Bosses at Biggar backing Rory Sutherland to vie for test place for Lions in South Africa
Officials at Biggar Rugby Club are backing Rory Sutherland, their first past player to be named in a British and Irish Lions squad, to build on an impressive debut for the touring side at the weekend by vying for a test place in South Africa.
Sutherland, playing his first game since going off injured during Scotland’s Six Nations victory over France in March, was in the starting line-up for the Lions’ warm-up game against Japan at Edinburgh’s Murrayfield Stadium on Saturday and acquitted himself well enough during the 51 minutes he was on the pitch to put himself in contention for a matchday squad place at least, reckons Ian Notman.
Notman, now senior playing convener but vice-president when Sutherland was at Biggar for the 2012-13 season after leaving Hawick but before moving on to Gala, said: “It’s great for us as, even though he was only here for a season, we like to think of him as one of our own.
“Obviously he was at Hawick first and he later went to Gala and George Graham, and it was George who really made him, I think, but he was one of ours too and it’s good for us to get that recognition.”
Notman was also impressed by how well the 28-year-old bounced back from months out with a shoulder injury, saying: “He’s really competitive, and on Saturday especially he did everything that was asked of him.
“He was given a chance to show he could do a job and is worth a place in matchday squad of 23 against the Springboks, and even if he doesn’t get a starting place, he proved he’s there or thereabouts.
“He’s very athletic and a very good scrummager, and if he can stay free of injuries, he’ll be able to play at the level he’s at for years to come.
“His physios have made a grand job of getting him back to full fitness and he’ll be wanting a chance to play one of the Springboks’ teams.
“It won’t be easy for them down there trying to beat South Africa, but it’s been done before and they’ve got a good squad.”
Notman added that he hopes the sight of Sutherland playing for the Lions will act as an inspiration for youngsters currently at the club to up their game.
The Lions’ next game after their 28-10 victory against Japan, their first-ever game in Scotland, is against Emirates Lions this coming Saturday, July 3, in Johannesburg.