Robbie revelling in sevens return
In March 2020, right on the eve of the Covid-19 gamechanger, Robbie Fergusson slotted a conversion in Vancouver that would signal his last involvement on the HSBC World Sevens Series for over two years.
The pandemic, coupled with a stint at Glasgow Warriors, meant the talismanic Fergusson would have to wait two years for another crack on the world’s biggest sevens stage.
That return came last week in Toulouse, where the 28-year-old displayed the sort of calm head and neat touches we’d come to expect from him in 25 previous events.
Speaking ahead of tomorrow’s Twickenham series leg, Robbie explained just what it means for him to don the Thistle once more: “It’s funny, I just have an affiliation with the game of sevens after falling in love with it four or five years ago.
“The love for that shirt, the journey this squad is on, how they’ve developed and where we’re going; I found it tough watching the boys through the first four events and thinking how much I’d love to be out there.
“To get the opportunity to play at Twickenham and last weekend in Toulouse is really exciting and I get to wear that jersey once more.
“We’ve always spoken about sevens and the values we associate with it. It’s not easy to develop culture in sevens because of the nature of it being a smaller group and so on. But the older players before us instilled it in us and at the same time we are trying to do that to the younger members of this squad. We spend a lot of time together and so to have us all working towards a common goal is really important.”
A terrific win over South Africa, as well as a galvanising comeback success over Kenya, has shifted the Scottish mindset ahead of their London bid: “I think we grew as a squad last week in Toulouse and gained some belief in winning those games,” said Robbie.
“It’s now about tempering those emotions and really preparing for England at Twickenham. Yes there’s a lot of emotion in it, but it’s a game of rugby and we want to imprint our game out there, which means not letting the occasion get to us and having clear heads.”
Talking of which, Robbie’s quick thinking last weekend, when he scored a memorable try after a clever restart against South Africa, was something he says wasn’t necessarily pre-planned, as he explained: “It was very much in the moment and we’d being going really well at restarts.
“I think we put a bit of pressure on them when Jordy [Edmunds] won the ball so eyes were on him and I sort of clocked it. Part of me was saying ‘don’t do it, don’t do it’ and then I thought I’d under-hit the kick badly but it trickled its way over the 10m line and then I was away, and it was a great moment.”
He may or may not get away with that sort of audacity at Twickenham but in any case, having the sevens rugby brain of Robbie Fergusson on hand will no doubt help this squad further as they aim to take the next step in their sevens journey.
Pool D fixtures, London, all times BST, live on the World Rugby website:
Saturday 28 May
England 7s v Scotland 7s, 11.22am
Samoa 7s v Scotland 7s, 2.50pm
Scotland 7s v Japan 7s, 6.05pm
Sunday 29 May
Fixtures on this day determined by pool placings.