Cam Redpath ready to kick on after injury-ravaged 18 months

Centre has set his sights on a return to Twickenham at the start of the Six Nations

Cameron Redpath is enjoying a run of games after 18 months of rotten luck with injuries. Image: © Craig Watson - www.craigwatson.co.uk
Cameron Redpath is enjoying a run of games after 18 months of rotten luck with injuries. Image: © Craig Watson - www.craigwatson.co.uk

AFTER a challenging year and a half battling against a series of injury set-backs, Cam Redpath believes his luck has changed, and he has set his sights on making the Scotland No 12 jersey his own.

The 22-year-old enjoyed a dream start to his international career when he was as a star performer in the team which beat England at Twickenham for the first time since 1983 in February 2021, but a bulging disc in his neck, a ruptured anterior cruciate knee ligament and shoulder surgery meant he managed only one more cap after that, as a late replacement against Wales during the 2022 Six Nations, before the start of the recent Autumn Test series.

Then, having missed Scotland’s campaign opener against Australia game because English clubs don’t release Scottish players for matches outside World Rugby’s designated international windows, he was named in the starting fifteen against Fiji but struggled to make an impact in a n underwhelming Scottish performance and ended up being dropped from the match-day squad to face New Zealand, before being named on the bench for Argentina at the weekend, and he grabbed his opportunity with both hands after replacing Chris Harris on the hour mark, scoring the team’s sixth try in a 52-29 victory.


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“I’ve had a lot of injuries and not just the little ones of three or four weeks, but six months, eight months and four and a half months, all on the bounce,” he reflected. “I picked up an injury when I made my debut for Scotland, came back and played four games, played my second game for Scotland and got injured again

“Nothing seemed to go positively after playing one game for Scotland, but I’ve broken that curse now … after one game in a tournament, I finally managed two. I’m just happy to get a run of games.

“It has been a really tough 18-months so it is a big relief to get over and do what I’ve wanted to do for so many years – to score on an international stage.

“You can underestimate how tough it is,” he added. “When I was going through it, I probably wasn’t really understanding myself, I just kind of got on with it.

“To come and have an experience like the last couple of weeks, play at Murrayfield for the first time and see my grandparents who have lived here in Edinburgh all their lives, is really special and it makes it all worth it. Now I want to play every game I can.

“There is a lot of competition in the Scottish midfield at the moment, with Sione Tuipulotu, Chris Harris and Mark Bennett all playing well.  So, the coach has to make the decision and I’ve just got to understand that. So, it was obviously gutting not to be involved [against New Zealand], but as an exile I’m lucky enough that I can go back to my club and hopefully play. We got that big win for Bath against Leicester that weekend which was huge for the club

“It is what it is and at least I managed to get some more game time under my belt, which is what I really need at the moment after so long out.

 

Scotland’s next match is their Six Nations opener against England at Twickenham on 4th February.

“I’ve hopefully got a lot of games to play at club level before that when I’ll have a chance put myself in a good place for that game,” said Redpath. “It is definitely one I would love to play in.  Obviously, my debut was at Twickenham and it would be great get the chance to try to recreate what we did that day.”

It took his father, Bryan Redpath, 44 Tests to score his first and only international try, but Redpath junior doesn’t feel that getting over the line after just four games gives him any bragging rights.

“Not really because he’s got 60 caps and I’ve got four – and he probably did a lot more assists than me,” he reasoned. “I’ve got the looks and the height over him, so I’ll take that!

“My mum and dad have been brilliant. The whole family have supported me through every decision I have ever made and every injury I’ve ever been through and every tough time. They are there for the good times and there for the bad times.

“For me, my family and friends are the reason why I have pushed all these times and why I want to play out here and put a show on.

“My dad has never been one to compliment me, but he has for the last couple of months. He knows what I’ve been through, and it shows how special it was for him and my mum to see me out there. They are very proud which is nice.”


Autumn Test Series round four takeaways

About David Barnes 3112 Articles
David has worked as a freelance rugby journalist since 2004 covering every level of the game in Scotland for publications including he Herald/Sunday Herald, The Sunday Times, The Telegraph, The Scotsman/Scotland on Sunday/Evening News, The Daily Record, The Daily Mail/Mail on Sunday and The Sun.

