There may not have been many smiles on Scottish faces last Saturday when the final whistle blew after the Scotland-France Guinness Men’s Six Nations match, but on Sunday there were plenty of smiles at Linlithgow Rugby Club’s Mains Park ground.

That is because the West Lothian outfit were playing their annual tour match with their old friends from Plaisir Rugby Club from France and it was a great success, Linlithgow winning 52-24.

It was also very much a milestone day because, just to show what a strong community club Linlithgow are, there was a father and son playing together for the first time, three brothers playing together for the first time and two other sets of brothers - Ross and Jamie Tulloch and Gregor and Struan McLean - in the home squad for the social clash.

For Nick Chadwick, who came off the bench with son Finlay to pack down in the second-row together in the second half, it was something of a full circle moment.

“I actually played my first ever senior match for Linlithgow in a tour match in France in 1987 when I was 17 and now, having dusted off my boots for this special occasion so many years later, I may have played my last game against French opponents too,” the 54-year-old explained.

“The game on Sunday brought back memories of that tour all those years ago.

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“There were four of us who were still at Linlithgow Academy at the time and we went on that trip. Everyone travelled back overnight on the Sunday, we got home about 7am on the Monday and we all went straight back to school!

“Over the years the Linlithgow Rugby Club links with France and Plaisir Rugby Club have grown and grown. During the Six Nations each year we go there and they come here and it is always a brilliant weekend.

“And for myself and Fin this year was extra special.

“Fin had hoped to get out to France last year and we would have looked to play in the same team for the first time then, but he couldn’t make it so we had to wait until my bones were a year older!

“It was a really special moment getting to play with him for Linlithgow at the weekend. I had played a lot for the club until I was about 40, but Fin was young then, and I was never sure if we’d get the opportunity.

“However, since the end of the pandemic, Fin has been playing regularly for the second team at the club and with him now being 20 this was an ideal opportunity.

“The tour matches are always great fun, to come off the bench with Fin was excellent and then to be in the second-row made it extra special because I used to play front-row mainly back in the day.”

The icing on the cake for Nick was being named player of the match by the French visitors while Finlay loved the whole experience too and said:  “Playing in the same team as dad was always on my radar, I just was not sure if we’d ever be able to make it happen.

“It really was special to do it although at the time we probably didn’t realise how special because as we trotted onto the pitch we realised we’d be tackling and scrumming down against some rather big French lads!

“Seriously though, it was dad who got me into rugby because he took me down to the minis at Linlithgow when I was about five and I have pretty much been involved with the club ever since.

“What has kept our family so involved with the club for a long period of time is the real community atmosphere there is at Linlithgow.

“There are two senior teams, a youth section and the minis and everyone just mucks, helps each other out and has fun.

“That close-knit feel to things was obviously highlighted at the weekend when myself and dad were playing along with three sets of brothers.

“And now whether dad ever pulls his boots on again or not I am aiming to go on the club tour to France next year and keep the connection going.”

The community feel emanating from Linlithgow has been on show in the first team this season with almost all of the 30 plus players who helped them win the East Region League Division One title having come through the youth ranks at the club.

“That is what made winning [26-12] at Forrester on January 13 and clinching the silverware so special,” the club’s rugby development manager Euan Mochrie, who is also currently helping coach Edinburgh Rugby’s women, said.

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“Most of us have been around the club a long time and grown up together while it is great to see a batch of youngsters who have played in the under-18s over the last couple of years now breaking through and making their mark.

“There are a lot of people who put a lot of hard work into the club, but I was especially pleased for Matt Dixon, Dougie Thomson and Graeme McCallum when we got promoted.

“Matt and Dougie have coached for a number of years now and we have been close to success a few times, so this year’s positivity feels good and we can take it forward now.”

There was also positivity among the Mochrie family after three brothers 28-year-old second-row Fraser, back-row Euan and front-row Aiden played together for the first time on Sunday - and some relief from their father.

“Dad has been our biggest fan over the years and has often been pulled here, there and everywhere trying to watch us in different matches,” Euan, 26, said.

“So, it was nice that he could watch us all in the same game this time, especially as Aiden is just 18 and a bit younger than myself and Fraser, so we weren’t sure when or if this would happen.

“It was a great occasion and just another good example of that community feel that we strive for at Linlithgow.”