Henderson eyeing Test rugby as the next step in his career

Henderson eyeing Test rugby as the next step in his career

Cameron Henderson is one of three uncapped players, along with Stafford McDowall and Ruaridh McConnochie in Gregor Townsend's Scotland squad, who are preparing to play Italy at Scottish Gas Murrayfield this Saturday.

The Leincester Tigers lock will be hoping to be part of Townsend’s Rugby World Cup squad, with the tournament getting underway in France in September.

The 23-year-old has an opportunity over the next few weeks to put his hand up for selection with four Test matches – three of them being played at home.

The first chance could come this Saturday, against Italy at Scottish Gas Murrayfield, as the sides meet again just four months after Scotland came out ion top in the final round of the Guinness Six Nations.

Scotland then play back-to-back games against France, in Edinburgh and Saint-Étienne and The Famous Grouse Nations Series concludes with a match against Georgia at home on Satururday 26 August.

Henderson has had to be patient for his first cap. He was also named in the Scotland squad for the 2021 summer tour to eastern Europe, only for it to be cancelled due to Covid.

He said: “It has been a bit of an up and down road. I got picked for that summer tour and the following season I felt I was going really well and then I tore my ACL. That was really frustrating.

“I basically had a season out and I have come back this year, trying to just embrace the chances I am getting and do everything I can to eventually make that Test debut.”

Henderson has put in some impressive performances for Leicester Tigers recently, including their Heineken Champions Cup win over Edinburgh in March, which they won 16-6.

He added: “I had trained with those guys in the Six Nations so it was no secret I was trying to put my best foot forward and play as well as I possibly could.

“I knew the coaches would be watching and I would be lying if I said it wasn’t a game I was targeting.”

The next step for Henderson is Test rugby and he hopes that opportunity comes over the next few weeks.

Henderson said: “Growing up, you watch every Rugby World Cup and they only come round every four years, so you want to be part of it.

“To be able to play and compete in that would be pretty special.”

Scotland play Italy (Sat 29 July, 3.15pm), France (Sat 5 Aug, 3.15pm) and then Georgia (Sat 26 Aug, 5.30pm) in The Famous Grouse Nations Series at Scottish Gas Murrayfield. Secure your tickets here.

There are NO Autumn Test fixtures this year, so these games are your last chance to see Scotland men in action on home soil in 2023!

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