11 Comments

  1. Redpath is a fine fine player, and word is that the coaches believe that with an injury free run he can be genuinely world class. I hope he gets that run.

    On the point of selection and Scotland’s supposed “Golden Age”, I’d simply ask two questions

    1) People do realise that rugby still involves both offence and defence? Without Harris, Scotland’s back division is often about as frail defensively as Bambi on ice (in roller skates). I guess Harris is just one of those players that will never be appreciated by many fans, who only see shiny solo runs as being valuable.

    2) People do realise that forwards win matches? Always have done, always will. Name a single Scottish forward that would get into the first choice Irish, French or South African packs? I’ll wait. At best, we have one or two ‘contenders’, and zero certainties. Given that scenario, we could have Superman playing 13 and it would make no difference in most of the very biggest games.

    On a wider point, I scanned social media after the AIs. Not one word of praise by any fans for any of the coaches (not just Toony), for anything. Not one. Apparently anything good we achieved in those games is due to sheer luck, or the players getting on the pitch and making it up as they went.

    Who knew?

  2. Sincerely hope that Redpath can stay injury-free and has not been premature in stating his luck has changed, for he is a rare talent with the potential to blossom into world class. Particularly important considering the ageing three-quarter line around him. The aforementioned outside centres Bennet – no stranger to injury himself – is three months short of 30 and Harris is 31. Inside them is the genius Russell who likewise is 30, while Price is just six months short of entering his fourth decade. And of course Hogg at full back is another in the 30 Plus Club. It really makes you lament that Scotland has not kicked on and achieved so much more during the past five years given these great players and there are no prizes here for guessing why not. With the golden crop now nearing its shelf life, you sincerely hope that Townsend and his myopic employers at the SRU have succession planning firmly in their sights. I would love to see Dobie get more game time at Glasgow to allow him to fulfill his potential and for us to land Fin Smith at 10 as Russell’s successor. With Redpath at 12 that leaves outside centre, where Tupo is one of those rare beats – an import who adds real value to the national side. Competing against him and Redpath I would be bringing in from the cold the outrageously ignored Hutchinson and his club team mate Fraser Dingwall, whose innate understanding of each other’s play grows ever stronger with every game. Darcy is pure gold on the wing, while VDM still has a few years in him yet. But beyond them is not much of genuine international pedigree and I would look at snagging Scots-born Tom Roebuck if I possibly could. At full back I see Hastings reverting to his father’s position, with strong competition from young Smith – a gutsy wee player who I admire tremendously. Kinghorn I can’t decide what to do with, for the boy has real talent – just not enough of it in the particular role he has been asked to perform at test level. Strange, for this Redpath article has prompted me to ask much wider questions about the times to come. I can only hope that the man entrusted with the competent selection of our national side is thinking likewise – and that it isn’t Townsend for too much longer. Heaven forbid he should remain in post beyond the next World Cup, where another early exit looks regrettably odds-on. I wish it were different – and it so easily could have been.

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  3. Good luck Cameron, hopefully injury free going forward. I have a small appreciation how frustrating it can be.
    I look forward to your International development 👍🏉🙂

  4. We have half a dozen quality centres and Hutchinson is one of them but Townsend in his absolute wisdom clearly doesn’t rate him. I’m sure we would also all love to see Huw Jones back to his incisive best. On form he has probably been our best centre during the last 5 years.

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  5. I hope he stays injury free and gets the opportunity to fight for the jersey.
    Hutchinson should be part of the competition for that jersey, but he seems to be out of the picture for some reason and it’s not form.

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    • Find it very strange that Hutchinson has been largely over-looked. Presume there is concern about his defence but he’s hardly been given a chance and has attacking skills that would enhance the squad.

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      • From what I’ve seen of him in the limited Premiership highlights, his defence is solid. I know we have some decent centres but he deserves another go.

      • Not sure whether it’s a Toonie thing, a Scottish trait, or both? But there is a trend to focus on perceived weaknesses out of fear of what could go wrong rather than the positives and strengths that they bring and what they could achieve – No doubt all underwritten by stats, but it does dumb the game down and make it less enjoyable to watch…. I suspect that is why we see so many players who seem to be seen as not good enough ‘cos that’s what the stats (with a bias towards low risk) dictate…. If that’s the way it continues, pro rugby union will struggle – anyone read Campese’s article on BBC Sport?

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