Matthew Burns

Redpath “buzzing” after amazing international rugby debut for Scotland

Article written by Gary Heatly

The vast majority of the population south of the border will have been cheering for England when they took on Scotland on Saturday in the big Calcutta Cup rugby match behind closed doors at Twickenham.

However, many from the Sedbergh School population will have been willing former pupil Cameron Redpath (Class of 2018) to have a good game for Scotland on his debut.

And the 21-year-old Bath centre certainly delivered, looking cool as a cucumber from the outset of the Six Nations 2021 round one clash as the Scots won 11-6, their first triumph at England’s home ground since 1983.

Redpath makes a break against England.
Credit:Scottish Rugby

Redpath, the son of former Scotland skipper and well-respected professional rugby coach Bryan, headed to Sedbergh in his Lower Sixth after time at King’s School in Macclesfield.

Sedbergh Director of Sport Stuart Oliver said in a recent interview that “as soon as Cameron joined you could see he was a brilliant athlete”.

Whether playing for the school first XV, Scotland and England age-grade teams, Sale Sharks, Bath or now the full Scottish side over the last few years, Redpath has always looked composed for one so young.

On Saturday he delivered a midfield masterclass in defence and attack and immediately after the match he said:  “It was very exciting, all the lads are buzzing, I am buzzing, and it’s unreal to be a part of it.

“It couldn’t have been a better first cap.

“Stand-off Finn Russell said to me during the week ‘let’s get you on the ball early and make sure you get that first carry in’, and after I did carry once the ball just seemed to come to my hands a lot which was good.

“I wanted to get involved in the game as much as I could, I wasn’t nervous at all which is the best feeling for your first cap.”

Redpath shrugs off attempted tackle by England's Tom Curry.
Credit: Scottish Rugby

It can be hard for anyone going into a new environment, but “Finn, captain Stuart Hogg, Chris Harris and Jamie Ritchie” were among those who helped Redpath settle straight away in Gregor Townsend’s squad when he first joined up with them in late January at their base on the outskirts of Edinburgh.

Before that he had decided to play for Scotland over England who he was also eligible for and was, of course, called up to Eddie Jones’ full squad when still at Sedbergh in 2018.

Injury meant that he never did tour with England though and the rest as they say is history, but he did take his time before finally deciding to commit to the Scots.

“I didn’t want to rush into any decisions,” he explains.

“I felt like this was the right time to come into international rugby and Stuart Hogg was in touch quite a bit saying he felt that I could play a massive part for Scotland.

“For me it was the right time personally, but he also had a massive part to play in my decision and it was good that he presented me my cap on Saturday after the match.

“The way we play as a squad is enjoyable for fans and enjoyable for us as players and that was a massive appeal for me. This all came at the right time.”

After the match, Scottish Rugby’s backroom staff set-up a Zoom call so that Redpath and fellow debutant Dave Cherry’s families could watch on as they were presented their caps in the changing room.

Moments earlier the duo had been chosen by Hogg to lift the Calcutta Cup on the pitch, a lovely gesture.

Scottish debutants, Cam Redpath and Dave Cherry, lift the Calcutta Cup.
Credit: Scottish Rugby

Redpath does not have too long to soak up this famous win now though, next Saturday Scotland host Wales in round two of the tournament behind closed doors at BT Murrayfield.

“We’ve got to enjoy the win, then park it, push hard this week in training and have a good game against Wales on Saturday,” he said. “As a squad we are determined this is not a high point, but just the start of something special.”

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