Everyone knows that a strong scrum is crucial if you want to compete in the Greene King IPA Championship and loosehead prop Grant Shiells has played a big role for London Scottish this term.
With the league back underway the team are still in with a chance of making it into the top four and the play-offs.
The 27-year-old has good experience under his belt having played for Scotland at under-20 and ‘A’ level and had stints with Newcastle Falcons, Bath and Edinburgh Rugby.
As a result he has given a real solidity to the Scottish scrum since he arrived at the Athletic Ground last summer – and he is loving life there.
“I was with Edinburgh last year and I enjoyed my time there, but with someone of the experience of Al Dickinson starting in the number one jersey it was tricky to get the game time I was looking for,” he said.
“It was enjoyable working with Al and Allan Dell who has now gone on to win Scotland caps, but at the stage I was at in my career I needed to be playing on a more regular basis.
“As a result when the chance came to head down to London Scottish I was very keen. When I arrived during pre-season the squad was really starting to get an overhaul and new faces were arriving each day, but it was exciting to get to know everyone and try and mould into a team.
“Having played in England before I knew quite a bit about the Championship and I knew that each week would be a real challenge in the scrums.
“You have to try and get on the front foot quite early and I think myself and the other guys in that area of the team have come together quite well and done a pretty decent job.”
To date this season, Grant has played in 17 matches and managed to bag a try against the Cornish Pirates in October.
He said: “The season has had various stages, but this feels like the start of the run-in and we know that we have to get on a good run if we are to go on and get in the top four.
“We have been training well in recent weeks and there seems a good buzz about the boys.
“I think that stems from some of the quality attacking rugby we played against Rotherham Titans at the start of the month. We then lost out to Ulster ‘A’ in the British & Irish Cup, but we have worked very hard since then and put a few things right out on the training pitch.”