Congratulations to Old Oakhamian Hamish Watson (10) who has, today, been called up to play for the British and Irish Lions in their forthcoming tour of South Africa. “We are incredibly proud that Hamish’s outstanding performances throughout the Six Nations have been recognised in this call up,” says Director of Sport, Iain Simpson. “We have been watching and supporting him since he left Oakham in 2010. We’ve been cheering him on during each and every one of his 41 caps, and we’ve enjoyed watching him gain momentum and recognition over the last few seasons.”
Hamish made his mark during the recent Six Nations not only for being a key part of the Scottish team, but also for winning the coveted, fan-voted, title of ‘Guinness Six Nations player of the tournament’.
He also certainly made his mark during his time at Oakham and over his 5-year school career (from 2005-2010) Hamish accumulated an array of achievements off the rugby pitch, as well as on it; that included playing in the 1st XI football team, being a key member of the School’s Athletics team, being a House Prefect, and treading the boards in numerous plays.
Hamish was a key member of the rugby team every year during his tenure at Oakham – including being the top scorer in the U16A team, playing in the 1st XV two years running and being captain of the Rugby Sevens U18 team. He also won the “Best Player” award at 1st XV level in the inaugural 2008 season of the Hampson Trophy, a league competition between Oakham, Uppingham, Rugby, Bedford, Stamford and Oundle.
Hamish began his pathway towards professional rugby whilst still at Oakham, when he was selected to represent the U18 Scottish Exiles. He then gained his first representative cap for Scotland U19s during his final academic year, whilst studying for his A-levels. After leaving Oakham he joined Leicester Tigers Academy before playing Sevens for Scotland and then securing a contract to play for Edinburgh Rugby.
“We’re pleased that Hamish has always kept in very close contact with Oakham,” adds Iain. “During the first lockdown he took part in our elite sport interview series and his interview is well worth a watch. It is an incredibly fascinating insight into what had been the proudest and most difficult moments of his career to date – where Hamish speaks candidly about the injuries he has endured. During the interview Hamish was asked what advice he would give to his 16-year-old self. He said, ‘You are going to have set backs and it’s all about how you react to them. The toughest time in professional or school sport, or age range squad, is when you don’t make the team. You have to have self-belief to just know that you are good enough to make it – you need to have a lot of drive.’ Great advice from a man whose drive and talent have now secured him a place in the Lions squad. Well done, Hamish!”
Oakham has a strong rugby heritage, with recent alumni successes alongside Hamish including Sam Wolstenholme (17) (Wasps), Jack van Poortvliet (19) (Leicester Tigers), and Sam Costelow (19) (Llanelli Scarlets) as well as Lewis Moody (96), Alex Goode (06), Tom Croft (04) and Matt Smith (04).