21st Sep, 2019

Club before country for Heathcote

Worcester Editorial 28th Oct, 2015 Updated: 19th Oct, 2016

FLY-HALF Tom Heathcote insists any thought of playing for Scotland again is at the back of his mind as he looks to make his mark at Sixways.

The 23-year-old joined newly-promoted Worcester Warriors this summer following an unsuccessful spell at Edinburgh.

His move to his native Scotland was meant to offer Inverness-born Heathcote the chance to launch himself back into the international frame ahead of the Rugby World Cup. But he failed to impress selectors and decided to return to England.

Despite the disappointment of not adding to his three caps, Heathcote said he had no regrets leaving Bath for Edinburgh in 2014.

And the stand-off, who last played for Scotland in 2013, told The Observer he was now hoping to secure a regular starting jersey in the Aviva Premiership with Worcester.

“I thought if I was going to move at anytime doing it leading up to a World Cup was the best time to give it a go and I gave it a shot,” he said. “Obviously it did not really work out how I would have hoped.

“I still played a lot of rugby and played more that season than any of my seasons at Bath, so I have no regrets at all.

“It was just a learning experience and one I will still look back on pretty fondly even though it did not go quite as I would have hoped.”

He added: “I know I have got to play regularly and play well for Worcester to stand any chance of playing for Scotland again.

“So at the moment it is at the back of my mind and I am not really thinking about it.

“I am just focusing on the here and now and trying and nail down a starting shirt.”

Heathcote became an instant hero with Warriors’ fans following his last-gasp drop goal to beat Northampton Saints 13-12 on the opening day of the season.

And the talented Scot admitted he had benefited from working with former England international Paul Grayson, who is Worcester’s part-time kicking coach.

“I think a few of the little tweaks we have made have helped me,” he said. “It was a big thing, knowing there was such a detailed coaching team here and every area was covered by a highly specialised coach. But the fact there was a specialist kicking coach in Grayson was a real bonus.

“It is minuscule things between being a 60 or 70 per cent kicker to an 80 or 90 per cent kicker which is where everyone wants to be. You can be a 65 per cent kicker relatively comfortably, but it is that next set to get that consistency to be really right up there with the best and that just takes small tweaks, which Grayson can do.”

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