Duncan Weir says he will always cherish his appearance against France last month after waiting three years to get back into the Scotland team.
Weir played the last couple of minutes of Scotland’s epic 28-17 victory that ended Les Bleus’ Grand Slam hopes at BT Murrayfield.
The 28-year-old made his debut against France in the 2012 Championship and accumulated 27 caps. But when Vern Cotter was replaced by Gregor Townsend as head coach in 2017, he quickly fell out of favour.
Finn Russell’s continued excellence and the emergence of Adam Hastings pushed Weir down the pecking order but with the former playing no part in this year’s Championship, the window opened up again.
“It was pretty special. It had been a long three years from my last cap and having my daughter [Emily] there, it was really special,” the Worcester Warriors ace told Scrum Magazine.
“It almost felt like my first cap again. I really tried to soak up the atmosphere and enjoy it because you don’t know when you’re going to be in that position again.
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“It’s been a long road, there’s been a lot of dark times as well, non-selection and purring away at the TV every time they [Scotland] play, so I continue to knuckle down hard and I was desperate to get back into that matchday 23.”
Scotland made a slow start to the 2020 Championship, losing in Ireland in Round 1 and to England in tough weather conditions a week later.
But they regrouped and beat Italy in Round 3 before producing their best performance of the Championship to overturn France.
Weir got hold of the No.10 jersey in the 2014 Championship, where he started every game before going on to feature prominently at the 2015 World Cup.
His last start came against Ireland in 2016 but since moving to Worcester two years ago his form has improved and he says those two minutes were the result of hard work.
“The whole build-up against France, from finding out I was in the squad and then on the bus getting piped into BT Murrayfield, I was just so pleased to be in the 23 and to have friends and family there,” he said.
“I managed to keep it together with the anthem – I’d been dreaming of that moment for a while now, and it was great to enjoy that.
“I took my daughter on a lap of the pitch and it’s moments like that, that you want to cherish.
“I know it was only for a short time, some people will say it’s a token two minutes but I know all the hard work I put in to get there.
“Those two minutes meant the world to me and it was a hugely proud moment for me.”