Nairn keen to impress on international sevens stage

As Scotland 7s prepare for the opening leg of the World Rugby Sevens Series in Dubai this weekend, caught up with talented youngster Robbie Nairn, who will get his first taste of the senior international game when he takes to the field on Friday.

Robbie Nairn

At only 18 years-old, Nairn is the youngest member of Head Coach Calum MacRae’s 12-man squad who are set to compete against Russia, Samoa and South Africa in Pool B.

He said: “It’s a fantastic feeling to be out here as part of the squad, and I’m proud to get the chance to represent Scotland 7s. 

I thought I was in quite good physical shape coming into the set-up, but once I got involved I realised how hard these guys work and how tough it is to live up to the demands of international sevens. 

“It’s been a great experience so far, and I’m looking forward to, hopefully, getting a bit of game-time under my belt at the weekend.”

The wing, who currently plies his trade at Harlequins, has been identified as a player who can benefit from exposure to international rugby through the sevens circuit, to aid his development as a XV-a-side player. 

A product of Currie and George Watson’s College, he has progressed through the Scotland age-grade system and recently contributed to the national under-20s side’s highest ever finish in the World Rugby Under-20 Championships, placing eighth. 

However, he is now relishing the next challenge of a cap with one of Scotland’s senior international sides. 

“Sevens has challenged all my core skills, as well as testing my physical attributes; speed, power and endurance,” Nairn continued.   

“I’ve gone back to look at the basics, and have worked really hard at fine-tuning them and on my accuracy.

It’s not been easy, but we have a good bunch of lads, who all work extremely hard for each other; the team aspect of it all is something I’ve really enjoyed so far.” 

Since arriving in Dubai, the squad have been adding the final touches to their preparation through a number of team-runs, including a conditioned hit-out against New Zealand. 

“The biggest thing I took out of the hit-out was the tempo of the game; you have to move and think extremely fast.

“Despite it being a training match, there was still a bit of pressure to perform and it was a good chance for me to get a feel for what lies ahead.

“I managed to get some game-time and was pleased with my personal performance, but, more importantly, the team looked sharp.” 

Scotland 7s will face Russia (6.06am GMT), Samoa (9.06am GMT) and South Africa (3.12pm GMT) in Pool B of Dubai 7s on Friday (4 December) – live on Sky Sports.

Scotland 7s squad to compete in the World Rugby HSBC Sevens Series, in Dubai on Friday 4 and Saturday 5 December:

Hugh Blake (Glasgow Warriors), Magnus Bradbury (Edinburgh Rugby), Jamie Farndale, James Johnstone, Lee Jones (Glasgow Warriors), Gavin Lowe, Nick McLennan (Edinburgh Rugby), Robbie Nairn (Harlequins), Joseva Nayacavou, Scott Riddell, Mark Robertson and Scott Wight (CAPTAIN).