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'I was in a pretty rough place': How celebrations went for surprise call-up Ryan Wilson following Scotland's win in Paris

By Liam Heagney
(Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)

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Ryan Wilson had admitted he partied hard following last Friday’s Guinness Six Nations win by Scotland in France, a match the Glasgow back-rower was only called up for in a midweek emergency after being out of favour since the 2019 World Cup.    


Until he played the closing minutes of the Stade de France back match, the soon-to-be 32-year-old had not played for Scotland since coming off the bench versus Japan in Yokohama 17 months earlier.

He was left stunned by the bizarre manner of how he was called up. Scotland had just finished training on Wednesday morning last week when Gregor Townsend asked could Wilson get hold of his passport as he was needed to replace the suddenly injured Matt Fagerson. 

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Ex-Wales and Lions scrum-half Mike Philips guests on RugbyPass Offload with Ryan Wilson to review how the Six Nations finished
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Ex-Wales and Lions scrum-half Mike Philips guests on RugbyPass Offload with Ryan Wilson to review how the Six Nations finished

Wilson’s wife drove over to Edinburgh with his credentials but even then the impromptu caper had a twist as the forward arrived at airport security with no ticket to travel while wearing bits of Scotland kit that had the initials of other players. 

Eventually, it was all sorted out and Wilson’s adventure culminated in him coming on for Nick Haining with Scotland trailing 20-23 in a match they were to win 27-23 to clinch their first victory away to France since 1999. Bearing in mind the 22-year gap in between wins in Paris and the fact that it was Wilson’s 50th Test appearance, the post-match celebrations were rather lively. 

Appearing as co-host on this week’s RugbyPass Offload, Wilson explained: “We made sure we celebrated afterwards, that is for sure, but the way it all came about it was just the most mental few days. I had been out of the set-up for 17 months since the World Cup and how the story unfolded you couldn’t have written it.


“I’m just about recovered,” he added. “I was pretty ropey. It was a nine o’clock kick-off and the latest we play is 7.45pm on a Friday. It was nine o’clock and we didn’t get back to the hotel until about one. At the end of the tour, there is a bit of a court session and there are awards for player of the tournament and all that sort of stuff. 

“It went on to the early hours of the morning and carried on a little bit on Saturday. I was in a pretty rough place. I can’t remember a massive amount from after in the changing room. Obviously, you do the normal formalities, you have got to get up and sing and all that sort of stuff. 

“I hadn’t had to do any of that for ages because you get your first cap you get away with all that sort of stuff. The fact that it was my 50th, I sang Redemption Song by Bob Marley. That is my go-to and then it was just drinking.”  



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