John Adam Barclay was named EMC Man of the Match for his herculean contribution to Scotland's November 2010 epic victory against South Africa at Murrayfield.
Five months earlier he was also man of the match for another dynamic all-action display as Scotland defeated Argentina 13-9 in Mar del Plata to clinch a historic 2-0 series victory in the summer of 2010 - the first time Scotland had achieved a series success in 50 years of touring.
In the first EMC Autumn Test - against New Zealand - he took on the role of acting Scotland captain when skipper Mike Blair was injured.
Barclay scored his second try for Scotland in the 2010 RBS 6 Nations Championship match against Wales at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff. John made his Scotland debut in the 2007 Rugby World Cup match against New Zealand at Murrayfield the day before his 21st birthday. Even in defeat in that match he produced clear indications as open-side flanker that a long international career lay ahead for him.
His Six Nations Championship debut followed in the opening match of the 2008 tournament against France at Murrayfield. Also that year he played in the Cardiff game against Wales as well as the second Test win against Argentina in Buenos Aires and the November internationals against New Zealand, South Africa, and Canada, scoring his first Scotland try in the last of those matches, the 41-0 win at Pittodrie, Aberdeen. His second came in the opening, frantic 20 minutes of action against Wales in Scotland's second RBS 6 Nations match of 2010.
John, the only uncapped member of Scotland’s original RWC squad, was signed as an apprentice by Glasgow Warriors at the age of 17 in summer 2004, and in October that year, less than a month after his 18th birthday, he was included in the extended squad for Scotland’s autumn Tests. That was even before he had made his Glasgow debut, which followed in November that year, when he made a replacement appearance in the victory against Borders: it was only two days too late for him to claim the record of the youngest player to appear in a Celtic League match.
John had two seasons as an apprentice with Glasgow before he signed a full contract. In the second of those seasons, 2005-2006, he played in 17 matches, starting in all six of Warriors’ Heineken Cup pool matches, and in season 2006-2007 he played in all 27 of Glasgow’s games, starting in 25.
John made a considerable impact playing in the back-row for Scotland under-18 in the 2004 Four Home Unions' tournament, and he played for Scottish Thistles on the European seven-a-side circuit tournament in Budapest in 2003. John played in all five of Scotland’s matches in the 2005 IRB Under 19 World Championship in Durban, South Africa, captaining the team in the opening game against England and scoring the vital try in the win against Romania.
His under-21 international debut was in Falkirk against France in February 2006, and a week later he played against the Welsh at Newport. Because of injury early in that game he missed the Falkirk match against England, but he returned to play in the away wins against Ireland and Italy. He then played in all five matches in the under-21 world championship in France, scoring a try against Georgia. Later that year he made his Scotland A debut as a replacement against Australia A at McDiarmid Park.
In February 2007, also that at Perth ground, he again made a substitute appearance when Scotland A beat their Italian counterparts. He then played in all three of Scotland A’s games in the 2007 Churchill Cup in England, making his first start in the 13-9 win against the USA at Henley. That was followed by his selection as one of five uncapped players in Scotland’s squad for World Cup preparation.
John helped Dollar Academy to an impressive 27-14 win against Dundee High School in the Bell Lawrie White Scottish Schools Cup final at Murrayfield in 2004, and since then he has been awarded several accolades including the Macphail Rugby Scholarship and the Daily Record Sporting Heroes of the Future. He left Glasgow Warriors in the summer of 2013 and joined Scarlets in Llanelli.