Jamie Shedden – Learning with every jump
Progressing through the rugby system means learning every day - and Jamie Shedden is taking this in his stride.
Ayrshire Bulls centre Jamie Shedden began his rugby career at Kilmarnock RFC, the club he played for from the age of eight until senior level. Despite playing rugby from a young age, Jamie didn’t grow up in a family full of rugby fans, like so many others do. He said, “None of my family actually played any rugby, I think it was just one of those things I liked the look and sound of when I was a wee boy and the more I played it, the more I liked it.
“When I got into rugby, my dad was learning about it at the same time as me which was good.”
Whilst playing for Kilmarnock, Jamie was invited by one of his friends at Marr RFC to start training with the Troon based Tennent’s Premiership club. The 22-year-old said, “I played the season with Marr and had a really good season. I’d say that’s where I had some really good improvement.
“I liked the step up [from Tennent’s West Region League Division 1 to Tennent’s Premiership] because I was able to push myself. We also won the Premiership [in 2022] – so that was great.
“It was quite hard to leave all the boys I had played with at Kilmarnock, but they understood it as well.”
It was during his successful stint at Marr RFC that Jamie received a message from Ayrshire Bulls Assistant Coach (at the time) Pete Horne asking if he would like to join the FOSROC Super6 outfit. He said, “[Horne] had come down to watch a Marr game and I had a pretty good game.”
The centre was in the right place at the right time as he admits, “I think he was actually down looking for one of the props, so I think he just spotted me when he was looking at another player.”
Jamie has made seven appearances for Ayrshire Bulls over the 2022 FOSROC Super6 Championship and has scored two tries during this shift. His talent has not gone unnoticed as he was awarded FOSROC Super6 Player of the Match in his teams Round 4 clash against Watsonians.
“I’ve just been learning with every jump I’ve made. But it’s always challenging getting used to [playing at a higher level].
“It was a big step up but when you’ve got boys around you who have more experience and are a bit older than you, they keep you right.
“You make mistakes, but you make them once and you know what you have to do next time.”
“The guys from the pro teams bring even more knowledge – you learn as much from the coaches as you do the other players.”
Looking ahead to the weekend, Jamie thinks his team is ready to take on their Edinburgh-based rivals. He said, “We’ve done enough preparation, it’s just about putting it into the game at the weekend.
“Physicality will be a big part of it, we’ve played Watsonians before, so we know what they bring and we know how physical they are, so we know what we’ll need to be on point.
“We can attack from anywhere but it’s about being patient and taking opportunities as they come instead of forcing something.”