A FORMER Winnington Park junior had a debut to remember for Scotland rugby union team in the opening match of their Americas tour.

Gus Warr, the Sale Sharks scrum-half who started out with the Burrows Hill club as a six-year-old before joining Bowdon aged 13, crossed for two tries in a new-look Scotland side that defeated Canada 73-12 in Ottawa.

The 24-year-old was one of five uncapped players in the line-up selected by Gregor Townsend and made his mark on the scoreboard in the second half.

He reinforced Scotland’s 24-5 interval lead, first dancing through the line and while Canada briefly held out, the scrum-half collected the ball again and dived over the ruck for his debut try as a senior international.

For his second score, Warr combined with Paterson before shrugging off a couple of challenges to touch down.

Gus Warr on his debut for Scotland against Canada in Ottawa last nightGus Warr on his debut for Scotland against Canada in Ottawa last night (Image: PA Wire)

He will be looking to keep his place for further tour matches against the United States in Washington on Friday, July 12, Chile in Santiago on July 20 and Uruguay in Montevideo seven days later.

Warr is following in the footsteps of his dad Mark, a one-time Winnington Park coach who was also a scrum-half and played rugby for Sale FC and Orrell in the mid-nineties.

His Scotland debut is the icing on the cake to a fine season for Warr after making 25 appearances for his club in 2023/24.

The University of Manchester history graduate represented both Scotland and England at age-group level, but the pathway in senior rugby became clear for the Arsenal football fan when he was selected for this tour.

His eligibility for playing his international rugby north of the border is due to his mother being from Strathaven.

He has further connections with the country through his education.

Although Warr studied at Tarporley High School and then Ellesmere College in Shropshire, he moved to Dollar Academy in Clackmannanshire for sixth form, and went on to represent Scotland at under 18s, under 19s and under 20s level.

He was captain for the under 19s in games against Scottish Students, Romania and France but went on to compete for England against Scotland in the final round of the 2019 Six Nations Under 20s Championship.

Warr, who had joined the Sale Sharks Academy aged 14, signed a five-year contract with the Premiership side just months after finishing his academic studies.

He ended up making his Premiership debut for Sale against Harlequins at the Stoop in September, 2018.

Club highlights so far include Warr featuring in the semi-final and final as Sale were Premiership runners-up in the 2022/23 season.

He spent time out on loan with Doncaster Knights in the 2019/20 and 2021/22 seasons.