Ben White looking for more special moments in French test
There are few people with a tale of their first encounter of the roar of a Scottish crowd quite as remarkable as Ben White.
Brought onto the field against England in the 2022 Guinness Six Nations as an HIA replacement for Ali Price, White was fired into the action at scrum-half in the 13th minute of a tense first half at Scottish Gas Murrayfield. By the 18th minute, he had his first try for his country, and when Price returned to the field in the 25th minute, the home crowd rose in ovation to honour a 12-minute cameo the likes of which many there that day would have never experienced before.
“The crowd were pretty loud all day. I remember arriving at the stadium and there was just thousands of people standing outside in the rain. That support is just amazing to have and it does give you that extra motivation because you want to put on a performance for them.
“Then when I went on and I ended up scoring, I turned round and the whole stadium on their feet. The noise was deafening, it was incredible.
“The way it happened was pretty special and something I’ll never forget. Walking off the pitch after 12 minutes, it was pretty crazy. I was literally shaking with the adrenaline!”
White has amassed 14 caps in just 18 months of international rugby, highlighting his rapid rise in becoming an important player for Scotland. Eight of those have come at Scottish Gas Murrayfield, with a ninth to follow on Saturday. The scrum-half believes the home crowd is special and hopes to give them more to shout about.
“I think it’s the passion, seeing how proud people are to support their country. Hopefully we can go out there on Saturday and put in a performance that they can be proud of.
“We want to be connected to them, we’re working hard for them and we’re trying to play a style of rugby that they can be proud of and support. We want to win and give them special moments that they can share with their family. It’s always so special to get the win and make those moments that people will remember for the rest of their lives.
“They support us so well, and Scottish Gas Murrayfield seems to have a lot of those moments. It’s always amazing to be out on the pitch.
“Being able to see people after games is special as well and to see how happy they are after a win. We want to show them the respect we have for them and what it means to us that they support the team. Even hours after the game when we come out to the bus, there’s still people waiting to see us, wind, rain or snow!”
White is hoping to topple the country that not only hosts the World Cup, but will become his home after signing for Toulon. But before playing his rugby there, he is already aware of the threats their national team hold.
“They’re a top team and all of their players are fantastic players. They’ve been playing a very good system for a long time now so they know it well. It’s a brilliant challenge, but you definitely want to play these big teams and have that rivalry. Going up against a top team means you have to be accurate, you have to play your best rugby for 80 minutes which is what we didn’t do when we played them in the Guinness Six Nations.
“It’ll be exciting, it’ll be a great challenge and hopefully a big crowd will be behind us.
“When there’s a big crowd at Scottish Gas Murrayfield, they get behind you when you’re struggling and the same when you’re winning. They put pressure on the opposition when they’re loud and vocal. You feel the atmosphere building, and when it’s your own fans it gives you that little bit of extra energy and excitement and encouragement to go on and win for Scotland.”