Scotland call-up the Cherry on top for ex-Merchiston pupil David

Former Merchiston Castle School pupil David Cherry has “worked hard and grabbed his opportunity with both hands” according to Scotland rugby head coach Gregor Townsend after the hooker was given his first national team squad call-up on Wednesday.

Cherry, who turned 28 earlier this month, has really impressed many since he moved to Edinburgh Rugby in the summer, showing up well for them domestically and in the Heineken Champions Cup.

Scotland’s first game of the Six Nations is against Italy at BT Murrayfield on February 2 and Cherry is now in contention for the matchday 23.

Cherry played rugby for the school throughout his time in Colinton Road and went on to represent Scotland 10 times at under-20 level, starting all five games at the 2011 Junior World Championship in Italy.

He played his senior rugby at Currie before making the move to English Championship side London Scottish in 2014.

Cherry soon cemented himself in their starting XV, but after three seasons at the Athletic Ground – in which he made 54 appearances, scoring 45 points in the process – he joined Stade Niçois as part of Scottish Rugby’s performance pathway partnership.

He excelled in France during the 2017/18 campaign, leading to him joining Edinburgh last summer.

“David Cherry’s a really good example to youngsters of working hard and being patient,” Townsend said on Wednesday.

“Here is someone who had been playing at the Championship level in England, but he got an opportunity elsewhere through Scottish Rugby’s relationship with Stade Niçois.

“We’d had a lot of positive feedback from the coaches out there last year and he’s worked hard and grabbed his opportunity with both hands at Edinburgh this year.

“It was a real shame that he got ill before the recent Southern Kings game because I think he would have gone really well that night, but every time he’s come off the bench for Edinburgh in the last few months he’s taken the game to the opposition.

“He doesn’t seem to be fazed with the opposition that he’s playing against, so that’s a good sign for us that he’s ready to go to the next level and take the opportunity.

“He is also one of the quickest forwards at Edinburgh and we’ll get to know much more about him once we get to work with him in the coming weeks.”

The Scotland squad is due to meet up on the outskirts of Edinburgh on Sunday for their first Six Nations training camp.

Fellow ex-Merchiston pupil Magnus Bradbury, the Edinburgh back-row, is on the injured list, but could feature later in the event that runs until March 16.

Scotland squad for the 2019 Six Nations:

Forwards: Alex Allan, Adam Ashe, Simon Berghan, Jamie Bhatti, David Cherry, Allan Dell, Grant Gilchrist, Gary Graham, Jonny Gray, John Hardie, Jake Kerr, Stuart McInally, Willem Nel, D’Arcy Rae, Jamie Ritchie, Sam Skinner, Grant Stewart, Josh Strauss, Tim Swinson, Ben Toolis, Hamish Watson, Ryan Wilson.

Backs: Chris Dean, Darcy Graham, Nick Grigg, Sam Johnson, Chris Harris, Adam Hastings, Stuart Hogg, George Horne, Pete Horne, Huw Jones, Lee Jones, Blair Kinghorn, Greig Laidlaw (C), Sean Maitland, Ali Price, Finn Russell, Tommy Seymour.

Thanks to Scottish Rugby/SNS for the photo

Merchiston’s Summer Rugby Camp will run from Sunday 21 July 2019 to Friday 26 July 2019. Please click here to register.

The rugby camp is professionally designed and tailored to meet the individual development needs of every player.

The progressive programme includes:

  • Individual skill and unit development sessions
  • Game and positional understanding
  • Video analysis i.e. goal kicking techniques
  • Strength & conditioning, fitness and injury prevention workshops
  • Nutritional and lifestyle seminars
  • Leadership and team building activities

 “This rugby camp experience will kick-start your season and allow you to hit the ground running!” Roddy Deans, Director of Rugby and Scotland U16 Head Coach.

If you have any enquiries regarding the camp, please call +44 131 312 2231 or email [email protected]