Q&A: Currie eager to make his mark
FOSROC Scottish Rugby Academy prospect Matt Currie has enjoyed a breakout campaign in 2020-21 and now the hard-running centre is turning his attention to the upcoming Rainbow Cup, a competition in which he can really make his mark.
Matt - how do you feel this season has gone and how excited are you for the Rainbow Cup kick-off?
"I made my debut as a late sub vs Munster back in February which was brilliant, then I played 50-odd minutes off bench vs Dragons.
"Getting game time has been great and I hope the Rainbow Cup is an opportunity for a few young boys to get a further run.”
Has Head Coach Richard Cockerill spoken to you about game time during the Rainbow Cup?
“Not a massive amount. It’s just in training he’ll give me advice and tell me what my work-ons are.
"And he’ll tell me it’s up to me, basically, to put my hand up for selection - just do everything I can in training to get my foot in the door and take that opportunity if it comes.”
It's obviously been an unusual season overall due to covid-19. Have you managed to take the positives overall?
“It has been a very weird season - we’ve not had the Super6, which a lot of boys would have had.
"So it’s weird in that sense, but at the same time we’re training week in and week out, and for young boys like me it’s a great opportunity to learn from all the Edinburgh players.
"All the older boys like Mark Bennett, who’s been great for me. It’s just learning from them, and then when that opportunity comes to get a bit of game time, you just take it.”
Has the change in academy structure improved your game this year?
“The academy has been a lot better this year - we’ve been in full-time. Last year it was a bit more split between the academy and the pro team, but this year it’s been great.
"We’ve just been fully immersed in the pro environment, and I think a lot of the boys would say we’ve learned a lot this year.”
You're still eligible for Scotland U20, are you looking forward to that restarting later this year?
“Yes, I’ve got one more year. I think the camps are starting now and they’re going through April and May, then the tournament starts in June and finishes in July.
“I’ll get some rugby which is the main thing. If I don’t get Edinburgh game time, hopefully I’ll get some U20s stuff.
“U20s is really important to me. I really enjoyed it last year. I’m sure this year will be good as well.
"It’s a good chance to play against boys the same age from different countries, and seeing the talent that’s down there, getting an opportunity to show what you can do against them.”
For younger guys like yourself, you've missed out on a lot of rugby this year due to covid-19 - has training overall been a real positive?
“Yeah, it is in a sense, but it’s what you do away from the rugby, I guess.
You need to push yourself on a wee bit more if you’ve not coaches there pushing you on, and I guess we’re in quite a lucky situation that we actually get to train every day.”
How have the younger players kept themselves occupied during this period?
“There’s a really good vibe around the team at the moment and we’re all getting behind each other - the academy lads especially.
"As I said, the academy situation has changed, so we’re fully in the pro environment now, and it’s actually been really good for the academy boys. We’ve learned a lot and we help each other. We can ask the older boys.
“So I think even though we’ve missed out on game time, I feel we’ve had a great season so far, just learning and training and everything, getting feedback from all the coaches.”
“I’m also living with Dan Gamble at the moment - we both went to Merchiston and were there for three years together. He's also had a few games for Edinburgh now.
“We play each other at Fifa. As long as you don’t lose to nil you’re all right. I don’t play a massive amount, but some boys in the squad spent most of their lockdown doing it, so they’re fairly good!"