Edinburgh winger Lee Jones admits he has had to pinch himself at his rapid rise that has seen him go from sevens to XVs international in the space of just two years.
The 23-year-old has forced his way into Andy Robinson’s starting XV against England and Wales after a stunning season for the capital club in the RaboDirect PRO12.
Despite only making his Edinburgh debut in 2010 and being just 85kg, Jones has taken to top-flight rugby like a duck to water and despite having the prolific Tim Visser on the other wing, has contributed five tries this season including the score that guaranteed Edinburgh’s passage into the Heineken Cup quarter-finals.
That has helped the feelgood factor surrounding Edinburgh and made the club’s decision to offer Jones a new, extended deal a no-brainer.
And Jones says his first two seasons with Edinburgh have helped prepare him for the rigours of international rugby.
He said: “It is a club that’s on the up at the moment and it’s great to be involved.
"It has snowballed since I first signed.
“This season especially I just getting a bit more game time with Edinburgh was my goal and to be involved with Scotland is great.
I still had a year left on my contract it (renewing) was not something I was thinking about or necessarily worrying about.
“For Edinburgh to come in with the offer of an extension is obviously great news for me. They made the approach.”
“It [my strength] is something I have worked on over the past few years in the gym and it is hard when you are a bit small in comparison. I think it has definitely benefited me.
“Having a lot of guys in the Scotland set-up that are involved in Edinburgh has helped. “There’s a lot of experience there and if you look at the captain Ross Ford, he’s a guy with a lot of experience and someone I look up to. There’s leaders across the squad and that’s a great thing for young guys.”
I think it is something we need to get that win. We have done enough in the first two games to win but unfortunately have not done on. We need to put ourselves under a bit of pressure.