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Scotland allow Bennett to pursue Rio Sevens place

Mark Bennett has been left out of Scotland's squad to tour Japan as he aims to earn a place in Great Britain's rugby sevens team for the Rio Olympics.

Head coach Vern Cotter named his travelling party on Monday, with only 27 players selected for next month's two Tests against the Brave Blossoms - Scotland's first full-cap internationals on Japanese soil.

Bennett was the notable omission, with Scottish Rugby confirming the 23-year-old Glasgow Warriors centre had "not been named to allow him to be considered for extended GB7s selection ahead of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games."

Rugby sevens will make its Olympic debut in 2016 and Bennett has previously represented Scotland in the format.

"It is a great opportunity for him," Cotter was quoted as saying by BBC Sport. "He wants to do it and we said we won't stand in his way, if he does get selected.

"It is a dream of his and if he gets the opportunity, that will be great. It was his choice. He is very excited about it."

Cotter's squad to tour Japan is comprised largely of players involved in Scotland's recent Six Nations campaign. Henry Pyrgos and Fraser Brown return from injuries, while Edinburgh wing Damien Hoyland will hope to add to the solitary cap he gained against Italy in 2015.

"Being a two-match tour, rather than three, allows us to take a smaller squad; a tight group, though opportunities still remain for other players to come in," said Cotter.