Despite having experienced rugby as far afield as New Zealand and Italy and at levels ranging from National League 1 to the Under-20 World Championship, Saints centre Rory Hutchinson says that he is very much still learning the game.
It is unusual for player to qualify for the same age group for even two years, so it is testament to Hutchinson’s talent that he is on track to represent Scotland at the Under-20 World Championships for the third year in row this summer.
“I’ve been pretty lucky in that I’ve been able to play with the under-20s for a couple of years now, so it would be pretty special to go for a third one," he says in this week's podcast. "I’m always learning. There’s always different things, new players, new staff to get used to but it’s been a really good ride and I’m looking forward to it in Manchester this year. I’ve learnt a lot being here at the Saints and to be able to go and use what I’ve learnt for Scotland is very good.”
The centre, 20, believes that playing for Scotland has helped his progression at the Saints, and vice-versa.
“Different places have got different set-ups and different ideas of how they want to play the game. With Scotland obviously it’s still age group stuff so it’s not quite as full-on as Northampton. Aside from the physicality the skill level is definitely up there so it’s pretty similar playing with Scotland and the Saints.“
Despite his young age, Hutchinson has already played international rugby around the globe - something that he also believes is an experience worth savouring.
“Playing rugby in New Zealand is special. To go across to the other side of the world to play rugby is something that i’ll never forget. We went out there in the winter so it was pretty wet but it’s still a very quick game. It was really good just to go out there and be part of it.
“Unfortunately it was very wet when we were out there in New Zealand but it was extremely hot in Italy. It was pretty tough to play in such humid conditions, but I really enjoyed it. It’s like the difference between the start of the season and half way through; when the ground’s nice and hard it’s a very quick game where you can really get flowing. When you do get in to the wet and windy conditions it does get slow. I’m sure the forwards love it more than the backs!”
Hutchinson is currently playing in his second U20’s Six Nations competition for Scotland, and dual registered with both the Saints and Coventry, so game time has not been an issue for the centre.
“Yeah it’s been pretty good to be fair. I’ve been playing a lot of rugby, both at Northampton and with Coventry, and I’ve also been lucky enough to get away with Scotland for Six Nations which are going on right now.”
You can listen to the full interview in this week's podcast, along with Saracens-Saints previews from Jim Mallinder, Ken Pisi and Ethan Waller. What's more, it's absolutely FREE to download or subscribe HERE, while you can also find the Saints Podcast on iTunes.