Blair Kinghorn’s cameo appearance whets his appetite for Test rugby
The Edinburgh fullback came on for the injured Tommy Seymour with 15 minutes to go of the 25-13 win over England.
Blair Kinghorn could not have asked for a better introduction to Test rugby.
The Edinburgh fullback made a cameo appearance from the bench in the dying moments as Scotland ended their Calcutta Cup misery with a stunning 25-13 triumph over England at BT Murrayfield.
Kinghorn came on for the injured Tommy Seymour with 15 minutes to go as the Dark Blues held on for a first win over the Auld Enemy since 2008, and it was just reward for his decision to ditch football and pursue a rugby career.
The rangy 21-year-old was formerly part of the Hearts academy, but when forced to make a decision between the two, chose a path into rugby and that decision has now paid off.
“It’s worked out okay so far,” he said. “I don’t know what would have happened had I stayed in football. Probably nothing.
“I’m really, really happy. I just need to take every day as it comes, keep working hard and see what comes.
“The way things worked with my school rugby and my club football, they eventually fell on the same day.
“I then had to make a decision – but I’m pretty happy with the one I made.”
It's so far been quite the year for Blair Kinghorn 💪— Edinburgh Rugby (@EdinburghRugby) February 8, 2018
✅ Most defenders beaten in the Guinness PRO14
✅ Most metres gained in the Guinness PRO14
❓ Scotland debut
Congrats on being named in the Scotland squad to face France, Blair! 🎉 pic.twitter.com/wVisDx8sey
After starting his career on such a high, Kinghorn is desperate for further involvement, but there is a real possibility he will never experience such an intense atmosphere as he did on debut.
When asked if his fleeting appearance had whetted his appetite, he said: “Yeah definitely. Once you’ve tasted it you want to keep going back.
“But I don’t think anything will beat that to be honest.”
He added: “It was really great to cross that white line on Saturday and make my debut.
Chuffed for @Blair_Kinghorn winning his first cap. Not a bad way to make your debut. Congrats big fella.— Stuart W Hogg (@StuartWHOGG_) February 25, 2018
“I was really chuffed. All my family were here and I was really proud. It was a brilliant day for me and the team.”
A gifted runner with ball in hand, Kinghorn’s decision-making and inconsistency was behind his Edinburgh coach Richard Cockerill’s comments that he was not ready for international rugby as recently as November.
Kinghorn has been working hard to iron out those errors but says the national coaches have encouraged him to play his natural game.
“Everyone said through the week that if I did get on, I was just to play my own game. Don’t change anything,” he said.