Traynor drafted in for injured Grant
November 23, 2012
Kyle Traynor will start for Scotland against Tonga on Saturday © PA Photos
Traynor last played for Scotland back in 2009 in what was his third appearance for the national side. And with Grant sidelined and Allan Jacobsen retired from Test rugby, Traynor has got the nod. He swapped Edinburgh for Championship side Bristol in the summer but has stayed on coach Andy Robinson's radar and has also recently received praise from the now retired Jacobsen.
"Chunk's been a huge influence in my career, since I first met him as an 18, 19-year-old," Traynor said. "He's always helped me and always given me a load of advice.
"When I first got opportunities with Edinburgh it was through Chunk being injured. He would speak to me about the guy I was coming up against that week and really help me along. He's a great bloke. I've not spoken to him this week, but I spoke to him at the tail end of last week and he just said to me 'mate, you've got a massive opportunity so make the most of it'.
Traynor made substitute appearances in Scotland head coach Robinson's first three Tests in charge, the November 2009 matches with Fiji, Australia and Argentina, but has had to wait since.
"I definitely thought it maybe had passed me by," said Traynor, who was an unused replacement for the losses to New Zealand and South Africa. "It's quite a fickle game rugby, things can change in a very short space of time. Fortunately it's changed in a good way for me.
"I believed in myself, I worked hard, was honest with myself and sometimes you get opportunities and it's how you take it. I believe this is a massive opportunity for me."
Traynor's most recent match was for Bristol in the 63-7 loss at Nottingham on November 4, the week before the All Blacks clash, and he is confident of making the step up from England's second tier to the Test arena. Traynor added: "I've been able to play 80 minutes every week that I've been available for Bristol. It's massively improved my rugby.
"The tight-heads I've played against in the Championship are physically a lot bigger and more capable at scrum-time; they probably don't have the all-round game of guys at the higher level. In the set-play, the mauls, the scrums, it's a very tough league from what I've experienced so far."
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