AS soon as Kyle Steyn got the news that he was on the verge of winning his first cap for Scotland against France, he got straight on the phone to his dad and told him to book a ticket to Edinburgh.

Steyn hails from South Africa, which is where his parents still live, but after a meteoric rise through the ranks in Scottish rugby, the 26-year-old muscled his way into international contention, with his dad in the stands at Murrayfield to witness the pinnacle of his son’s career so far.

“Gregor told me on Monday night, the squad was getting announced [to the players] on the Tuesday so he pulled me aside and told me I’d be on the bench,” said Steyn.

“My parents were asleep as South Africa is two hours ahead so I just sent mum and dad a Whatsapp message saying I’m playing at the weekend.

“My dad came over. He was the only one who flew over from South Africa but there were tons of my cousins there too.”

Steyn had fairly limited involvement in Scotland’s victory over France on Sunday, with the winger only getting on with 14 minutes to play. And he admits that as the game wore on, he began to have doubts that he would get the nod at all.

However, the call to come off the bench did indeed come, and Steyn impressed in the short time he was on the pitch.

“When it got to 62 minutes, France were coming back at us hard, the rain was coming down, and we were camped at our hand and I thought ‘sh*t, I wonder if I’m going to get on’,” he said.

“Then when Rambo (Stuart McInally) went through and scored, I was chuffed because I thought I would get on then.

“I suppose I needed just one involvement to settle in. It was good to get that kick chase. It was a difficult part of the game to be involved in, there was a lot of back and forth and a lot of kicking. It was difficult to get hands on the ball.”

Steyn began his rugby career in his homeland of South Africa, playing Currie Cup for club side, the Griquas.

He came to Scotland in 2018, qualifying for the international side through his mother, who is from Glasgow. However, at that point, aspirations of winning a Scotland cap seemed a little far-fetched.

Steyn began to make a name for himself in the Scotland 7s side and went on secondment to Glasgow Warriors, there to be used by the Warriors only if needs must.

However, it did not take the Johannesburg-born player long to become an integral member of Dave Rennie’s squad and he was rewarded with a full-time contract with Glasgow this time last year. And such have been the strength of his performances, he won himself a contract extension until 2022 just before Christmas.

He may be a new face in the Scotland set-up but there were plenty of friendly faces in the camp in the week heading up to his debut to ensure he was as relaxed as possible for the France clash.

“I was rooming with Allan Dell - he’s obviously also from South Africa so that was really good,” he revealed.

“And George Horne and I are good mates so he was the first I told when I got the message. When it was announced on Tuesday the boys were great and gave me a tap on the shoulder saying ‘best of luck, congrats’.”

“I got a text from Mike Blair and Gregor gave me a book called ‘Behind the Thistle’ to read with a message written inside.”

Steyn admits himself that this rise was unforeseen even by himself but now that he has had a taste of international rugby, he wants even more.

“Even getting a cap, you wonder if you’ll ever get it. To get it here in front of that crowd at Murrayfield was surreal. It was awesome," he said.

“To get 14 minutes you then want to be out there doing it for 80 minutes. It was awesome to settle the nerves and to join the (international) club.”