Kerr Set To Reach Milestone

ImageGavin Kerr admits there is an element of de ja vu as he prepares to reach a career milestone 50 Scotland caps against Ireland at Croke Park on Saturday, kick off 5pm; because he made his Test debut as a replacement against the same opposition almost exactly five years previously.

The 30-year-old front rower made his international bow against Ireland at Murrayfield on 16 February 2002 when he came off the bench.

Now half-a-decade later he is about to reach a half-century of caps in the same situation; something that amuses the big Borderer.

Kerr said: "It is quite funny because I was on the bench as well for my first cap against Ireland five years ago. It was a great experience to win my first cap and I"m hopeful it will be another memorable occasion on Saturday when I get my 50th.

"You never really count and then when you get to the late 40's you think; there is the possibility I could be getting 50 caps here. I suppose in a sense it will be like any other cap, but it won't be as well; it hasn't really sunk in."

A late developer, Kerr eventually came to prominence as a 25-year-old after impressing down south with Leeds and he admits he thought the chance of wearing the famous dark blue jersey of his country had passed him by at one stage.

He said: "I was getting stuck in a rut at one point; after playing youth rugby nothing was really happening.

"At that point, I wondered if the chance of playing international rugby would ever come along. That is why I made the move down south to see if playing for Scotland would ever happen.

"Going down to Leeds and getting a bit of exposure really helped and if I hadn't done that then playing for Scotland might have never happened."

In terms of Scotland career highlights, Newcastle-born Kerr cites the win over the Calcutta Cup triumph over England as his fondest memory to date; a feat he hopes is repeated in March.

He said: "I"ve had a few highlights so far. I"ve been involved in a few World Cups; that was a massive for me to be involved that.

"But the biggest highlight was probably when we won the Calcutta Cup. Hopefully that will happen again in the next few weeks " that was a massive high for me."

With nine Edinburgh players named in Scotland's 22 (including six in the starting line-up), Kerr believes the men from The Castle's on-field understanding will benefit the national team.

He added: "It will help Scotland that so many players come from the same club. When you play week in, week out with the same players it helps to develop a really good level of on-field understanding that can only benefit the team.

"You can read what a team-mate is going to do and it does make a difference."