Scotland Under-20s lock Andrew Davidson is getting into the swing of life at Kingston Park after joining Newcastle Falcons from Glasgow Warriors.
The 6 foot 7 forward is almost a fortnight into his time at the club following the Junior World Championship in Manchester, a tournament which saw him as part of the first Scotland Under-20s side to defeat Australia.
Davidson, 19, said: "I am in my second week now at the club, having arrived last Monday. It was low key in week one because I arrived on the back of a concussion during the Junior World Championship, but I am starting to get more into full training now doing plenty of running and bike work, which is good on the legs and good on the lungs.
"Getting flogged is always a bit nerve-wracking in the first week of pre-season. You don’t know how you are going to feel, but thankfully I have felt good so far. I seem surprisingly fit despite having not done much for a couple of weeks due to my concussion, and it is great to be getting stuck in.
"All the boys I have met so far have been friendly and welcoming, I have settled in really well and the next step is going to be being involved with the full squad when the bulk of the boys return next week from their recovery week. That will be a huge difference, but my early time with the Falcons has been really enjoyable."
Given the green light following his recent concussion but taking a safety-first approach, Davidson said: "I have passed all my return to play protocols, so in that sense everything is fine, but what the medical staff have advised is just to have another two weeks without contact work just to be on the safe side. It is pointless risking it by rushing back, and I would be I would be in a bit of a sticky spot if I got another concussion so soon after the last one.
"It happened during the last five minutes of Scotland’s second game when I picked up a knock. They took me off for a head injury assessment and just kept me on the sidelines. It was a knee to the back of a head in a ruck so there’s nothing I could have done. It was just one of those things, and I have been looked after very well by the medical teams at both Scotland and Newcastle."
Reflecting on Scotland Under-20s’ exploits in the competition, which saw them defeating Australia in their opening match, he said: "It was a bit of a mixed bag for me personally.
"Our first game saw our first ever win over Australia, which was a massive result for Scottish rugby, but then we lost heavily to England in our next match. That was a bit of a shocker but the boys pushed on well during the rest of the tournament, and the Australia victory is a great memory to take away.
"It was the first time Scotland had beaten one of the Tri-Nations, we had a target of a minimum of two pool wins and we knew that beating Australia was the key to that. We played well for 80 minutes, we were maybe helped by one of their guys getting a red card but he did deserve it, and we capitalised on that opportunity. Our defence towards the end saw us around our own 22 for about 15 minutes, but we dug in and achieved what was a very pleasing result. It was a great feeling to have been part of that, especially having beaten England and Argentina within the past year."
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