Scott Lawson reveals he was in the middle of moving up to Newcastle when he got the call to join up with the Scotland squad for the Quad-Nations tournament held in South Africa.
And the experienced campaigner, who has swapped the Madjeski Stadium for the bright lights of Kingston Park, believes clashes against Samoa, Italy and the Springboks have set him in good stead for life at Newcastle Falcons.
“I didn’t have a holiday booked, but I did cancel a house move,” said the 31-year-old.
Lawson added: “I was in the middle of moving up to Newcastle when I got the call. I had just started unpacking boxes and I wanted the summer off to get the house all sorted, but we had to shelve it at the last minute.
“The way it worked out wasn’t at all what I had envisaged for the summer, but it was one of the most worthwhile tours we have had for some years in terms of player development.
“Scott Johnson as our coach made no bones about the fact he wanted to increase the player base, and expose more guys to this level of rugby.”
Playing twice during the tour, Lawson admits his game has been aided by the exposure to more international rugby.
“From my own point of view, starting two test matches and playing virtually 80 minutes in both of them was good, especially having had limited game-time with Ross Ford starting the majority of the previous tests,” said the 38-times capped Scot.
“I felt like I put in some good performances in a very tough competition, and when you talk about physicality in world rugby it doesn’t get much stronger than South Africa, Samoa and Italy,” he added.
Now Lawson is bursting at the seams to achieve great things with the Falcons, saying: “There is no secret to the vision of Dean Richards. With the staff and the playing squad he has assembled it seemed like a good fit for myself, and a good fit for Newcastle.”