Press Pass with Charlie Savala

Press Pass with Charlie Savala

Get the latest from stand-off Charlie Savala as he spoke with press in the build up to Saturday's Scottish Building Society Pre-Season Series clash with Benetton at the ERS.

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On the club's new home and adapting to a new surface

“It was crazy, mate. I’m used to hearing the typewriters and the coaches yelling out, so it was cool to have the fans there yelling us on.

“We’ve been training in there for quite a while, but to have fans back was obviously a different experience. The result wasn’t the best, but it was good to get that game under the belt.

“I like to think the ball always bounces your way but it doesn’t always work like that. As with any surface, it can be your friend at times but it can also go the other way, sometimes it bounces up and sometimes it runs on a bit further, so it is about being able to adapt.

Obviously, we’ve got the grass pitch we can train on as well, so it will depend on who and where we are playing, so that we can vary our game to suit the pitch and the conditions."

On adapting to Scotland and settling at the club

“I facetimed my mum and dad a couple of weeks back and they were in the rain while I was sitting in glorious sunshine, so it is good for them to be able to see that!

"It was good to get a couple of weeks off during the summer, I just cruised around a bit, visited some family and got to see parts of the UK I hadn’t seen before.

“Then it was good to come back into training and get some work done in the sun, although I’m sure it will turn shortly.

"I’ve always been comfortable playing union, but it is just great to be in this environment with world class coaches and world class players, helping you develop on your game."

On getting stronger and competition at stand-off

"I had a little niggle in my leg which kept recurring last season, but I got myself right during the summer and feel like I have been smashing it in pre-season. I feel great going into this week and the start of the season

"Nathan Chamberlain has been the hero at training during the last week after hitting the winning kick for Heriot's. He’s been walking round like he has a crown on his head.

"It was great to see some of the boys doing really well when they go back to club level, and Mike does a really good job of that, putting together clips to make little highlights videos, which is good to see.

“There is still a few of us fighting for the position and it is good to have that healthy competition. It will be exciting to see who gets picked going forward.”

On Mike Blair's strengths as a Head Coach

“Obviously, Mike played a similar position to myself so he is good to be able to sit down with talk. He sees the game similarly to a lot of players in the backline, so it is good to have those one-on-one talks, and group discussions about where we can get better, as players and as a group.

“I think Mike puts a big emphasis on us as individuals using our strengths. Obviously there are a lot of varied strengths in our team, a lot of varied skill-sets.

"I think he’s really big on people playing to their skill-sets. We have a structure in place but he loves individuals being good at what they do.”

On constantly improving his game

“Obviously I made a few errors at the weekend but the first thing he said to me on Monday was, ‘Mate, I love your intent, but let’s just choose the right options going forward.’

"It’s been great for me to have someone to back my skill-set and back how I play. It gives me a lot of confidence going into my second season in professional rugby.

“I’ve always loved to play with a bit of attacking flair I guess but it’s also about knowing the right times to play and the right times to be structured. Find that balance.

"I’ve always had that, ever since I was a little kid playing with my brothers in the back yard. I’ve always just loved to play.”

On studying other stand-offs

“I definitely do. I love to look at the way players look at the game, their strengths and weaknesses. But it’s about what I bring to the table as well so I like to mould a bit of looking at what other people do but at the same time focusing on my own strenghts.

“I do love the way Finn Russell plays. He’s been the man I’ve looked up to the last couple of years. Going back it would have been Quade Cooper but moving over the years, Finn’s the man.”

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