Hearing the Borders accent of 1990 Grand Slam legend Craig Chalmers down the phone line from his home in Epsom is very reassuring.

Last Saturday morning, the 55-year-old had his prostate removed after he was diagnosed with prostate cancer.

The operation was a complete success and he was at home by Monday to begin his recuperation.

“I still have a catheter in, feel a bit sore, got six holes in my tummy, am taking pain killers but am getting better day by day,” said the former Scotland fly-half.

"I went into the Royal Marsden Hospital in London at half past seven on Saturday morning and by nine o’clock the operation to remove my prostate completely started and it was all over in two hours

"It was robotic surgery carried out by a great surgeon and I was kept in for two nights and was then let home on Easter Monday. I can’t go far just now but I am slowly building up my energy and feeling better already.

"In this first week of my recovery I will walk around the house, into the garden, take things easy. I have exercises I have been given to do to get my pelvic floor back in order and other ways to improve my core strength.’

Chalmers is the third former Scotland rugby international to be diagnosed with prostate cancer.

The 1984 Grand Slam fly-half John Rutherford was diagnosed when he was 61 and is now 68, while international winger, Kenny Logan, 52, husband of BBC presenter Gabby Logan, also had their prostate removed and both made a full recovery.

“Kenny lives down here and was really supportive and he was one of the first people I told about my diagnosis," said Chalmers who toured with the 1989 British and Irish Lions to Australia.

"Initially he helped me come to terms with dealing with the shock of being diagnosed with cancer and the effect it has on your mental health.

Scotland Rugby News: Kenny Logan

"Kenny told me what to expect with the operation as he had been through it and had the same excellent surgeon as I had carry out the operation. We spoke on the phone on Sunday and continue to do so. He’s been great and so supportive as have so many other people."

Chalmers is speaking to Scotland Rugby News so soon after his operation as he desperately wants to spread the message to men over 50 to get checked for prostate cancer.

“I have always had a health check once a year since I turned 50 and my prostate cancer was flagged up during my last one when I got my blood tests and that early diagnosis could have saved my life," he said.

"I would urge other men over 50 to get checked too. Men can be reticent to go to the doctors but the sooner the cancer is diagnosed the better.

"There is no rhyme and reason why you get it. I was fit and healthy and then my blood tests showed I had it. You get a prostate specific antigen (PSA) test that measures the level of PSA, which is a substance made by the prostate, in the blood.  The PSA level in the blood is higher in men who have prostate cancer.

"My PSA levels were higher than they should be and went from 2.7 which was normal back in 2022  up to 4.9 last December so I was sent for a biopsy which was under local anaesthetic. A few days later they called to tell me I had prostate cancer.

"I didn’t want to worry about the cancer ever coming back so decided to have my prostate removed. I thought to myself, if it is good enough for Kenny Logan and John Rutherford to get the operation then it is good enough for me.

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"I am talking about my diagnosis and my operation to get the message out there for men over 50 to go and get tested. I had no symptoms but got it but there can be symptoms such as blood in your urine or going to the toilet a lot and not having a strong flow.

"It is so important to get checked as the statistics show one in eight men get prostate cancer so it is pretty common. For any men reading this please get checked."