Glen Young grew up in Jedburgh playing two vs two on the street with no cares about banging his head off the ground or getting a bloody knee while going in full contact.

That was his introduction to rugby after falling in love with it watching the Six Nations and now he’s hoping he can fulfil a life long ambition by running out as a Scotland player in the competition.

The 29-year-old has three caps for his country since making the move to Edinburgh in 2021 having previously played for Doncaster Knights, Newcastle Falcons and Harlequins earlier in his career. He might have thought he had missed his opportunity at that stage having not been involved with Scotland since 2014 with the U20s but his first cap came in a summer test against Argentina, and now he’s keen to add more to his name.

This is the Edinburgh lock’s third Scotland camp but it’s the first time he’s been involved in a Six Nations and he’s keen to make an impression on Gregor Townsend with the squad training in Spain before heading to Wales for the opening game of the tournament on Saturday evening hoping to get off to a great start.

He said: “It’s my first Six Nations, so I’m really excited about that. That’s the one for me that I grew up watching. 

“You had the World Cup every four years, which is really exciting. But I can’t remember watching that too much - and I can remember every year watching the Six Nations and dreaming of playing for Scotland. At half-time I would go out into my street and play - we would pretend we were playing for Scotland.

“I just remember watching boys like Ross Ford and Chris Paterson playing - watching them play and just loving it. As I say, we used to go out into my street. We’d go two v two, full contact on the concrete - but I don’t think any of us got our heads split open or anything.

“Obviously there’s Greig Laidlaw. He’s a Jed boy - not the same position, but I remember when he started playing for Scotland, how much the town got behind him. 

“It was the same when I turned pro - they’re so passionate about it there, and the town got behind me. Then when I have been involved in camps and when I got capped, they’re just so much behind you.

“When I saw that Greig could do it - he’s just a regular Jed guy - it didn’t look too far out of reach.”

“When I came back to Edinburgh I wouldn’t say I thought the ship had sailed or anything, but I was a bit later in my career. Then I did finally get called up, so I was pretty buzzing to get that call-up.

“I’ve been loving playing for Edinburgh this year, and I just hope that I continue that form if I do get a chance to play in the Six Nations. I’m just loving it.”

Scotland are without Grant Gilchrist for the opening game due to suspension and that’s opened the door for Young to potentially take his place. Young is focusing on his own game though and not thinking about the battle for places, which he believes will take care of itself and Townsend will pick the players he feels is best for his game plan.

It’s a position with a lot of competition with the likes of Glasgow Warriors pair Richie Gray and Scott Cummings as well as Sam Skinner looking for a place in the team and Young reckons each of them bring a different strength to the squad.

He added: “I’ve just got to try and put my best foot forward in training and see if anything happens from that. This year I’ve had a real focus on myself, trying to put my best foot forward in training and in games, and if that then leads to game time with the national team, then that’s great. But all I can do is focus on myself.

“There’s obviously competition, which is a good thing in your position, because it drives you on to be better. There’s a lot of competition in the second row in the Edinburgh squad. It’s healthy competition and it brings out the best in each of us - it’s driven us forward. 

“I’d say the locks have got a lot of different skill sets here and at Edinburgh. I think the coaches can probably pick different combinations according to the opposition that we’re playing. It’s good to have different variations that you can go with.

“I think it’s just the consistency and the minute details. There are some things that you get away with at club level, that you’re not going to get away with at international level. So you have to be hot on every area of your game.

“I’ve been having a real focus on that this year when I’ve been playing. There are certain aspects of my game that have potentially been weaknesses, and I’ve been having a real focus on that. Not trying to over-think the whole game, just trying to put it into small areas of the game and focus on those. I think that has been helpful.”