Chris Cusiter buoyed by spell in Australia

Chris Cusiter in action for Scotland
Cusiter feels sharper after his three-game stint down under

Chris Cusiter believes a summer stint in Australia has improved his chances of making Scotland's World Cup squad.

The scrum-half missed most of last season with a knee injury and played three games for Southern Districts in Sydney to boost his fitness.

"It went really well," he told BBC Radio Scotland. "My knee is 100% healed and it was important for me to get some games under my belt.

"I'm in a good place with World Cup selection coming up."

The 52-times capped Glasgow Warriors man missed 11 months of rugby, including this year's Six Nations, but has been included in a provisional squad of 40 for the World Cup in New Zealand.

"I managed the last three games for Glasgow but as everyone went for the off-season I thought I needed a bit more game time," the 28-year-old explained.

"It's was not quite the same level as the Magners League, it's semi-professional, but it was a pretty good standard, with some fantastic players.

"I played three 80 minutes down there and had a great time. I'm certainly fitter than when I went.

"We start pre-season training [with Glasgow] on Monday and that's going to be a big help as well, doing that fitness work, the weights and conditioning.

"Final selection for the World Cup is in August and that's the big goal for every Scottish rugby player in the squad of 40.

"I'm desperate to be there, desperate to make the team, but there's a lot of hard work to be done between now and then."