The night before an international debut is no doubt filled with dreams of glory and, perhaps, fleeting nightmares of what could go wrong.
If there is to be no match-winning try or electric match-defining display then sometimes solid and steady is the best you can hope for and Magnus Bradbury can certainly reflect on that after what looks sure to be the first of many caps for his country.
The 21-year-old Edinburgh back-rower was rewarded for his storming start to the season with a place in what was a youthful looking pack and didn’t put a foot wrong in what was a trying, though ultimately triumphant evening for the men in dark blue as they eked out a late 19-16 win over Argentina.
The 6ft 4in forward from Oban was beaming after the game, joking that he would look to keep his 100 per cent Test record going for as long as he can and admitted it would be “a bit weird” to have his mother Dee, who is the SRU vice-president, at the official post-match dinner.
Bradbury admitted that the increase in tempo from the club game was noticeable but that he was quick to find his feet.
“Yeah it was incredible. Everybody says how quick it’s going to be,” he said. “I noticed the pace in those first couple of phases. It was unbelievably quick.
“I was a bit overwhelmed to be honest, it was pretty surreal out on the pitch. But I got my head down and just tried to do what I do.
“It is special to get your first cap, I’m so happy but at the end of the day, it’s just another game of rugby and you’ve got to focus on what the team need to do and what you need to do yourself to make as big an impact as possible.
“It all flew by but when you’re out on that pitch, you know that you need to focus and just do what you do.”
On the eve of the match No.8 and back-row father figure for the day John Barclay revealed that Bradbury had “felt sick” when he found out he would be in the starting line-up.
The youngster said he was nervous in the hour before the game kicked off but any understandable butterflies would have been settled by an opening ten minutes which saw Scotland well on top and Bradbury starting his international career in assured fashion with some tidy rucking and a couple of good carries.
He broke the Argentine line for the first time in the 15th minute but the game had entered a fractured phase with mistakes creeping in from both sides.
Tempers frayed and Finn Russell encountered the first of a series of fisticuff flashpoints in what was a tetchy encounter. When handbags were drawn on the touchline it was the young debutant who was first on the scene to back up his stand-off and show the opposition he wasn’t going to be pushed around.
A dour first 40 meandered to its conclusion with Scotland 6-3 up but the Argentines levelled early in the second as Scotland tried to find a spark and it was Bradbury who popped up on the right flank outside Stuart Hogg to provide another line break, but the setback of Matias Orlando’s opening try for the tourists soon followed and Bradbury departed in the 51st minute to be replaced by Ryan Wilson.
Bradbury said he was always confident watching from the bench that the Scots could see out what developed into an extremely close and tense battle.
He now hopes to double his cap tally against Georgia at Rugby Park next weekend. “Hopefully I’ll be in the mix again,” he said and going by Vern Cotter’s assessment of the debut he has every chance.
“I’m very happy with Magnus. He wasn’t overawed at all, carried well and was involved,” said the coach. “He’s a good athlete, I thought [20-year-old tighthead] Zander [Fagerson] stepped up as well which shows that there are good young players coming through. It’s good for depth and competition in places.