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Scotland step up preparations ahead of second World Cup match with Tonga

Scotland are ready to ramp up preparations for Tonga in the coming days after “a good, productive week” of down time and recuperation mixed with intense training sessions since their opening World Cup match against South Africa.

The Scots were idle on the second weekend of the tournament after beginning their campaign with an 18-3 defeat by the defending champions in a gruelling showdown in Marseille on September 10.

The players were given three days off with their families after that match and returned to the training pitch in Nice on Thursday before undertaking further sessions on Friday and Sunday.

The Scots’ regular Test week routine effectively begins on Tuesday ahead of next Sunday’s meeting with Tonga, who lost 59-16 to Ireland in their opening match on Saturday.

“It’s been a good, productive week,” said Scotland’s strength and conditioning coach Stuart Yule. “We had some time off after the game to allow the players to recuperate, recover and spend some time with their families.

“We had time to get reviews done and then we came back into training on Thursday and had three good physical sessions (Thursday, Friday and Sunday) before we came back into the Test match week.

“It’s been a good opportunity to get some more physical work in because it’s a long tournament and it’s important we retain our fitness through this period.”

With a full fortnight between their first two games at the World Cup, Yule explained that the Scots had to find the right balance between down time and keeping the players in prime condition.

“It’s a long tournament, but I think it was an opportunity that we’ve had and we’ve taken to work hard,” he said.

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