AS he looks back fondly on his earliest experiences of his mother’s homeland Darry Marfo paints a romantic picture.

“My mother moved to London when she was 18 so all through my life since I was a child I’ve been very aware of my Scottish roots and my Scottish heritage,” said the 27-year-old who grew up in Pimlico, close to the Houses of Parliament.

“As a kid and a teenager I came up here for weeks at a time… we’re talking summer holidays, easter holidays, Christmas holidays, every half-term. We’d come up to the town of Ayr, by the seaside. I spent a lot of time growing up in Scotland because all my mum’s side of the family are from here. My mum’s called Cheryl.

“It was a really different experience and it was one that I loved as a kid; you’d get off the plane and the train and immediately you could smell that fresh Scottish air and you could drink the water out of the taps. With my grandparents and my aunties and uncles being up here it was a great place to come.”

Quite a few of them were up in Scotland to see him again on Saturday and while the environment was much harsher the the boy who has grown up into a 6’2”, near 19 stone man has learned to take pleasure from it too.

“I don’t think there are any rugby players who are in this job for the ease of it. There are easier jobs to do than this,” he observed, when asked about the prospect of facing the world’s best side on what will only be his second Test appearance.

“When you get the opportunity to face the best team in the world – personally I’ve never had that experience – it is a dream job and you’re then faced with the biggest challenge possible. It doesn’t get any harder or tougher.”

“There were very real thoughts of having to pack it in at that stage, of having to go down a very different route,” he said of what briefly confronted him before Bath stepped in to offer him a temporary contract.

“I know that I’m a very good rugby player but sometimes it’s about supply and demand and if no-one’s demanding that they want a loosehead prop in their squad then I can’t supply that for them. It then becomes a case of having to earn money because you have to be a breadwinner.”

In keeping with his role on the pitch, however, Marfo takes a pragmatic view to the way things have turned around since he seized that opportunity and then another when offered a one year contract at Edinburgh.

“I have to believe it because I just ran out in front of 60,000 people at Murrayfield on Saturday and that was a pretty real experience,” he said.

“Yes I can believe it because it is happening. I can’t control other people’s perceptions of me. My career has not gone as I would like to have gone, especially in the early years.

“Stranger things have happened. There are things you can control and things you can’t. What happens happens.”