Lothians prop Colin Quigley began his rugby career at local club Lasswade many years ago. Now he is just two matches away from a place in the Aviva Premiership with Doncaster Knights.
Quigley, who turned 35 last weekend, has been in fine form for Doncaster as they made the top four play-offs in the Greene King IPA Championship this term.
They then defeated local rivals Yorkshire Carnegie in the semi-finals over two legs and tonight play Bristol in the first leg of the final.
The second leg takes place in Bristol on May 25, with the winner on aggregate joining England’s top flight.
“At the start of the season not many people would have said that Doncaster would have finished in the top four, but the coaching staff brought in a few good new signings and we have just got stronger in recent months,” Quigley said.
“We did not let Yorkshire Carnegie settle in the semi-finals and we got the upper hand early on in the first game.
“Bristol are a good side, but tonight we have home advantage and our ground is sold out, so it should be a great night.
“To play in the Premiership is a dream and I will be giving it everything I have.”
Quigley, from Bonnyrigg, first got into the sport at Lasswade as a youngster. He played with the Hawthornden club through the various youth teams and also turned out for Edinburgh at age-grade level.
Stints at Watsonians and Currie followed before Quigley decided to move to Italy to try and make his dream of being a pro player a reality.
“I really wanted to test myself at that time, so when I got an offer from L’Aquila in Italy I took it,” Quigley said. “Two years in France with Beziers followed and then I moved to England for the first time.
“I have been playing down here ever since and I have seen the standard of the English Championship really improve in that time. Most of the teams have gone full-time and the quality of the sides dropping down from the Premiership each year has meant that everyone has had to raise their game.
“The quality of grounds has also improved too, while as a prop it is still a good division to play in because there is a lot of emphasis on set piece.”
Quigley, who has played for London Scottish as well as Rotherham, Moseley and Doncaster, is not the only Scot in the dressing room at Castle Park nowadays.
Former Currie man Dougie Flockhart is there along with youngster Glen Young, who is on loan from Newcastle Falcons.
Quigley also comes up against a number of other Scots in opposition teams week in, week out – tonight he is set to face former Watsonians captain Kyle Traynor – and he believes the Champioship is a good place to play.
He said: “With only two pro teams in Scotland, young players find it hard to break through and in the last five years or so, more and more have been trickling down into this division.
“The link-up between Scottish Rugby and London Scottish is also very interesting and they have given a number of up-and-coming Scots game time this season.”
Bristol, who are led by former Scotland and Edinburgh head coach Andy Robinson, will start the play-off final as favourites, but Quigley believes that suits his team.
“We just go about our business quietly and play to our strengths and all of the boys are determined to give it our best shot over these next two matches,” he added.