Former Scotland lock Stuart Grimes has tipped Scotland Under-20 prop Grant Shiells for a big future after the 20-year-old mad his first Guinness Premiership start for Newcastle Falcons.
Shiells played 75 minutes of the Falcons thrilling 32-30 defeat of Sale which secured their Guinness Premiership survival.
The former Kelso player has already made his mark with Scotland Under-20s at last year’s Junior World Championship in Japan and has no better propping mentor in the North East than All Black Carl Hayman.
And Falcons forwards coach Grimes – who won 71 caps in the Scotland boiler room – has been impressed by Sheills development but warned there is still a long way to go before he reaches the top.
He said: “He has got definite raw talent and has impressed everyone at Newcastle with his determination.
“But this is his first real season as a young prop and they need both age and experience.
“There’s no way to fast-track players in those positions – it takes time and patience but he is very determined.
“Certainly he has got all the attributes he needs at his age and I can only see him improving with time.”