Heriot’s Rugby hooker Duncan Hood became the youngest FOSROC Super6 player after running onto Goldenare in early 2020 against Boroughmuir Bears at just 17 years old.
He joined the Heriot’s Rugby Club in late 2019 ‘‘in order to move forward as a player’’ after a successful end to his school career with Stewart’s Melville College.
Duncan remembers his nerves leading into his FOSROC Super6 debut in front of a home crowd having only played two games of adult rugby with Heriot’s Blues Men.
‘‘When I got on the pitch, I was passed the ball, looked up and a Boroughmuir Bears second row or number eight was barrelling towards me, luckily I managed to get a tip away otherwise my debut might have been a bit shorter,’’ he said.
‘‘In terms of playing in the competition at 17, I think it was really good to be exposed to that level of rugby so soon and it has had a huge benefit on my understanding of the game and subsequent performance.’’
The young hooker has impressed coaches at training, including Heriot’s Rugby Super6 Head Coach Andrew Kelly, also a Stewart’s Melville College alumni, and Director of Coaching Phil Smith.
‘‘I think the change in environment put me out of my comfort zone in a way that made me want to step up and show myself in front of both new teammates and coaches which has had a positive impact on my development,’’ Duncan said.
‘‘One thing especially about training with the Heriot’s Rugby Super6 squad is the importance of attention to the fine details that really take the quality of rugby to the next level.’’
Duncan believes he turned a corner as a rugby player when he was 14 years old leading to representative honours with Edinburgh U16, Scotland U16 and Scotland U17 squads.
In December 2019 he captained Stewart’s Melville College 1st XV to a Schools U18s Cup win in Murrayfield, which Duncan describes as his favourite rugby career memory so far.
‘‘Being my last year and season at school, to be able to play in that match as one of the last games with your school mates is quite some feeling, I don’t think many things could top that,’’ he said.