Craig Davidson: High hopes to end on a high note
From starting his rugby career in the sun of sub-Saharan Africa to playing under the floodlights of Scotstoun in the navy-blue jersey, loosehead prop Craig Davidson’s career, so far, has been an exciting one.
The Under-20 Six Nations experience off the pitch is just as special as gameday itself. For this group of young players, it is the first time they have had different coaches for different aspects of the game.
“It’s the most professional rugby I have ever played with the way it works going into camp, having a S & C coach, a scrum coach, the lineout attack coach, everything is just professional. It’s just an incredible experience that I will remember forever.”
The Watsonian FC front-row has been at the front of the scrum in every Under-20 Six Nations game during this campaign and it began when he came on as a replacement against England in the second half of the match at the Twickenham Stoop.
“That was just incredible, wearing the thistle for the first time, singing the national anthem. Coming off the bench we were losing at that point, we eventually took the lead in that game, but they did get the win.
“But I think on that night we proved that we are a good rugby team, and everybody came together, and we were super proud of ourselves. I loved every second.”
The next week saw the forward make his first start for Scotland U20 in their first home game of the campaign against Wales.
“That was unreal, beating a 3-year losing streak for Scotland U20. I have said it to many people, that the night we beat Wales was the best night of my life.”
The trip to Agen was Davidson’s first time visiting mainland Europe – an exciting moment for anyone – but one that is even more special by being part of this group and playing in front of a crowd of over 10,000 people.
“Playing in front of a crowd of 10,500 people – there’s not many people who get to do that in their lives. Even at high school I played in front of a couple of thousand people, but it doesn’t even compare. The French host a rugby game very well.”
The last two games for the Scotland team haven’t gone as they would have hoped, but spirits are not dampened within camp.
“Our Head Coach, Kenny [Murray], said to us straight after the Ireland game, ‘we all know it wasn’t good enough, but the beauty of it is we get to come together and next week there’s another game. The most important thing is that we come together now, we accept this and we take this loss on the chin’, and everyone is willing to do that because we are a team.”
Hope is not lost amongst this team; the positivity has been gleaming through the Oriam windows at training. The team will run out at Scotstoun in Glasgow for one last hurrah against Italy on Sunday afternoon with the chance to secure a second home win.
“We know the last two performances weren’t good enough and we are a lot better than that. But everybody is feeling positive, we have done a lot of reflection and preparation.
“It’s not over and we have got high hopes that we will end the Six Nations on a high note.”