Congratulations to SHS Scotland Rugby Tour Ambassador on his selection for the 2021 British & Irish Lions Tour to South Africa.
The 29-year-old has gradually established himself as one of the northern hemisphere’s fiercest competitors since winning the first of 41 Test appearances against Italy at BT Murrayfield in 2015, and is now looking to make his mark in the famous red jersey.
Born in Manchester and originally a member of the Leicester Tigers academy, Watson – who qualifies for Scotland through his grandparents – headed north in the summer of 2011 and was approached by Edinburgh’s Elite Development Programme following impressive showings for Scotland Sevens.
Watson featured for Scotland at the 2011 IRB Junior World Championships and made his senior debut for Edinburgh that same year, going on to sign his first professional deal for the PRO14 outfit in 2014.
Besides helping Edinburgh reach the European Challenge Cup final in 2015 and the PRO14 semi-finals for the first time in 2020, Watson has played a crucial role in Scotland’s growth in stature over recent years.
Despite being forced to wait over a year between his second and third Test caps he went on to earn a starting berth in all but one of eight games during 2016/17, during which time he notched his first try against Georgia.
Having also crossed in Scotland’s historic win against Australia in Sydney in June 2017, Watson went on to make his Rugby World Cup bow in Japan two years later, making a solitary appearance in defeat to Ireland before injury cut short his campaign.
This spring Watson missed just 14 minutes of Scotland’s Six Nations campaign that yielded wins over France, England and Italy, scoring one try, providing one try assist, carrying 67 times for 321 metres and successfully making every single tackle of his 55 in defence.
Such form saw Watson capture 35 per cent of over 125,000 votes to claim the Player of the Championship award, becoming just the second Scot – after Stuart Hogg – to join the Roll of Honour.