days after the Brave Blossoms sprang the biggest upset of all time by beating South Africa.

Tommy Seymour takes on the Japan defence for Scotland at the 2015 World Cup
Seymour scored one of Scotland's five tries in their 45-10 win over Japan at the World Cup

But this is the first time Scotland will have played in Japan, and Seymour, 27 is relishing his first visit to the country.

"It is good to go away somewhere different and explore a new country and a different culture," said the Glasgow wing, who scored his first two tries in a Scotland shirt in an autumn Test win over Japan in 2013.

"That is something we are looking forward to enjoying and taking in. It is not your daily bread and butter.

"When you have your downtime, you can do something a bit different. But when it comes to the games, you are taking the same attitude and approach."

Scotland's tour schedule
Sun 12 June:Arrive in Tokyo
Wed 15 June:Travel to Nagoya
Sat 18 June:1st Test v Japan, Toyota City 1920 KO (1120 BST)
Sun 19 June:Travel to Tokyo
Sat 25 June: 2nd Test v Japan, Tokyo 1920 KO (1120 BST)
*Both Test matches live on BBC Scotland TV & Online

Japan, who lost head coach Eddie Jones to England after the World Cup, will have interim coach Mark Hammett,external-link the former All Blacks hooker who also coaches new Super 15 outfit the Sunwolves, at the helm for the two-Test series with Scotland.

"I think they will take everything they did in the World Cup and build on that," Seymour added. "Certainly it will be a high-tempo, very skilled side with a lot of energy. They will do things very quickly and very efficiently.

"We will need to be on our guard and try to get on top of their tempo and their turnover ball, because that is something they are very dangerous with."

Newcomer Jones 'will bring an edge'

This week's Murrayfield training camp gave Seymour a first sighting of Scotland newcomer Huw Jones, a surprise late call-up to the tour squad.

Huw Jones poses for pictures at Murrayfield
Jones, 22, has predominantly featured as a replacement for the Stormers in Super 15 rugby

The Cape Town-based Stormers centre was born in Edinburgh and educated in Somerset before his career took off on a gap-year trip to South Africa in 2012.

A foot injury has limited his involvement so far, but Seymour believes he will bring an abrasive edge to Scotland's backline.

"He seems like a nice lad. He has not come in too boisterous, he has come in and got on with what he needs to do. I think that's the best way to do things. I think he will fit in well and the guys will look forward to working with him.

"From what I've heard and seen in his highlights reel, I think he will an abrasive guy who wants to operate in those 10 channels. He is quite a big guy so he can bring that edge.

"Having guys with the ability to play a multitude of positions - he is adept at centre, full-back and wing - is a key component in our armoury."

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