Cairns On Scotland Debut

Cairns On Scotland Debut

Ben Cairns admits he is thrilled to have achieved one of his career objectives to play for Scotland after being selected for his first Test cap for Saturday’s match against Argentina in Rosario (kick off 8.10pm BST).The 22-year-old has been handed the outside centre berth for the clash with the Pumas and says he is really pleased to have been given a chance on the international stage.Cairns said: ‘this was my goal when I was coming through the age-grade systems._ As this year went on I set my sights on going on the tour and then, obviously, once youre on tour you are not there just to make up the numbers._ You really want to push for a place._ Im delighted to get my chance in the first Test._Read Ben’s exclusive blog only here on Registration for the website is FREE so sign up today and get the inside story from the Scotland camp – A Letter from South America. Remember Ben is in for next season and you can join him in a vibrant, exciting team that is going places by signing up for a 2008/2009 Edinburgh Rugby season ticket. Call 0131 346 5180 to reserve your place at The Castle – next season promises to be even more memorable than the last.It is a notable milestone in a rugby career that started 14 years ago in the mini rugby scene in Edinburgh where Ben was following in the footsteps of his older brother Mark, who now plays for Currie.He recalled: It was playing for Royal High minis._ I was in Primary 4 so would be aged about 8._ We had our first tournament at Hawkhill in Leith and we won._ I was playing alongside Alan MacDonald (Edinburgh and Scotland A flanker).His first memory of international rugby was when he watched Scotland lose to South Africa in 1994 at Murrayfield and that stuck in the schoolboy’s mind because he remembers seeing seat covers in the stadium.He said: One of the first I can remember was when South Africa came to Murrayfield in 1994._ The stadium was reopened that day and I remember there were cushioned seat covers. I’d be nine then.On the topic of coaches who helped to shape the nascent stages of his playing says, Cairns cites 1984 Grand Slam flanker Jim Calder who was his mini rugby coach at Royal High as a major influence._ Then he also paid tribute to his midis coach, another Grand Slam hero, 1990 wing, Iwan Tukalo was his coach.More recently, Phil Smith was his academy coach and Cairns said: He was a really good skills coach who helped me in terms of my passing.In terms of his development over the past two seasons, Cairns praised the influence of Edinburgh assistant coach Rob Moffat.Cairns said: My first experience with Rob was through the Scotland 7s set-up._ His enthusiasm for the game completely rubs off on you._ ‘training day in, day out, it’s great to have someone like Rob on board because I feel I can talk to him about my game as he knows my game inside out.Andy Robinson handed Cairns the Edinburgh captain’s armband earlier on in the campaign and the centre says the former Lions coach has had a massive impact on his career. He said: Andy’s massive attention to detail and wealth of experience has played a key role in instilling a winning mentality._ He seems to spot everything. He knows when youre training well and will tell you and, equally, knows when youre training badly and will not be slow to let you know to buck up your ideas.Everyone associated with Edinburgh Rugby Club would like to wish Ben and Matt Mustchin the very best of luck ahead of their Test debuts.Scotland team to play Argentina in the first Test at Gigante de Arroyito in Rosario on Saturday 7 June (kick-off 8.10pm BST)15 Chris Paterson (Edinburgh)14 Simon Danielli (Ulster)13 Ben Cairns (Edinburgh)12 Graeme Morrison (Glasgow Warriors)11 Thom Evans (Glasgow Warriors)10 Dan Parks (Glasgow Warriors)9 Mike Blair (Edinburgh) CAPTAIN1 Allan Jacobsen (Edinburgh)2 Ross Ford (Edinburgh)3 Euan Murray (Northampton Saints)4 Matt Mustchin (Edinburgh)5 Scott MacLeod (Llanelli Scarlets)6 Alasdair Strokosch (Gloucester)8 Johnnie Beattie (Glasgow Warriors)7 Allister Hogg (Edinburgh)Substitutes16 Dougie Hall (Glasgow Warriors)17 Alasdair Dickinson (Gloucester)18 Alastair Kellock (Glasgow Warriors)19 Kelly Brown (Glasgow Warriors)20 Rory Lawson (Gloucester)21 Phil Godman (Edinburgh)22 Simon Webster (Edinburgh)

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