ALAN: Hi guys, Nashie here; back from a few weeks off, following a busy August and September at Ace Property, with our Festival lets and student changeovers. For this episode I'm joined by Jamie Farndale, Scotland 7s captain, and Richard Simpson, MD of Tayburn, a digital media agency based in Edinburgh. We covered a lot, from Scotland 7s; Edinburgh rugby; the future of social media; and even a bit of CrossFit. I hope you enjoy.
Welcome to the property Rugby Club Podcast, brought to you by Ace Property Management and Sales; hosted by Alan Nash.
ALAN: Guys, good to have you here; thanks for coming along. Jamie and Richard, we'll get through - hopefully - tons this afternoon; but Jamie, let's get into the start of what looks to be a pretty exciting season. You're a 7s player; you're the new captain, but you've already played for Edinburgh, you've already played Leinster. How's it all going; what are we, a couple of games in?
JAMIE: Yeah, I know; it's been a pretty crazy start start to the season. I was actually in my offseason, and I got a call from the Edinburgh manager that said "D'you you want to come in and and train?" - which cut my offseason a bit short - but really exciting. Actually, I had a week's training and then was involvedin the preseason game against Newcastle, where yeah I started; I felt it was pretty solid. I ended up with a try at the death and got the win as a team, so it was good just from there to be involved with Edinburgh; I've had a few weeks training since, so it's all going well.
ALAN: Richard,you managed to get to any games/watched anything yet? Me neither, don't worry.
RICHARD: I'm ashamed to say no; we're business club members this year as well! It's something we've done for a while, actually; it's a great thing, because we try and get colleagues down who don't necessarily know as much about the game. It's a great social thing for them, as well as an opportunity to entertain clients; so that also helps when you've got a bit of personal interest as well.
ALAN: Interesting; and busy Murrayfield! Jamie, yourself; how's it been? Because you had such a busy year last year, then it all came to an end in San Francisco. You scored that epic end of the game win, the massive comeback against Kenya; give us a wee bit of flavour of how that was in San Francisco. But then you talk about offseason; what's the difference between the 7s circuit and what the pro teams are doing, and now you're balancing both? Now you've got responsibilities of captaincy, going into the tournaments ahead; how are you balancing everything, and how was the tail end after that Kenya game?
JAMIE: Well, in terms of balancing things at the moment - in terms of 7s and 15s - I'm still a contracted 7s player, and obviously I've just been named as a co-captain of the 7s team; that's a massive honour, but it's also something that I want to do well. To do that well, you've got to be involved. It's working at the moment sort of week by week with 15s and 7s - working as in, I'm going Monday/ Tuesday with Edinburgh, and then if I'm involved at the weekend I'll stay there; if I'm not, I'm back into the 7s environment - which is working well at moment. Obviously 7s don't play until December-
ALAN: Dubai and the first tournament.
JAMIE: Dubai's the first, Dubai and Cape Town; so it's working well at the moment. There might be some decisions to make over the next few weeks, but we'll see how that goes.
RICHARD: How you manage that? Because they're two pretty different games these days.
JAMIE: Well, there's actually - certainly in my position, I find myself on the wing in 7s and also on the wing in 15s - and there are a lot of complementary attributes. Obviously, I hadn't played 15s in three or four years when I went back in at the start of this season, but I felt pretty sharp; I didn't feel completely out of my depth or anything. The game is quite similar; actually, I'd say it's almost the opposite way. Going from 15s to 7s can often be the most difficult. There's a lot of quite specific skills in 7s - things like restarts, and for me even lineouts; as a back going into (UNCLEAR)"7s" the first time, I kind of thought "What am I doing here?" - scrums and things that backs should never have to think about, but there obviously are a lot of crossovers. Actually, 7s I feel does really sharpen you up; it gives you almost the confidence, I suppose, to go back in. You can go back into 15s and still feel pretty sharp.
ALAN: The fitness levels that you get from 7s; you mustn't break a sweat in a 15s game!
JAMIE: [LAUGHS] Well, it can still be pretty tough out there! It's different; I suppose with 15s, there's also a big contact element. With 7s obviously there are contacts, but it is more the fitness part that gets you; certainly from the training with Edinburgh, you can end up a day feeling pretty sore and pretty bruised. Whereas 7s obviously focuses more on- we do a lot of running in the 7s training.
ALAN: We had a chat with Colin Gregor and Scot Riddell a couple of months ago now on the pod, and that game against Kenya, that mindset of the comeback and everything; what was said on the pitch, how was it dealt with? Was it just firm belief that "We're not losing this?"
JAMIE: I don't know, because I've actually been in quite a few pretty special comebacks over the years. There was obviously the first Twickenham final we won against South Africa - we've been written off - and that New Zealand game as well; the first time we beat New Zealand, that was from 21-0 down just afterhalf time. There's obviously the Kenya and the France game, both in the World Cup there; I suppose it's a sort of attitude that "just never give up". Even in the Kenya game, where I remembered it just felt ridiculous; there was always that part of me that thought "We're at a World Cup here, you know; we're not gonna get this chance again. I'm not giving up now, we're still got minutes left on the clock". I don't know if that's a Scottish attribute - we'll always fight for every chance, we've got, mentally tough - but dunno. We've had a few pretty special comebacks over the years; it's definitely something that other teams are seeing in us, and I think other teams now, they definitely can't get off their guard towards the end of a game.
ALAN: Absolutely. (UNCLEAR)
RICHARD: That's amazing; the mindset stuff I find fascinating-
ALAN: Never Give Up; Never Say Never.
RICHARD: Because to what end is it innate? Is it something that you're just born with, or is it something that can be coached with the right skills? I know you've spoken a lot about guys like David Goggins, on the last one.
ALAN: With Dickinson.
RICHARD: That stuff is mind-blowing; so can you coach it, or is it stuff that is just inherent within a player?
ALAN: I think a lot of it will come from your youth, what you're brought up with; that attitude. Do you just give up and try something else? Do you start again, or do you just keep going? I think a lot of it comes from youth.
JAMIE: I agree with the point with the coaching; and certainly without training we get into some dark places. We used to have training sessions where it's a seven-minute half, but we'd play eight or nine minutes of 7s. You'd go straight into fitness; straight back into rugby; straight back into fitness, and you'd have 40 minutes of just running and playing and contact. At the end of the session you're absolutely done, but it is so much harder than you're ever going to find it in a game; I suppose when you've had that experience week in week out - you'retraining at that level where you're absolutely dying - when you get to playing, there is that extra. And obviously you need the mental toughness to be able to pull it out under pressure - but definitely the training aspect, you can put yourself into dark places - which does help, come the game.
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