In his 22nd season for Heriot’s RFC, what motivates the man behind the legend…
When and how old were you when you started playing for Heriot’s RFC?
I attended George Heriot’s School from Primary 7, joining the club in 1998
What was your first rugby memory?
Being in and around North Berwick Clubhouse after games, I started out playing with their minis
What’s your favourite rugby memory?
Too many to mention, I’ve been lucky I have had quite a few
Who are your rugby role models and why?
The guys who were playing when I started at the Club, they took me under their wing, players like Jocky Bryce and Donald Shand. These guys played hard but shook hands at the end and had a beer afterwards.
What traits do you need to become the best in your game?
Commitment, which means sometimes having to give up other things to be there on a Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday.
Who has been the biggest influence on your rugby career and why?
There have been lots of people who have influenced my rugby career, from my family, to school and club coaches. All have pushed me in the right direction at different points of my career which makes it very difficult to identify one person.
What do you eat before a big match?
I don’t like to eat much before a game, usually just cereal and a sandwich.
How do you mentally prepare for games?
Generally quite laid back until it’s time to get into the warm up. It’s good to be around the squad and get the buzz building.
Any pre match routines or superstitions?
Not really anything specific, usually walk the dog then head to Goldie for the game or the bus.
What’s on your pre match playlist?
Usually a random mix of upbeat dance music, something with a good beat.
Which team or teams do you look forward to playing the most?
I like the Derby Games against Watsonians, Boroughmuir etc. Always good to get a win over local rivals.
Best player you have played with?
Probably either Simon Taylor or Apo Satala, both fantastic players.
Best player you have played against?
In terms of position, I remember playing against Gordon Bulloch when he returned to West of Scotland, at the time it was pretty exciting to play against a Scotland and Lion cap.
How would you sell rugby to someone new to the game?
It’s a fantastic way to meet people from all walks of life and to make lifelong friendships. The rugby network is an extended family and you always know that someone’s there if you need them.
Does Sunday morning hurt more now than it used to?
Not sure about Sunday but Monday and Tuesday do!
If you weren’t playing rugby what other sport would you play?
I do play golf but don’t manage to get out as much as I’d like, but rugby comes first.
What’s been your career highlight to date?
I’ve been fortunate to have played and won in some pretty big games but for me the highlight was captaining the club against the Barbarians, something I’ll always remember and be grateful for.
Have you ever side stepped anyone?
It was known, back in the day, but probably not in the last few years.
How has the game changed since you started playing, if at all?
Professionalism has developed through the club game, guys generally don’t play as long into their 30s, defensive structures and strategies are far more advanced than they used to be.
What is the most tries you have scored in a season?
I’m probably not going to make it off one hand!
What’s your day job?
I works as a Head of Projects for a multinational Facilities Management company.
What is your favourite film?
Wouldn’t be able to say just one, I like the big films like Gladiator etc and 80’s comedies like Coming to America.
What’s the one thing you couldn’t live without?
Probably my car – I do a lot of driving – and obviously my wife…….
Favourite subject in school?
Craft & Design, I enjoyed the practical side of it rather than just a theory based subject.
Tell us something not many people would know about you?
I’ve only ever had 2 yellow cards and one of them was playing sevens.