Macfadyen Weighing in with the Ton for Glasgow; RUGBY SPECIAL Fired-Up Flanker Looks Poised for Recall to the National Line-Up

Daily Mail (London), December 24, 2003 | Go to article overview

Macfadyen Weighing in with the Ton for Glasgow; RUGBY SPECIAL Fired-Up Flanker Looks Poised for Recall to the National Line-Up


Byline: NIALL AITCHESON

DONNIE MACFADYEN, Glasgow's tearaway flanker, reaches a momentous milestone in his rugby career on Saturday, when he makes his 100th appearance for the SRU pro team in the Celtic League derby clash with Edinburgh at Hughenden.

The 24- year- old international becomes only the fifth player to pass a century of games for Glasgow, whose squad features three other centurions in the shape of centre Alan Bulloch (118 matches), loose forward Jon Petrie (116), and hooker Gordon Bulloch ( 112).

Recordholder Tommy Hayes, with 121 appearances, moved to England in the close season.

Macfadyen - in his fifth season at Hughenden - admitted to being 'excited' about joining such an elite group. 'It has sneaked up on me,' said the player, who has had to endure a torrid time with injuries during 2003.

He made his debut as a teenager back in the summer of 1999 in the unlikely setting of Toronto, when the then Glasgow Caledonians took on Edinburgh and Ontario in a quadrangular preseason tournament.

Quickly gaining a reputation for his fearless pursuit of the loose ball and dynamic support play in attack, Macfadyen went on to captain Scotland at the prestigious SANZAR Under- 21 tournament in New Zealand the following year.

His progress was closely monitored by former Scotland coach Ian McGeechan, who included him in the 2002 tour squad to North America.

He won the first of his two Test caps as a replacement in the defeat by Canada at Vancouver's Thunderbird Stadium before starting the following week against the U.S. Eagles in San Francisco.

Since then, Macfadyen's hopes of establishing himself in the full Scotland team have suffered a series of frustrating setbacks as knee, shoulder and groin problems have resulted in long spells on the sidelines.

The biggest blow came when he was left out of the World Cup squad for Australia, McGeechan deciding he was not sufficiently match-fit. This was later compounded when injury saw openside Andy Mower ruled out of the tournament and McGeechan opted to call up Glasgow club captain Cammy Mather, a blindside flanker, as a direct replacement for Mower. Mather, claimed McGeechan, had the experience - if not the pace - to do the job required.

Although Mather did well in defence, his limitations in the No.

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