The Student catches up with EURFC 1st XV Captain three weeks before Scottish Varsity 2018
With the Gallagher Premiership providing marvellous rugby in the opening weeks, Ed Russell, EURFC 1st XV Captain, is now looking forward to another successful campaign with Edinburgh University’s 1st XV. The Student Paper was fortunate enough to catch-up with the new captain as the team begins the final countdown to the 2018 Scottish Varsity Match.
JS: What are you studying at University?
ER: I’m reading French and Italian
JS: What is your earliest rugby memory?
ER: My earliest rugby memory is probably my Dad driving me to training on a Sunday morning for my local club: Haslemere RFC.
JS: Who are you supporting in the Gallagher Premiership this season?
ER: I support Harlequins as they are the closest team to me back home and I played for them in my upper sixth year at school.
JS: What are your interests outside of rugby?
ER: One of my main hobbies is cooking as I have three siblings and often do a lot of cooking at home.
JS: How has your off-season been?
ER: Good thanks, it has been nice to spend time at home, go away with family and see friends. In terms of Rugby, I’ve been training with a club back home to keep everything ticking over.
JS: How much does the Scottish Varsity match mean to the squad?
ER: Scottish Varsity is huge for everyone and of course is one of the big incentives of our preseason. We are very lucky at Edinburgh University to have the opportunity to play in front of ten thousand people at a stadium like BT Murrayfield. Again, the added history of the match, given it’s the oldest varsity match in the world, makes it a huge occasion for the whole club and definitely a day we’re all looking forward to.
JS: What was it like playing in front of over 10,000 people at BT Murrayfield in last year’s Varsity match?
ER: It was amazing. I was very fortunate as I had only been at uni for two and a half weeks so it all seemed a bit surreal. It was a great day for the whole club and obviously given the result there were plenty of reasons to celebrate.
JS: Are Edinburgh favourites after thrashing St Andrew’s last year?
ER: I’d like to think so yes. We have a lot of new faces at preseason this year and there is definitely a buzz amongst the squad. However, we’ll just be focusing on us and making sure our preparations put the team in the best possible position for the 22nd September. Historically, it’s anyone’s game and it’s going to be the team who performs best on the day.
JS: Are there any challenges in being 1st XV captain in just your second year?
ER: Not really to be honest. Obviously as a 20-year-old, there are a lot of older boys in the club but already in the last three weeks of preseason everyone has been very supportive; the boys are just getting on with everything. Our focus is very much the preseason fixtures and then Varsity. Additionally, with Harry Ryan and James Small-Edwards as vice-captains, they give a lot of help with decision-making.
JS: What is the best way to get involved with EURFC?
ER: As a fresher coming in, there are a variety of ways to get involved. Obviously, there’s training twice a week, where there will be a number of teams to train with. We’ve also got ‘Fresher’s 10s’ on Thursday 13th September, during Fresher’s Week, when we welcome anyone interested in playing rugby for EURFC to come and play with us. In addition, the socials on Wednesday nights are always great for meeting people. It’s testimony to the club that there are a lot of social members who purely come once a week to catch up with everyone over a drink.
Image: Daniel via Flickr