Thanks to the SRU for permission to reproduce this article from the Scotland v England programme. Hillfoots are honoured that Jamie is so proud of his roots and having started his journey to Murrayfield at Hillfoots RFC! The whole team will be legends after such a masterful performance in regaining the Calcutta Cup, not least Jamie who made such an impact!
Jamie Bhatti – Taking His Chances
Nothing’s really changed except I play rugby and I’m on the TV sometimes. I’ve never been approached in public or anything like that. It’s just my job. It’s fair to say that Jimmy Bhatti has his feet firmly on the ground. Despite going from BT premiership side Melrose to Glasgow Warriors and the Scotland team in the space of 2 months, life as he knows it remains much the same.
While the loosehead prop isn’t yet getting asked for autographs in the street, he’s certainly enjoying the direction his career has taken.
“I signed my pro contract, have played the majority of games for Glasgow then got involved with Scotland and played in the autumn tests and neither NatWest 6 Nations. It’s all come around quite fast and all at once. But I love it.”
The 25-year-old hasn’t been shy in maximising the opportunities that have come his way. When several of Scotland’s props, including Al Dickinson, Allan Dell and Gordon Reid were ruled out of the autumn tests, the door opened for Bhatti to make his mark. He wore the Scotland jersey for the first time in the opening November fixture against Samoa, coming off the bench, and went on to play in the New Zealand and Australia games that followed.
“It was a really special day,” he said, of his debut. “I’ve always said that any cap is brilliant, but you never forget your first cap. Getting the opportunity to play for your country is everything I’d worked for.”
The road that led to that began at Hillfoot’s Minis, where Bhatti started his youth rugby before moving on to Stirling County where he came through the age grades of Midi and Colts and then the senior side.
“I was primary 3 when I first went to Hillfoots rugby club in Tillicoultry,” he said. “Some boys in my class asked me to go along and that was it. I turned up and I’ve been playing rugby ever since.”