Edinburgh Rugby prop Allan Dell cannot wait to repay the faith shown in him by the club, Scotland head coach Vern Cotter and even his own grandmother now that he is fit and raring to go after a seven-month injury lay-off.
South African-born Dell joined the Capital club last summer and, after recovering from a pectoral muscle injury that saw him miss the opening weeks of the campaign, he was involved in two Guinness Pro12 matches and two in the European Rugby Challenge Cup.
He impressed head coach Alan Solomons – and obviously Cotter – in those outings as he was invited to train with the Scotland squad ahead of the Autumn Tests.
However, disaster struck in Edinburgh’s final Pro12 match before that training camp when Dell broke his leg in the 33-8 loss at Leinster at the end of October.
“I had arrived here still finishing off my injury rehab and then after getting some games under my belt and being given a chance to be involved with Scotland things were really looking up,” Dell, now 23, said whilst helping launch the Edinburgh Taxi Trade children’s outing yesterday.
“Then in the Leinster match it was about 15 minutes in and I just heard a crack. I had broken the fibula in my left leg and obviously I knew I would be out for a while.
“The rehab went pretty well apart from a few hiccups along the way and now I cannot wait to get out and working with the Scotland boys over the next couple of weeks.”
As Dell mentions, he will be meeting up with the other 45 members of Scotland’s extended World Cup squad next week to start the build-up for the big event in September and October.
Given that he has only played in five club matches since he arrived on these shores others could have jumped ahead of him in the pecking order.
It says a lot about how highly Cotter rates him that he has been given a chance to throw his hat into the ring for a debut cap in the World Cup warm-up matches starting in August.
And if he did manage to do just that then the happiest person would be his grandmother Joan Carmichael.
“She was born in Paisley and it is because of her that I am privileged enough to be eligible to play for Scotland,” explained Dell, who can play both loose and tighthead prop
“I keep getting messages from her telling me how proud she is of me and that is really nice.
“When I was young over in South Africa she was always telling me about Scotland and nagging me to get over here to see the country. Now I am looking to try and sort myself out with a Carmichael tartan kilt and I want to work really hard to try and earn myself a cap and make my family happy.”
While Scotland is, rightly, at the forefront of his mind at the moment the time spent recovering from his injury allowed Dell to watch Edinburgh playing from the sidelines.
And with an upturn in form over the last few months of the season, a European final and a number of young talents pushing for places, he cannot wait to be a big part of things at the club in 2015/16.
He said: “I think the current group of players are really starting to gel well ahead of next season and it is brilliant that the club have managed to keep Alan Solomons on board because he is a great coach and under his guidance we believe we can achieve bigger and better things.”