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Former pupil Jamie Ritchie selected for Scotland’s Six Nations squad

Having burst onto the international rugby scene and taken to it like a duck to water during 2018, former pupil Jamie Ritchie is keen to make his mark on the Six Nations tournament which begins this weekend.

The 22-year-old back-row joined pro club Edinburgh Rugby straight after his time at Strathallan and in recent months he has become a big player for club and country.

The 22-year-old has helped Edinburgh reach the Champions Cup last eight – Europe’s top event – while the former under-20s star made his full debut for his country against Canada last summer.

Also on that tour he played against Argentina while in November he played a part in all four Autumn Tests against Wales, Fiji, South Africa and Argentina.

“This is my first Six Nations campaign with Scotland and I am really excited,” he said.

“Off the back a good run of results with Edinburgh I am feeling in a good place.

“When you are a kid you dream about playing in the Six Nations while my first game I came to was a Six Nations game [v France in 2006]. These are the ones you dream about, these are the ones that come around every year and you want to be involved.

“This is for real, this is the big time.

“There is huge competition in the back-row area for places always, regardless if there are people injured or not.

“I think there is an opportunity there for me during this event. I think I played well enough in the Autumn to show that I can go well at this level, so, if I get the nod then hopefully I can do a good job.

“The way I play the game, I like to get involved at the breakdown, try and get my hands on the ball in the wide channels and be a good defender.

“I’m a good lineout forward as well, so I’ll just do my best for the team.

“I’m picking up experience all of the time and obviously got the opportunity to play in November.

“It’s something I’ve always wanted to do, I’ve always wanted to be an international rugby player.

“Literally since I started playing rugby when I was in about P4 has this been the dream. I did a couple of other sports – I was quite good at judo and played a bit of cricket, but rugby was always the one I never thought about stopping, I always wanted to do as well as I could.”

As well as Ritchie, fellow former pupil George Horne – a 23-year-old scrum-half – is part of the Scotland squad preparing for the Six Nations tournament which runs from February 1 to March 16.

Other ex-Strathallan pupils such as Zander and Matt Fagerson as well as Murray McCallum may come into contention for matchday squad places later on in the event.

Scotland begin their campaign at home to Italy at BT Murrayfield on Saturday.

By Gary Heatly

Twitter: @G_HMedia