Get to know: Matt Currie
Academy prospect Matt Currie has made a flying start to his Edinburgh Rugby career, making his debut at just 19 years old, before crossing the whitewash in the recent win over Zebre. Get to know the up-and-coming centre!
Place of birth: Dumfries
Position: Outside centre
Former club: Dumfries RFC, Watsonians
You grew up in Dumfries, what were your first memories of rugby there?
"I come from a dairy farm in Dumfries where I grew up with my two brothers. We used to get pretty competitive with rugby in the garden and as soon as I was old enough to join the rugby club I started playing for Dumfries minis.
"The community at the club was great, and it was good fun playing in the tournaments on Sundays with all your friends.
"My Dad coached me there for a few years and was very supportive of my rugby, but he took a pretty hardline approach to coaching. He used to tell me if I missed a tackle he would sub me off!"
You came through the ranks at the city’s Merchiston Castle School. Tell us about rugby there, highlights of your time at the school and what you perhaps learned about yourself as a player?
"I joined the school when I was 13 and loved my time there. The rugby set-up is amazing for a school and I feel it developed me massively as a player.
"The coaches were really supportive and would always do extra to help the boys. We had a pretty good season in my final year, we won the Scottish schools cup which was a major highlight but I also loved going to tournaments down south such as Rosslyn Park 7’s and St Joseph's festival.
"They were a great opportunity for us to test ourselves against some of the top schools in England. As a player I just loved being part of the team environment, especially when you get to play with all your best mates from school each week."
What is the best piece of advice you’ve been given in rugby and why?
"Probably just to have fun and enjoy the experience. I find that I play my best rugby when I’m relaxed and having fun. It can help to ease the nerves leading into a game as well."
Tell us a little bit about yourself as a player – what should supporters expect when Matt Currie walks on the field?
"I enjoy just getting my hands on the ball and playing rugby in the wide channels. On the other side of the ball, it's always a challenge defending in the 13 channel, but one which I enjoy and work hard on."
You joined the club’s academy and have trained with the senior squad during a pandemic. How have you found settling in this season, in a year that’s been really tough for everyone?
"It’s definitely been a difficult season for everyone but the squad have always been very welcoming to the younger lads coming in.
"Obviously lockdown made socialising outside of rugby a bit more difficult, but everyone was in the same boat and the squad has grown really close over the season. Hopefully everything will be back to normal soon!"
How have you found that experience learning from the likes of Chris Dean, Mark Bennett and James Johnstone in the club’s midfield – how helpful have they been?
"They’ve all been great and are always willing to help me out with my game. All the senior boys have been amazing, the academy players have all been given a mentor in the senior squad who helps with our development by looking through our games and giving us pointers.
"It's a great way for us to learn and has really helped me this season."
You grabbed your first try for the club against in the Rainbow Cup win over Zebre – how did you find that experience and how nervous were you going into the game?
"It was an unreal feeling to get my first try for the club and one I’ll remember for a long time. I was having a laugh with my Dad before the game, he said he would give me a fiver if I scored a try. I still haven't seen the money!
"I always get nervous in the build up to a game, especially when it’s such a late kick off, but as soon as I get on the pitch the nerves go away pretty quick and I just get excited to play. The senior boys were really encouraging and helped me to keep calm."
What was the reaction like to making your debut for your hometown team – was your phone blowing up post-match?
"Yeah I got a lot of messages after the match from friends and family which was really nice.
"It really opened my eyes to how much support I have behind me and I can’t thank them enough. It’s a shame that they couldn’t be there but hopefully soon we can get fans back to the games and into our new stadium."
What is your personal ambition this season from a rugby perspective?
I just want to continue learning and try to get as much game time as I can before the end of the season.
"There are a few games left in the Rainbow cup and then the U20 Six Nations will follow in June, so it would be great to play in these if I get the opportunity.
"Hopefully I can perform well and put myself in a good position moving forward into next season."
Favourite TV show: The Office US. Not actually seen the UK version so that will be next on the list.
Funniest teammate: Harry Paterson is a funny character
Favourite other sport: Cricket
Go to meal: Chilli con carne
Favourite musicians: Fleetwood Mac or Two Door Cinema Club
Which actor would play you in a movie? I’ve been told I look like Connor Swindells (Adam Groff) but unsure...