Watson looking forward to welcoming supporters back

Watson looking forward to welcoming supporters back

Scotland and Edinburgh backrower, Hamish Watson says it was strange playing Glasgow Warriors at BT Murrayfield last weekend without a crowd and says it will be great to get some supporters back in on Friday night when the two teams meet again.

This week’s derby match will be a ‘pilot event’, meaning it will be the first professional rugby fixture in the UK to host a crowd since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Speaking on this week’s Official Scottish Rugby Podcast, Hamish Watson said: “You don’t quite know what to expect with the whole no-crowd thing. The last time we played at BT Murrayfield was for an international, so it was very different to Edinburgh games as we’d get about six thousand, not much in a big stadium but does make a huge difference going from that to no fans.

“That was something the boys had to overcome as well and all of us as professional athletes have to get over that because that is what the game looks like moving forward now for at least the next little while anyways so we have to get over that.

“It’s going to be weird [with a small crowd]. You’ll be able to hear almost what every fan is saying, it’s not like loads of fans shouting so it should be quite interesting. It will be great to get some fans in at least.”

Reflecting back on Saturday’s match against Glasgow, Hamish talked about the changes to the way the laws are being enforced around the breakdown.

He added: “It’s going to benefit openside flankers and the backrow and anyone who likes to jackal a bit more because it doesn’t look like your needing to survive the clear out for quite as long.

“They’ve also cranked down on trying to protect the jackaller from side entries. I definitely agree, I think that is a really good thing because last season that was getting a bit out of hand with people coming in at 45 degree angles and taking away legs.

“With the holding on stuff I think it is a weird one and we are just going to need to get used to it as I thought at times there was a few very quick penalties.

“It is meant to quicken up the game but you are seeing a lot of penalties. You only need to be in there a quick second which is great for jackallers but you do also want the game to flow a bit. It’s all about speed at the breakdown really which is a good thing as well.”

Following Edinburgh’s game against Glasgow Warriors on Friday night, Richard Cockerill’s side will play a home semi-final against Ulster the following weekend and Watson says they must keep up their winning streak.

He said: “We need to keep our momentum. You know what it’s like in all sports, it’s a game of confidence as well so we need to keep the momentum going and keep flying high.”

Listen to the full interview with Hamish Watson on the Official Scottish Rugby Podcast on your preferred podcast platform or using our website player below.

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