Deehan: Juggling his Professions
Many of our Scotland U20 age-grade internationalists continue their further education alongside their rugby playing commitments during the Under-20 Six Nations but Matt Deehan has elected to study one of the most demanding courses there is whilst balancing playing international rugby.
An Academy player at Newcastle Falcons, back row Deehan is currently undertaking a medicine degree at Liverpool University.
Jumping across the back row from blindside flanker to Number 8 throughout his four consecutive starts for Scotland in their Under-20s Six Nations campaign, Deehan jumps down to Liverpool every week to attend his medics classes.
He said: ‘’There has been long nights catching up with work and then the early mornings for training which has defiantly proven to test me physically and mentally. It’s something I’ve done for a long time now and believe I need to commit to both professions.
‘’I’m extremely lucky with how accommodating my university is for me to attend classes online when up in Scotland, and vice versa with Scottish Rugby helping to get me up and down the country every week.
‘’I’m only in my first year so there’s still a long way to go but the ultimate goal would be combining my degree with rugby to possibly become a sports doctor.’’
With a bright future that Deehan holds, whether it being making tackles and scoring on a pitch or helping people in the hospital wards, his successes don’t go unnoticed.
Born and raised in Newcastle, and another life in Liverpool for his academic studies, Deehan’s third life is up here in the central belt region of Scotland as his mother’s relations make him eligible to pull on the Scotland shirt.
‘’Both of my parents attended Edinburgh University, and my mum’s parents are from Dunfermline, so I’ve spent a good part of my life visiting and being up in Scotland.’’ He said.
The Newcastle Falcons flanker first started off in their junior academy at U15s, and then progressed up through their pathway to play at their senior academy level.
Whilst making appearances for his university club and having had the opportunity to train in the Scotland U18 camp (the programme was cut short due to covid), playing for Scotland U20s has been Matt’s highest performance level yet. Talking about Scotland U20 two home games against England and France earlier in the campaign he said:
‘’It’s the first big crowd I’ve played in front of and just having them lifts the atmosphere, and support behind us makes this whole experience even more amazing, along with the great bunch of boys I get to share the pitch with.’’ Matt said.
Now stepping into the final round fixture against Ireland on Sunday 20 March at Musgrave Park, Cork, Deehan is up for the challenge to prove Scotland can record a positive performance:
He said: ‘’It’s been frustrating because we know how good of a team we are and our abilities to play with each other is at a high standard, but we’re also playing against other countries who have players at the top of their game as well.
‘’We’re walking into our last game hoping that Scotland can come together and play to our strengths, but we know Ireland are a big threat as their defence is very good, so it’s looking at how we can naturalise that.’’