London Scottish 1st XV captain Mark Bright will make his 100th competitive appearance for the Exiles this weekend and he has described the achievement as a “true honour.”
The New Zealander will cement his place as one of London Scottish’s greatest ever players when he reaches the milestone on Saturday, 26th September, against Yorkshire Carnegie, KO 18.00.
The number-eight joins Colman McCarthy, Matt Johnson and Adam Kwasnicki on 100 caps and has thanked everyone at the club for their support, as well as his family.
“Scottish is a great club and I thank everyone who has made these 100 games so enjoyable from coaches and players both past and present and, of course, to all the supporters. Hopefully I have a few more still left in me.”
“For me to have played 100 games for London Scottish means a hell of a lot. Just to represent a club which has such a rich history is a true honour.”
“100 games is a great milestone but none of it would have been possible without the support of my wife Angela and my boys Bailey, Campbell and Declan. So, as much as it’s my achievement, I think it’s probably more theirs for having to put up with me.”
Bright joined the club in 2011 from Redruth and has since made the number-eight position his own. Scoring 66 tries in his 99 matches has also seen him earn international recognition, representing England in Sevens at the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, as well as playing in the Port Elizabeth leg of the World Sevens Series last season.
His first match for the Scots was also their first match in the English Championship, on the 4th September 2011 against Rotherham Titans. After arriving from New Zealand, he came off the bench to help secure a 16-11 win at the Athletic Ground. A leg injury sustained later that season against Plymouth Albion meant he was ruled out for a number of months but Bright has hardly missed a match since then.
London Scottish Chairman Sir David Reid has praised the influence that the 36-year-old has had at the Club as they continue their Incredible Journey since reforming in 1999.
“Mark Bright has been an outstanding player over the last four years. His try scoring has been incredible at 66 from the No. 8 position which he has made his own. He is also a team player and asks the team to live up to his high standards.
“He is irreplaceable so, Brighty, the answer is stay fit, keep scoring and stay for a few more seasons. Well done to the family too – Angela, Bailey, Campbell and Declan. Great Kiwi stock.”
Bright, who was the Greene King IPA Championship’s top try scorer in 2014/15 with a remarkable 28 tries in 26 appearances, has also featured in the Championship Dream XV for three years in a row as well as winning Player of the Season in 2012/13, showing how highly regarded he is in English rugby’s second tier.
Bright’s sponsor, Aberdeen Asset Management, is elated to hear of the accomplishment. Martin Gilbert, CEO said: “Mark’s 100th appearance for London Scottish is testament to the tremendous contribution he has made to the team over four seasons. We are very proud to sponsor Mark and look forward to watching him and the rest of team compete in the Greene King IPA Championship this season.”
London Scottish Head Coach Peter Richards, who won the Heineken Cup with Wasps in 2004, has also congratulated Bright on the landmark. “Mark has been a true Warrior in the London Scottish jersey. A man with a great rugby brain and natural ability but what has stood out for me is his great mental toughness to keep performing at such a high level.”
“He has been central to the team's success over the last few years and will certainly go down as one of best London Scottish players in the modern era. Congratulations to Mark and his family on a great achievement.”
With four tries in three matches so far in the 2015/16 Greene King IPA Championship, Bright sits second in the try-scoring table and is showing no sign of slowing down.