EDINBURGH internationalist Matt Scott today fired a message to club and country opponents on the eve of a Rabo Pro 12 seasonal debut against Italian side Zebre at Murrayfield tomorrow, insisting: “Now I feel like a complete rugby player – watch me go.”
Incredibly, as well as breaking through into the Edinburgh line-up from out of Currie’s premiership team and going on to win four Scotland caps last term, Scott was undertaking a law degree.
Immediately after Scotland’s summer tour where he faced Australia, Fiji, and Samoa to add to Test spurs gained in Ireland he rushed to a graduation ceremony and, looking back, Scott said: “Having the studies off my back is a huge thing for me. I didn’t realise how big a strain it all was until now.
“I feel like a rugby player now as opposed to half rugby player, half student.
“Don’t get me wrong, it is great to have a degree behind me and I am grateful to be where I am.
“But hopefully I can be an even better player starting tomorrow against Zebre.
Centre Scott stresses his focus is entirely on helping Edinburgh develop momentum as part of the same three-quarter line that faced Ulster in a Heineken Cup semi-final at the tail end of last season.
Nevertheless, he admits to a special challenge as he is in the rare position of having earned all four Scotland caps away from home.
“I really want to kick on from where I left off on Scotland’s summer tour drawing on experiences ranging from a storm in Australia to blazing sunshine in the Islands.
“That helped me as player and hopefully I’ll be involved with Scotland for the Autumn Tests. I am dying to play at Murrayfield for Scotland. I have not had any caps there.
“That is my incentive to do well with Edinburgh – to play in my home town would really make an impact on me.”
The Autumn schedule starts with a visit from world champions New Zealand, a team that Scotland have never beaten in 28 meetings.
But until this week no Scot had ever won a grand slam tennis title either; can Andy Murray’s success inspire other professionals?
Scott says: “All the guys came into training bleary eyed.
“We appreciate how hard he has worked, how he came so close so many times.
“There is a lesson in mental resilience we can draw on. We are a nation of near misses a lot of the time. We have to keep working hard and get results in the Autumn.
“As a pro sportsman you understand the work he has put in. Andy is a world class sportsman and very few Scots you can say are that in their respective sports.
“It’s never been done to beat the All Blacks although there have been a couple of draws.
“That would be a massive motivation for us all but first Edinburgh need to overcome Zebre.”