INPHO/ Ben Healy is happy with Scotland.

'It's a long way to Tipperary' says Ben Healy as he hopes for Scotland success

Former Munster man thriving after making the switch to Gregor Townsend’s side.

IT’S A LONG way from Tipperary, says Scotland’s newest fly-half Ben Healy as he prepares to face South Africa in their Rugby World Cup opener on Sunday.

Healy made over 50 appearances for Munster, including kicking four conversions in their historic 28-14 win over a South African selection in Pairc Ui Chaoimh in November 2022.

However, being Scottish qualified through his mother Maria (born in England to two Scottish parents), he made the switch to Edinburgh and was subsequently named in Gregor Townsend’s squad for the Six Nations. He made his debut in the final game against Italy.

He admitted this week that the turn of events has caught him somewhat by surprise.

“When I look back on it, I say ‘Wow!’ said Healy.

“It’s a big change. It’s a long way from Tipperary. But a year or two down the line I’m sure I’ll be saying the same thing again because things change a lot and very quickly in rugby.”

His family will be in France to cheer him on. While his mother was born in England, she moved back to the Scottish town of Turriff, 30 miles from Aberdeen, while still at nursery age. His father, Fergal, played for Young Munster and Nenagh Ormond.

The connection is a real one. As he explained in a previous interview, he has been eating haggis his whole life.

“They will be coming out and they will be going back and forth. They are fully behind Scotland, there’s no question about that,” he said.  

The breathtaking pace of change has also been good for him.

“It’s really exciting, it flies by, it just all passes so quickly. Sometimes you get a chance to reflect but every week there’s a new challenge and something to look forward to and that’s where your focus is on.

“It’s nice to look at the big picture every now and again to see where you have come from and where you are going.

“For instance, this week we have the world champions (South Africa) in the opening game of a Rugby World Cup so each week there’s usually an individual focus, but when I do look back it will be on a great time in my career.”

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