Zimbabwe-born rugby ace Craig Davison has spoken of his delight after enjoying a memorable maiden season with the Scotland Under-20 rugby team.
The 20-year-old loosehead prop, who was born in Harare and educated in Zimbabwe and neighbouring South Africa established himself as a regular in the Scotland Under-20 rugby team during their 2023 Under-20 Six Nations campaign.
In an interview with Scotland Rugby Union’s official website this week, Davidson said he relished every moment of being part of such as prestigious competition as the Under-20 Six Nations.
He was also fascinated by the professional approach by the Scotland side which meant the team had different coaches for different aspects of the game.
“It’s the most professional rugby I have ever played with the way it works going into camp, having a S & C (Strength and Conditioning) coach, a scrum coach, the lineout attack coach, everything is just professional. It’s just an incredible experience that I will remember forever,” Davidson said.
Davidson featured in all of Scotland’s matches at loosehead prop since coming off the bench against England at the Twickenham Stoop for his debut.
He became the latest Zimbabwean-born player to feature for Scotland recently, joining Panashe Muzambe, who recently became the first black woman to play for the European nation in international rugby.
“That was just incredible, wearing the thistle for the first time, singing the national anthem. Coming off the bench we were losing at that point, we eventually took the lead in that game, but they did get the win.
“But I think on that night we proved that we are a good rugby team, and everybody came together, and we were super proud of ourselves. I loved every second.”
The next week saw the forward make his first start for Scotland U20 in their first home game of the campaign against Wales.
“That was unreal, beating a 3-year losing streak for Scotland U20. I have said it to many people, that the night we beat Wales was the best night of my life.”
The trip to Agen was Davidson’s first time visiting mainland Europe – an exciting moment for anyone – but one that is even more special by being part of this group and playing in front of a crowd of over 10,000 people.
“Playing in front of a crowd of 10,500 people – there’s not many people who get to do that in their lives. Even at high school I played in front of a couple of thousand people, but it doesn’t even compare. The French host a rugby game very well.”
Davidson was born in Harare, where he went to Hellenic Primary and represented the school in his early years.
He worked hard to attain both an academic and rugby bursary to attend the prestigious Hilton College in KZN, South Africa, where he played for the school’s first team on only a handful of occasions due to the Covid years.
Hilton College boasts of a proud record of success in rugby, having produced several Springbok rugby players and lending its colours to the Sharks Rugby Union.
After completing his high school education, Davidson moved to Scotland, where he has been playing for the Edinburgh-based Watsonians FC.
Davidson hails from a sporting family, where his father Wayne is the former Zimbabwe national triathlon coach while his mother Linda Warren is an ex-national and continental cycling champion.
Both of his sisters have represented Zimbabwe in triathlon while Skye continues to race for Zimbabwe in road cycling and Cameryn in water polo where she currently plays for the Exeter City Women’s League in the UK.
While his sporting lineage is clear, as the family’s youngest Craig has been making quite an impression in rugby which ultimately earned him a call-up to the Scotland Under-20 squad.