The former coach of the youngest prop to be capped for Scotland in half a century said he always knew his young charge was destined for greatness.
Andy Henderson said seeing Zander Fagerson run on to the pitch at Murrayfield was “one of the proudest moments” of his coaching career.
The 20-year-old first came to the notice of Mr Henderson after winning a rugby scholarship to Strathallan School.
On Saturday Fagerson made his Scotland debut as a 68th minute replacement for Willem Nels in the 15-9 Calcutta Cup defeat.
But Mr Henderson, the rugby coach at the Perthshire school, saw Zander’s star potential from day one.
He said: “I recall when I first saw Zander play rugby. He left quite a few players in his wake. He had a physical presence that I had not seen before, or since, for a boy of his age but it was not only his size that made him stand out.
“In addition to his obvious natural strength Zander loved the contact, he was fast, had great skills and clearly revelled in the demands of the game.
“His passion for rugby was evident both on and off the pitch in essence he was the complete package.
“When Zander first came to Strathallan he played No 8 but I knew that his talent really lay in the front row and I never doubted that one day he would play for Scotland if he made the decision to move positions.
“Though Zander did question it at the time he committed to his new position wholeheartedly and thrived as a tighthead prop.”
During his time at Strathallan, Zander worked his way up the age group levels representing Scotland at U16 and U18 as well as U20, for which he is still eligible.
After leaving Strathallan, Zander joined the Scottish Rugby Elite Development Programme and signed his first contract for the Glasgow Warriors in March 2014, making his debut for them in a 40-23 win at Treviso in October that year.
As a schools’ representative for Scottish Rugby, Strathallan headmaster Bruce Thompson was at Murrayfield to see Zander being presented with his first cap.
He said: “It was a privilege to see Zander make his first appearance for Scotland the youngest prop in a top tier nation in the professional era and as a member of the Scottish Rugby Council to be able to see him awarded his first cap at the dinner after the game.”