Edinburgh full-back Jim Thompson admits he can’t wait to don the Barbarians colours for tonight’s clash with the South of Scotland as he does his part to ensure the memory of Bill McLaren lives on.
Today’s game at Mansfield Park between the Barbarians and the South of Scotland is the first time the two dies have ever faced off against each other and Thompson will remove his RaboDirect PRO12 hat for a short while to strut his stuff.
And it has been organised to raise money for the Bill McLaren Foundation, in memory of the famous Scot and Thompson’s grandfather.
Add the fact that Thompson will be joined in the Barbarians backs by John Houston and new-boy Sep Visser and the 26-year-old insists he is chomping at the bit to get going.
"I’m very excited and honoured to be playing in this game,” Thompson said.
“It’s Papa’s [Bill McLaren’s] game and we’re raising money for the Bill McLaren Foundation; I can’t wait. We hope to raise as much money as possible to put into grassroots rugby, particularly in the Borders and Hawick.
“Papa did a lot for rugby and it is great that we have set up a foundation that can promote what he did for the sport so it is great that we are having the game in memory for him.
“It’s also great to have my Edinburgh Rugby team mates involved in the game, especially as John is a Hawick man through and through.
“Sep just joined Edinburgh so the game will be a good test of a higher level rugby for him and hopefully both those boys will get into the Barbarians style of rugby and start throwing the ball around and it will be an exciting game for the spectators.
“The Borderers will bring a lot of passion and physicality to the match, the fact they have been selected for South of Scotland is a big honour for them and they’ll be fired up to be playing and testing themselves against a professional outfit like the Barbarians.”