Edinburgh's Ben Muncaster reveals Sam Torrance inspiration - and why shark diving in South Africa was a mistake

Ben Muncaster believes that the influence of his ‘Uncle’ Sam Torrance has helped him take the step up to pro rugby in his stride.

The 20-year-old back-rower has been one of Edinburgh’s top performers during the last two months, taking full advantage of his first extended run in the team while a combination of injury and international commitments have rendered Hamish Watson, Jamie Ritchie, Magnus Bradbury, Nick Haining, Viliame Mata and Luke Crosbie unavailable.

“We [he and Torrance] are related, he’s on my dad’s side – I don’t know what the relationship is, but we are a lot closer than it is on paper,” explained Muncaster. “I’ve always called him Uncle Sam and I very much look up to him as an idol.

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“I was actually with him when he watched his first-ever rugby match at Murrayfield. It was in 2018 against England when we thumped them and Finn Russell did that amazing pass. When we were singing Flower of Scotland, he had tears running down his face. It was very inspiring. He is an awesome man.”

Edinburgh's Ben Muncaster in action during the recent defeat to Glasgow Warriors at Scotstoun Stadium. (Photo by Ross Parker / SNS Group)

While Muncaster plays down his own golfing pedigree, he is clearly no slouch when it comes to getting from tee to pin.

“My handicap is just above single figures – I'm about 11 – I wouldn't really class myself as a good golfer,” he added. “But it helps my rugby because in golf, if you let a bad shot get your inside head, you're going to be terrible throughout the game.

“You have to completely forget a bad shot, and that has helped me in my rugby. If you make a mistake in a game you have to wipe that from your memory and just carry on with the next job.”

With Edinburgh currently playing their South Africa leg of their United Rugby Championship campaign, Muncaster had the chance to spend the team’s day-off on Sunday playing golf but chose to go on cage diving with sharks instead, which he admits was a mistake.

Sam Torrance is a relation of Edinburgh's Ben Muncaster, who describes the Scottish golfing legend is his 'idol'. (Photo by Phil Inglis/Getty Images)

“Pierre Schoeman organised it and we had to get up at 5am on Sunday morning after Saturday’s game then travelled about an hour and a half in this minibus,” he revealed. “We then waited for two hours before they cancelled the expedition because the sea was too choppy.

“There was a good chat on the bus, but the shark diving didn't really pay off!”

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