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    Dan Nutton (2005-2015) has become the latest Merchistonian to play professional rugby. The 23-year-old scrum-half has been training with the Edinburgh Rugby wider squad in recent months and, thanks to impressing Head Coach Richard Cockerill with his work ethic, was named on the bench for the European Rugby Challenge Cup Pool 3 opener away to Agen on November 15. Edinburgh won 31-10 in the Stade Armandie to get their European campaign off to a flying start with Nutton coming on for the last 15 minutes to replace Charlie Shiel.

    For a team including fellow former pupil James Johnstone (2002-2008) at centre, Nutton helped set up the final try for hooker Cammy Fenton and after the experience, he said: “I found out about a week before that I might be involved against Agen and it was quite a surprise to me.”

    “There were a lot of nerves leading up to the game, but I was honoured to get the chance and hopefully I did well for the team and will get another chance to show what I can do in the coming months. It was a brilliant experience being on for the last 15 minutes or so and helping the team to score the last try which earned us a bonus point.”

    Growing up Nutton played mini rugby at Edinburgh Accies then moved to study at Merchiston and spent 10 years at the school. “I loved it all the way through at Merchiston, everyone was so friendly and in terms of rugby, there were some brilliant people to learn from,” he stated.

    “I was captain of the rugby teams, I was in all the way through and when we got to Murrayfield as an under-16s team and then won the trophy (defeating Strathallan School 10-5 in 2012/13) it was an amazing feeling.

    “From then on I loved rugby and it was what I thought about most of the time and thankfully we had great coaches at Merchiston who helped us through the different age-grades. I played with the Scotland under-16 team and then in my final year of school (2015) we made it back to Murrayfield as an under-18 Merchiston team only to lose out to George Watson’s with 23-17.”

    Gary Heatly ( twitter - @G_HMedia )