Jack Blain rugby

BRM talks to Jack Blain, the future of Edinburgh rugby!

Q and A with Edinburgh Rugby’s Jack Blain

In recent weeks Jack Blain became the first player born in the 2000s to turn out for a Scottish pro rugby side, our Scottish correspondent caught up with him:

BeRugby Magazine – How did you get into rugby?

Jack Blain – I started playing rugby when I was in primary school with the Stew Mel Lions in Edinburgh and then began also playing school rugby at Stewart’s Melville around P4 age.

BRM – Was rugby your first love?

JB – Like a lot of youngsters growing up I tried to get involved in as much sporting activity as possible an also liked cricket and athletics. Rugby then kind of took over in recent years once I was lucky enough to play regional under-16s which moved into Scotland under-16s.

BRM – How was playing for Scotland under-18?

JB – I played Scotland under-18 for the last two years while the school first XV were also doing well so it was a busy time, but I learnt so much and grew as a person and a player.

BRM – How important was being a Scottish Rugby stage two Academy player in 2017/18?

JB – It gave me access to some extra coaching and facilities and the school and the Academy worked together to make sure that my workload was managed and I will always be grateful for that.

BRM – How did things escalate?

Jack Blain rugby

Jack Blain in his school playing days (not that long ago!). Photo courtesy of Scottish rugby/SNS

JB – I left school a few months ago and have been lucky enough to become a stage three Academy player. For three weeks over the summer I did pre-season with the other Academy players and the I was invited along to a couple of Edinburgh sessions. I was then told I would be heading off with the full squad to St Andrews for a training camp.

BRM – That must have been amazing?

JB – It certainly was amazing and I learnt a lot because we were fully focused on rugby and I was able to get to know a lot of the players better. I must admit it was weird at first running out onto a training pitch with guys who I have watched on the TV growing up!

BRM – What was it like to be named in the starting XV for the Bath pre-season match on August 17?

JB – It came as a massive surprise on the Wednesday when the coaches read out the squad for the Bath game and I was starting. I had to pinch myself really to believe it was true and, even now, I still feel like it is all a bit of a dream.

BRM – Lots of nerves?

JB – Leading up to the match against Bath I was feeling pretty nervous, but once I got out there I just tried to get involved as much as possible. I didn’t see much of the ball, but hopefully I did well enough in the 40 minutes I was on.

BRM – Strange feeling?

JB – After the game in the changing room it was really surreal thinking ‘I have played for Edinburgh’ and letting it sink in, but now I have to get my head down, work hard and move forward.

BRM – Feedback since that and the Newcastle Falcons match on August 24?

JB – My phone has been going pretty mad with messages over the last few days, I think I have heard from everyone I have ever met! A few folk have mentioned about being the first player born after 2000 to play for Edinburgh and it is a pretty cool stat to have.

BRM – Advice to other youngster?

JB – Play for fun, listen to coaches and see where things take you.

What do Jack’s teachers say:

Stewart’s Melville College head of rugby Stuart Edwards: It is great to see someone like Jack getting a chance with Edinburgh. He was always a talented sportsman at school and really put the hard work in. He was a good team player and to see him progress so quickly to play alongside Scotland internationalists is quite amazing.

For more news on Edinburgh rugby visit https://www.edinburghrugby.org/