WHEN Rich Galloway runs out for his senior Bournemouth debut at Old Albanian on Saturday, it will be a rare treat for the travelling fans to see their star summer signing in action.

Galloway comes into the side at full-back having missed the first four matches of the season, a run of defeats that sees his team at the foot of the National Two South table.

But the hometown boy, who came up through the club’s ranks as a teenager, has not been a feature on Lions’ lengthy injury list.

Rather, he has been the other side of the treatment table, working as a junior doctor at Royal Bournemouth Hospital.

Galloway’s journey from hot teenage prospect to the senior XV has been an eventful one.

Capped by England under-16s in 2012, he scored a try in his team’s 39-35 victory over Wales in only his second appearance at international level.

On the books at Bath and in high demand, the stage was set for a glittering career.

But ultimately, the lure of professional rugby was not enough for a man with so much to offer, both on and off the rugby field.

Instead, Galloway followed his vocation, earning a place to study medicine at Birmingham University on a sports scholarship.

The burgeoning rugby career continued alongside his studies - a lifestyle that left the young man with little time, but he made sure he worked hard as well as enjoying university life.

“I’ve always had a balanced life. I think that’s really important. My main focus was always my studies but I can relax and enjoy life too,” he said.

A bad leg break put him out of action for some time, and in 2015, Galloway had edged away from the international reckoning.

The England academy set-up did not fit with his main priority of studying and when Scotland under-20s came calling, he opted for them.

“I had sort of drifted off the radar with England and I was clear about wanting to focus on my studies. Scotland approached me and I had a great time with them,” he said.

Alongside current internationals Zander Ferguson, Adam Hastings and Blair Kinghorn among others, Galloway appeared in all of the side’s games at the 2015 under-20 World Cup in Italy.

While he was one of the nation’s top young players, for Galloway there was only ever going to be one career path.

This year, he began his first placement as a junior doctor back in Bournemouth.

He said: “It is great to be home. The job is hard, and getting a placement here took a long time. It is great to be back near family and friends. They keep my feet on the ground.”

Lions fans may ask why the much-anticipated debut of one of their most threatening attacking players has taken so long to come around.

The problem is this - 50-plus-hour weeks in a busy hospital, working 12-hour shifts, weekends and nights, and learning the ropes on the wards does not offer Galloway much time off.

“It is tough. Some of the hours are pretty anti-social,” he added.

He manages to fit training sessions around work, putting his teammates through the ringer, but has yet to show what he can do in competitive action.

Director of rugby, Will Croker, is delighted finally to have his man where he wants him - in the number 15 jersey on a Saturday afternoon.

“Rich brings a huge attacking threat for us. Very, very fast feet, very quick off the mark. Good defensively, a good communicator, someone who is always looking to try to take the game to the opposition,” he said.

“He’s a wonderful rugby player and we’re looking forward to seeing what he has to offer.”

Bournemouth visit an Old Albanians side with two victories and two defeats so far this season.

Mike Davies is unavailable for Lions, so Ryan Hughes takes his place in the front row.

Talisman and captain Joe Rees returns from a knee injury at number eight, moving youngster Ben Roberts to the blind-side and James Griffiths to the bench.

In the backs, Dan Stewart is available again and comes straight back in for injured Wyn Roberts who was twice a try scorer away at Henley a fortnight ago.

Galloway takes over from Ben Meaden at full-back.

The visitors will be hoping desperately to end their run of consecutive defeats and get their first points on the board.

For Galloway, it is just nice to be back where he grew up.

“The feel at the club is the same,” he said.

“They’ve come a long way. I’m just looking forward to getting out there and spinning the ball around and seeing what we can do.”