DAVE Cherry is hungry for more Scotland caps after finally making his debut last year – but the 31-year-old hooker, who has just re-signed for Edinburgh, believes his primary task must be to fight for a starting place at club level.
After making 10 appearances for Scotland Under-20s, Cherry had to wait a full decade before winning his first full cap. The wait was worth it, however, as he came off the bench to take part in last year’s historic victory over England.
Four further appearances followed in the Six Nations, including a first start against Italy, when he scored two tries in a comfortable victory at BT Murrayfield. With this year’s Championship now just a few weeks away, Cherry’s thoughts have inevitably turned to the prospect of further honours, but he insists he is taking nothing for granted.
“Obviously I’d like to be involved and play again,” he said. “But there’s a lot of competition, so I’m just focusing on myself and the games at Edinburgh. Hopefully I can make selection hard for the international coaches.
“I remember speaking to Simon Berghan when I joined Edinburgh and told him that all I wanted was one cap,” he continued, referring to the former Edinburgh prop who is now with Glasgow. “And he said when you get one cap, you want more. And he’s absolutely right – I want to play as many times for my country as I can. Last year has certainly whetted my appetite for more.”
With Stuart McInally and Adam McBurney also competing for the No 2 jersey at Edinburgh, Cherry believes the competition is fierce but healthy, and is confident the squad as a whole is making good progress under head coach Mike Blair. “I think my performances have been fairly good of late. We’ve got a lot of competition in the hooking department now, but I just want to have the starting jersey as often as I can. If you’re not in the team, you want to be pushing the boys who are playing as much as you can. The culture at the club is great and that’s driving the standards of each and every player in the squad.
“There have been big changes at Edinburgh and I’m really enjoying it. The club is heading in the right direction and, as far as I was concerned, it was somewhere I wanted to be. I’m delighted to have re-signed and I’m looking forward to seeing where the club goes from here.”