When Harris MacLeod decided that football wasn’t for him, he chose to become a ‘wee blue’ in the mini section at Kirkcaldy RFC, but there’s certainly nothing ‘wee’ about Harris anymore.
Now a towering 6ft 3in 16-year old, the Levenmouth High pupil’s rugby journey has seen him graduate from the CashBack School of Rugby programme, train with Glasgow Warriors and earn selection for Scotland U16.
He says that these experiences have helped him broaden not just his rugby experience but also other facets of life.
And while he’s enjoying the direction his career is going in, MacLeod is quick to pay tribute to Kirkcaldy RFC for his speedy rise.
“They’ve helped me get to this level of intensity that I’m at now and this level that I can play,” he said.
As part of his rugby development, McLeod made the transition from centre from second row, something that has turned out to be a positive move teenager.
“Becoming a second row was very different,” he said, “I had to learn how to scrum, lift and jump in line outs, which wasn’t something I had done before.
“I had to get a bit stronger.”
Harris is now part of Scottish Rugby’s Performance Development Program in Caledonia where his performances for the U16s caught the eye of the Glasgow Warriors selectors, and before too long he was invited out west to perform for the U16s Warriors side where it was clear another step up was encouraged.
“It was a higher level of intensity in training and games,” he said. “We were mixed in with the Glasgow guys and we trained at Broadwood where the facilities were great.”
He admits it was a bit of a shock of being told of his Scotland U16 selection: “We were told during the Warriors camp, one of the coaches came over to say I had been selected for the national U16 team,” he said.
“Getting selected was a proud moment for myself as I’d worked hard to achieve that goal.”
George Corgie, Vice President and Youth Development Officer at Kirkcaldy said, “It’s remarkable story, I suspect Harris probably has to pinch himself in the morning to believe it.
“He knows there are opportunities, but also knows he needs to work hard to get there. We’re all so proud of him at the club.”