How Ben Vellacott benefited from Scotland call-up as Edinburgh scrum-half eyes summer tour

Ben Vellacott may only have one Scotland cap to his name at present, but the Edinburgh scrum-half believes he has already benefited considerably from his involvement with the national team.

Currently out in South Africa as part of the capital squad that will take on the Sharks in a URC match in Durban tomorrow, Vellacott made his Scotland debut off the bench in the Six Nations win over Italy earlier this month. That cap was seen by many as belated recognition for some exceptional performances for Edinburgh, the team he joined in the close season from Wasps. But the player himself thinks he still has a lot to learn, and aims to produce the sort of late-season form that will earn him a place on Scotland’s summer tour.

“I loved every minute being away in camp with the Scotland boys,” he said. “There are some very good players and some very experienced players who have been in that side for a long time. Just being in that environment has helped my game massively.

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“Linking up with some of the best coaches and players in Scotland, I’ve learned so much. I was just trying to be a sponge as much as I could in that environment so I can bring a lot of things that I learned back into camp with Edinburgh.

Edinburgh's Ben Vellacott with the Cuttitta Cup after earning his first Scotland cap in the Six Nations win over Italy in Rome. (Photo by Ross MacDonald / SNS Group)

“Obviously it was short and sweet, but to get my first cap out in Italy with some of my best friends was class. If I get a chance again to pull on the shirt or be in the squad it will be amazing. The summer tour is coming up so I need to put in some good performances for Edinburgh and hopefully we can finish the season strong.”

Vellacott and his team-mates enjoyed some South African sunshine when the camp began at the start of this week, but they are now hoping for something more like home conditions when they take on the Sharks. “The first 24 hours were pretty sunny,” he continued. “But it’s meant to rain for the next three days, so that will hopefully cool it down and play into our game. So it might be more like Scottish conditions.”

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