AS Gregor Townsend suggested immediately after the game, the only helpful part of last weekend’s loss to the USA was that it was in the penultimate game of the tour. The players don’t have time to dwell on the misery of

the night but have to get switch their attention to the task of trying to beat Argentina this week.

You can expect Townsend to go for a much more experienced side than he has done on tour so far, but one position where he may still stick with the exception of inside centre James Lang , who did enough in his 45 minutes against Canada – before getting a bang on the head – to suggest he may well be given another go.

If so, it would be a remarkable rise for a player who, when he was picked for the original squad, had the pundits scrambling to find out who he was. Their ignorance was understandable since, by Lang’s own admission, his appearances for Harlequins have mainly been off the bench.

To be fair, the pundits were not the only ones surprised by his inclusion in the squad. So was he, the initial contact from Townsend coming in March when he had time off from his club and picked up a phone call out of the blue while on holiday in Morocco.

“It was quite a surprise,” he said. “He said they were looking at me and were liking what they were seeing. He said to keep up the good work and there could be an opportunity.

“I was getting quite a bit of game time with Quins, but more off the bench. I wasn’t really expecting to be selected but it was a nice surprise. Wicked.

“Gregor also spoke to me about my position. I’ve started all three, 10, 12, and 15, this year for Quins but I think I’m here predominantly as a ball-playing 12, which is where I think I can really enhance my career, and I’m hopefully doing so.

“When they told me I was starting, I was thrilled, excited – I couldn’t really wait to get out there and play.

“On the day, Stuart Hogg presented me with my top in the changing room, and that was pretty class: obviously I’ve got loads of respect for him – he’s a world-class player and for him to do that was wicked.

“Singing the anthems was very special. My parents flew out as well to Edmonton and were in the crowd, so it was wicked to share that moment with them as well.”

Like any new cap, Lang’s parents played a large role in helping get through to the level he has achieved though it seems the sporting genes appear to come mainly from his mother Rena, who was capped for the England football team.

Not that her son seems to know too much about it: “My mum played international football for England – I’ll not guess the date because it might annoy her. She was a right-mid. Another midfielder,” he recalled.

Did she play more than once? “Yeah, I think so. I’m not entirely sure,” came the reply.

Not too much detail there then, but after two weeks of training with the squad in Scotland before the tour started and in the third week of the trip, he is starting to feel very much part of the group.

After all, 28 of the 33 in the initial party were complete strangers to

him six weeks ago – he knew Ruaridh Jackson from their shared time at Harlequins and had spent time

with Zander Fagerson, Jamie

Ritchie, Magnus Bradbury and Lewis Carmichael when they were all in the Scotland Under-18 squad together – though the 23-year-old admits he had lost touch with them.

“I hadn’t seen them since, though, which is going back five years, so it’s been nice to catch up with them throughout this tour,” he said. “I went to Edinburgh a couple of weeks before tour and met the majority of the players then. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed being on this tour.”

The first task is to make sure the tour ends on a high note with a win in Argentina where Scotland have not lost in a decade, but when he does get back the next step is to try to keep the caps coming and that means getting more starts at club level so that he is more in th spotlight.

“I’m very happy at Quins. We’ve

got a new head coach coming in –

Paul Gustard – and I’ve heard very, very good things about him,” Lang said. “I’m looking forward to going back, it’s a clean slate for everyone. I’m looking forward to putting my hand up, training well and hopefully playing.

“Playing week-in, week-out is what you have to do to keep match fit, so hopefully I’ll get the opportunity.”