Date of birth: 16 August, 1996. Country: Scotland.
Where did you first pick up a rugby ball?
My first club, for minis, was Madras, in St Andrews. I went to Strathallan on a scholarship when I was coming into U13s. It was mainly for rugby but I did other sports like cricket and judo.
How good were you at judo?
I was second in Britain and won the Scottish Championships, but it was hard to do as much training as I needed, so when I was 15 I gave up.
Have you always been a back-row?
I moved into the forwards from No 10, after U16s. Our school team wasn’t the best so I could run the show from ten, but when I went into district rugby I moved to the back row to be more effective and closer to play. I played some No 8 in school.
What was it like signing a pro deal?
It was pretty surreal having a meeting with Alan Solomons. At the time I was meeting to talk about an academy contract. I had always kind of been diverted towards Glasgow, being from Caledonia, but then Edinburgh offered me a full-time contract.
What has the first year been like?
I’ve not played as much as I’d like but I’m the youngest there by a few years. There’s so much competition in the back row, but it’s great to learn from David Denton, who’s a lineout forward like me, or Cornell du Preez, who has great skills. I also had a meeting with Scott Johnson because I’m the first ever guy to sign straight from school and I’ve met Vern Cotter, who was great to get some interaction with.
RW Verdict: Ritchie helped Scotland to their best U20 Six Nations finish this year and is part of an impressive back row in that side. Already pushing for game time with Edinburgh, this teenager is clearly a quick learner!
First published in the July 2015 edition of Rugby World magazine.