HomeSportRugbyZim-born rugby star shines for Scotland

Zim-born rugby star shines for Scotland

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Zimbabwe-born loose forward David Denton capped off a dream debut for Scotland with a man of the match performance despite his team’s 13-6 loss to England in their opening RBS Six Nations rugby encounter at Murrayfield on Saturday.

Denton, in his first start for his adopted nation having won his first cap for Scotland as a second-half substitute in the EMC Test win against Ireland at Murrayfield in August 2011, marshalled the Scots’ back row like a veteran and also stood out with his ball carrying skills.

The victory was England’s first at Murrayfield in the Six Nations since 2004 and it ensured they retained the Calcutta Cup. England’s discipline under pressure was exemplary and a complete turnaround compared to their days under Martin Johnson but they will also know that they were lucky to win the match.

The English’s win was however overshadowed by 21-year-old eighthman Denton who was named the man-of-the-match. Denton attributed his team’s defeat to too many errors. “We made too many errors in the red zone,” he said.

The giant eighthman, who is also at home on either flanks, was born in Zimbabwe to a Zimbabwean father Tim Denton.

He qualified for Scotland citizenship through his Glasgow-born mother, Joy Cole-Hamilton, sister of Johnnie, the R&A Championships Assistant Director, and daughter of former R&A Captain and Clydesdale Bank CEO Richard.

While his parents stayed in Zimbabwe Denton was schooled in South Africa where he attended Kingswood College in Grahamstown, on South Africa’s Eastern Cape, one of the oldest Methodist schools in the country, and played for Eastern province’s Under-19s team.

He moved to Edinburgh University to study economics three years ago.

In his first months in Scotland he played for the Edinburgh Accies Second XV, then the Accies first before signing a contract with his current club where he was selected for the Scotland Sevens side.

He helped Scotland lift the 2010/11 Emirates Airline South Africa 7s Bowl having lost 28-17 to Zimbabwe Bowl Semi-final in Dubai.

By playing for Scotland Denton follows in the footsteps of other Zimbabwe born former Scotland internationals Scott Gray, Thomas Evans and Paul Johnstone. — Reuters

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