Matthew Torrance has already completed something of a rugby odyssey as he prepares to start, for the first time, for Scotland under-20s at Netherdale (Friday 24 February, KO 7.30pm)
Based in Swansea with the Ospreys, Matthew was born in Durban, South Africa and qualilfies to play for both Scotland and Wales via his father and mother respectively.
Having represented Kwazulu Natal at under-16 and under-18 level Matthew signed a development contract with the Ospreys at the end of 2010 but his desire to pull on the dark blue of Scotland has been with him long before he set his sights on making his career in rugby.
Matthew told www.scottishrugby.org “I’m so proud to be starting at scrum-half for Scotland on Friday night, very proud to be playing for Scotland.
“Although I’m playing full-time in Wales and grew up in South Africa, I’ve always thought of Scotland as my home nation, when I was young I thought about being able to play for Scotland. My dad is hugely proud.”
Due to his international education in the game, Matthew is maybe not regarded as a traditional scrappy Scottish scrum-half.
“Playing in South Africa we had hard ground, very little wind and a dry ball. You learn to play quick ball and it’s easier to get the ball wider.
“So I’ve had to adjust my game and get used to the conditions, particularly in Wales, where it feels like it just rains all the time! But you just adapt.
“That’s where, for Scotland, our forwards have been great, particularly in the second half against Wales, providing a great platform to get the ball moving despite the greasy conditions.”
Matthew steps into the number 9 slot after Scott Steele was recalled to his club, Leicester Tiger but the young Osprey caught the eye in the second forty against Wales with his slick service and he hopes to make his mark against the French under-20 side at Netherdale.
“They will be an ‘in your face’ kind of team, very similar to the way the Welsh played. We have been working on a way to beat that and we’re confident that if we stick to the game plan we’ll surprise them.”
Scotland under-20 versus France under-20 is at Netherdale, Gala on Friday 24 February (KO 7.30pm). Entry to the game, as it is with all representative fixtures, is FREE.