Get to know Scottish speedster Jack Blain
Edinburgh and Scotland U20 wing Jack Blain
Date of birth 21 February 2000 Born Edinburgh Club Edinburgh Country Scotland Position Wing
How did you first get into rugby?
I started off at the Stew Mel Lions when I was five or six. Then I played all the way through school, at Stewart’s Melville College. I was involved in some regional stuff and have played age-grade for Scotland as well – U16, U18 and U20.
Did you play any other sports?
I played cricket and did athletics for the school. I got involved in as many things as possible – I’m from a sporty family. My older brother, Scott, plays cricket and my younger brother, Tom, plays golf.
I really enjoy rugby and being part of a team, and I was lucky enough to be offered an academy contract straight out of school. So I thought I’d give it a go and see where it took me. I’ve really enjoyed it this year.
Have you always been a wing?
I played a bit at centre at school but I’ve always enjoyed playing on the wing and I’m most comfortable out there. I like running with ball in hand.
Which players do you admire?
I like Rieko Ioane and Jacob Stockdale.
Who’s been the biggest influence on you?
My mum and dad for their support and driving me everywhere. My school coaches for giving me the confidence to run with the ball and be able to play.
Also Ally Donaldson and Ian Monaghan, who I had last year with the U18s. They were really positive and gave the team confidence. We won our three matches.
What have you learnt training with the senior Edinburgh squad?
It’s been a great experience. My core skills have improved a lot because we do a lot of 15 v 15. And my contact work because I’m going up against bigger guys. That’s given me a lot of confidence.
What are your goals going forward?
Hopefully I get picked for the Junior World Cup, where we have a tough pool of New Zealand, South Africa and Georgia. That should be a great experience.
Obviously there will be boys away with Scotland (at the start of next season), so it would be great if I can get Edinburgh game time then.
What do you do away from rugby?
This season I wanted to just focus on rugby, but I’ve applied to do history at uni next year. I’d like to do it full-time if I could. I’ll have discussions with the uni about what’s manageable.
RW VERDICT: The teenager was one of the bright lights in a disappointing U20 Six Nations for the Scots. He became the first player born this century to represent Edinburgh, in a pre-season friendly against Bath, and recently made his Pro14 bow v Benetton.
This article originally appeared in the May 2019 edition of Rugby World magazine.
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