‘We don’t fear anyone as a squad. We know that when we play to our potential Scotland can beat anyone in the world.’
An emerging legend among Scottish rugby fans, Jamie was recently named captain for Scotland’s national team aged just 26. After signing his first deal at 17, he went on to become one of Edinburgh Rugby Club’s most consistent players. A recently- married father-of-two, Jamie originally hails from Dundee and now resides in Edinburgh. As his career goes from strength to strength and he gears up for his first Rugby World Cup at the helm for his country, we caught up with him about life on the pitch and out in the Highlands.
You’ve been described as a ‘young player with an old head on his shoulders’. What has the experience been like for you over this past year?
It’s been a bit of a whirlwind, to be honest, but one that I’ve really enjoyed. Being told just before the Autumn Nations Series that I was going to be the Scottish captain was a really special moment in my career — it’s something I’ve always wanted to achieve. I did feel prepared going into the Autumn Nations Series, but it was a super-busy period and there was a lot of media around us. Going into the Six Nations, I felt more settled, like I’d found my feet.
It was a fantastic 2022/2023 Six Nations for Scotland, what was your favourite moment of the tournament?
As a group, we can take a lot of confidence from what we did. There were a lot of big wins in there — some that had been bugging us for a wee while, like that Wales game! We got that monkey off our backs. We don’t fear anyone as a squad. We know that when we play to our potential, Scotland can beat anyone in the world.
What was your proudest Scottish sporting moment?
One is captaining Scotland in the Six Nations for the first time, beating England and getting to lift the cup at Twickenham. But probably the proudest moment of my career so far was receiving the Doddie Trophy. Being able to share that moment with Doddie’s family after his passing was something that I’ll remember forever. It’ll be tough to top in terms of proud moments, because it meant so much to us as a group, and as a nation.
If you were to pick one reason why Scottish fans should be excited about the upcoming Rugby World Cup what would it be?
It’s a massive opportunity. A lot of people have spoken about us being in a tough group, but we’d need to beat the strong teams at some point. This is both a challenge and an opportunity for us to do that early on in the tournament. We’ve got South Africa first up and then we finish the group stages against Ireland, so those are two bookending games for us to lay a real marker down. We’ve got nothing to lose going out there, and we’re going to throw everything at it.
What makes Scotland so special?
The people. As a nation we’re uniquely welcoming and kind, but we love to have a laugh.