When Luke Crosbie – self-described as a “big skinny drip” – went for a wander in West Lothian with his father on a Saturday afternoon in mid-winter some 15 years ago, neither he nor his old man could have guessed that it would be the start of a journey which may well lead to an appearance in front of a full-house at Twickenham next weekend as a member of a Scotland team hunting a third win on the bounce against the “Auld Enemy”.

Competition for places in the dark blue back row is fierce, especially with Hamish Watson making his comeback with Edinburgh yesterday after two-and-a-half months out with concussion – but Crosbie’s form

for the capital side means he is a leading contender to be deployed alongside Jamie Ritchie on the Scottish flanks.

If he is selected, it will be his third cap for Scotland following his debut against Tonga in the Autumn of 2021, and the second appearance during last summer’s tour to Argentina – but playing England at Twickenham on the opening weekend of the Six Nations is a big step up in intensity and profile.

And Crosbie is in no doubt that having to do it the hard way will stand him in good stead for the challenge ahead.

“Growing up in Mid Calder I played football just because all the boys at school played, but I wasn’t any good at it,” he recalls. “In fact, I was rubbish. I played centre-half and used to just boot the ball. It could have gone anywhere, usually into the car park!

“Then, one day I was out for a walk with my dad and we stumbled across Livingston Rugby Club and there was a senior game on. I didn’t really know what it was, and my dad didn’t really know much about rugby.

“He used to watch the Scotland games but in terms of him growing up in North Lanarkshire and the Uddingston area, there wasn’t much rugby there, so I said I wanted to give it a try because it looked fun – and that was it, really.

“From there, mum and dad were straight on the computer trying to find the number for Livingston and they phoned up to say I’m coming along to training.

“I was just a big skinny drip when I was that age, but I liked the physical stuff, so I just threw myself into rugby and it’s gone well so far.”

From Livingston, Crosbie moved to Premiership outfit Currie Chieftains in his later teens, earned an academy contract with Edinburgh, and was selected by his team-mates as player of the year for the Scotland Under-20s side which achieved a highest ever fifth-place finish at the 2017 Junior World Cup.

He signed his first senior deal with the capital outfit in December 2017 and has now played 80 games for the club, utilising his 6ft 5ins frame as aggressive carrier and tackler, who also possesses soft hands, and the versatility to play openside as well as blindside flanker.

Mike Blair, his coach at club level, is in no doubt he could do a job at

No. 8 as well if given a run in the middle of the back row.

However, Crosbie’s resilience and work-rate, on and off the park, are his greatest assets.

“It’s a long journey when you look back,” he reflects, with a smile. “The process of getting here has meant I’ve had to perform when the opportun-ities came around. I’ve had to do it every week, and that’s the reason I’ve got to here and made it as a professional.

“The mindset is always the same for me regardless of who I am playing for or against – I need to perform well and back it up every single week.

“It was obviously frustrating in the Autumn not to get a run out for Scotland when I was playing well, but that’s the game. International sport is tough – you aren’t always going to get those opportunities.

“In terms of me, I was just completely focused on my own game and poured all my energy into training and worked on what I could get better at – making the stuff I do world class.

“I’m not looking too far ahead, it might sound simple, but that’s my mentality and I enjoy my rugby a lot more when I’m like that.”