Huntly rugby kid Innes Parkin stars for Scotland and Glasgow Warriors but coronavirus outbreak denies him a Murrayfield debut
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THE sporting lockdown denied a rugby-mad Drumblade youngster the opportunity to play on the hallowed turf of Murrayfield.
But rising Huntly RFC stand-off Innes Parkin looks set for a bright future in his sport after being selected for Glasgow Warriors’ and Scotland Blues’ under-16 teams.
The 15-year-old Gordon Schools pupil first came to prominence last summer when he successfully came through trials with the Caledonia regional squad, along with pal and Huntly team-mate Scott Riach.
Innes starred in four representative games and caught the eye of Glasgow Warriors selectors, who drafted him into their under-16 team.
He played in youth matches against Cardiff Blues at Cardiff Arms Park and Saracens in London, before earning his Scotland call-up in a Blues versus Reds match in February.
He was due to play tour matches in Wales, as well as a dream chance to represent Glasgow under-16s in a match against Newcastle at the Scottish home of
rugby, Edinburgh’s Murrayfield Stadium, last weekend.
However, the coronavirus pandemic and subsequent halt in all sporting activities across the world put paid to what would have been Innes’ biggest day yet.
“We were supposed to be playing at Murrayfield (on Sunday) but that got cancelled,” he said.
“I’ve never got the chance to play there so that was annoying, because I was looking forward to it. Hopefully I’ll get another chance one day.”
It’s little surprise that Innes has developed his rugby talent, given his rugby background and lifelong obsession with the sport.
His dad Steve used to play and now coaches the Huntly 1st XV, a team which includes Innes’ older brother Calum (18) and his uncle Phil. That same family unit have followed Innes across the UK in the past year, from Caledonia matches at Gala, Boroughmuir, Aberdeen and Broadwood football stadium in Cumbernauld to Largs regional sports facility, and Warriors matches in Wales and England.
“It was a good experience playing at these places, and quite intense being part of the Warriors.”
Innes is unsure what 2020 will bring to him once rugby union returns to action.
He will continue to play for Huntly’s under-18 team while the Caledonia regional under-17s squad are set for a development year which may not include games and restrict his international ambitions for now.
“It’s definitely an ambition to play for Scotland one day if I can. I just need to keep working hard,” he said.
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