McFarland motoring ahead of HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series
One glance at the numbers and you can grasp how impressive Max McFarland was on the 2019 HSBC World Sevens Series.
The flying winger was explosive and consistent in equal measure during last season’s global calendar, ending up third on the try-scoring table with an outstanding total of 39 and also coming third overall in the DHL Impact Performance Tracker list – a scroll of players that have excelled across stats for tackling, breaks, offloads and carries.
The Irish-born flyer, 26, is about to embark on his third season as a core member of the Scotland 7s squad on the back of that sensational campaign and says he is raring to go for another carousel of shortened format rugby: “It’s been good to rest the body and rejuvenate over the summer but I’m so excited for this coming season; we’ve a lot to improve and all the boys are just waiting for it all to start.”
McFarland’s star in particular rose throughout the 2019 HSBC World Sevens Series, something he attributes to being more familiar with the tactical side of the sport, adding: “Yeah I enjoyed last year, I feel I got to grips a bit better with the game of sevens itself and that’s an ongoing education that I know more about with each season.
“I took a lot from how Darcy (Graham) made his mark when he was a part of the squad as he was absolutely ripping it up and has obviously gone on to great things with Scotland.”
The international game of sevens has become a stand-alone success, both commercially and in terms of attendances and interest at its far-flung destinations – a notion that is not lost on McFarland: “The game has really come into its own and seems to be expanding every year. There’s more publicity surrounding it, people plan trips to go to specific events and it’s just a fun thing for fans to get involved in.
“This year is going to be as exciting as ever and with Ireland joining the circuit as a core team, as well as it being an Olympic year, teams across the board are going to be stacked. For instance, South Africa have the likes of Seabelo Senatla and Rosco Specman back because of the possibility of playing in those Olympics.”
Irrespective of who they face at any juncture in the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series 2019/20, Scotland will have to put their best foot forward to compete in such an extremely competitive environment. On a circuit whereby games are often very narrowly won or lost, expect speedster McFarland to have a major say in how well his team fares.