Get to know: Ben Muncaster
Get to know up-and-coming academy back-row and former North Berwick RFC and Rugby School star Ben Muncaster!
Place of birth: Bedford
Former club: Rugby School and Leicester Tigers
You grew up in North Berwick, what were your first memories of rugby in East Lothian?
Well fortunately right in front of my family's house was the local rugby club, and in addition, dad was one of our year’s coaches so I had no choice really but to play rugby.
But yeah I absolutely loved it, and had nothing but fond memories!
You moved south to Rugby School and then Leicester Tigers – how was that experience learning your trade and playing rugby in England?
I just felt like going down south would be the best option for me, getting a good balance between rugby and academia, and Rugby had that.
I actually also went down as a cricket scholar as well, but i got more into rugby when i went in to the Leicester Tigers Academy, going through set-up was hugely grounding and challenging, but was great fun and also made many lifelong mates.
Tell us a little bit about yourself as a player?
I'd say I like the simple things, getting my hands on the ball, tackling, but mainly I just love to be in the thick of things.
You joined the club during a pandemic which won’t have been easy! How have you found settling in this season?
Oh of course! I cannot wait for normality to resume but nonetheless, the squad has been very sound and welcoming of me to the club.
One of the things I immediately noticed was the great bond the players have, and I'm sure that has massive benefits on the pitch, as these lads will be more than willing to put their bodies on the line for one another, which I love.
Edinburgh have one of the best back-rows in the PRO14 – how have you found that experience learning from the likes of Hamish Watson, Jamie Ritchie and Bill Mata?
I've just been trying to be a sponge, soaking up as much information and help as I can.
They are all world class back rows, yet they all offer different attributes and play pretty differently to one another, so to get more than one of their viewpoints on the game really does help.
But yeah, they've all been very keen to help with whatever, to which I'm very grateful for.
You made your pro debut against Zebre – how did you find that experience and how nervous were you going in to the game?
Well the kick off v Zebre was at 8.15pm, and it was one of the few days the weather in the year is nice in Edinburgh, but i didn't want to drain myself from the sun so i stayed at the flat, so it was quite a long, nervy day however, once we kicked off, all of the nerves went away and it was just like any other game.
What was the reaction like to making your debut for your hometown team – was your phone blowing up post-match?
It was a great feeling to have done that, and yes lots of friends and family were messaging which was lovely, as these people had a huge influence on getting me to where I am.
However obviously, I don't want this match to be too much of a milestone - I want to move on, be involved more, and play as much as possible for Edinburgh.
What is your personal ambition this season from a rugby perspective?
To hopefully get more games in the Rainbow Cup, to just get more experience at that level, and also with Scotland U20's coming up in the summer, performing well collectively, and individually.
Favourite TV show: Game of Thrones, regardless of the 8th season…
Sporting hero: Sebastien Chabal, he was a cool guy, quite handsome as well.
Favourite other sport: Golf, Cricket, or Darts.
Go to meal: Prawn and chorizo linguine if I'm cooking. If I'm out, Cafe Gallo in Stockbridge, one of their ciabattas has to be up there!
Favourite musicians: Creedence Clearwater Revival, ABBA, Fleetwood Mac.
Which actor would play you in a movie? Suzz said I look like Tom Hardy, which I don't see, but will definitely take - and he calls me Tom now on the regular, so him.