Scotland Rugby 7s Jamie Farndale Brings His Star Power and Commitment to the EcoAthletes Champions Roster
Curious. Always striving to learn, to get better. That describes Jamie Farndale, Scottish Rugby 7s star, #ClimateComeback advocate, and EcoAthletes newest Champion.
EcoAthletes: What was it like to grow up in Scotland? And how and when did you get into rugby?
Jamie Farndale: Well, Lew, I grew up in Edinburgh, which I absolutely loved. Even though it’s a city, Edinburgh also is a very tight knit community in which everyone seems to know everyone. Added to that, there is so much nature right on its doorstep, which I was drawn to from a very young age. I was always outdoors and loved any chance to get up into the Munro Mountains.
As for rugby, I was a little bit later than everyone else as my family didn’t have any connection to the sport. It was only through school that I started playing. I wasn’t very good at the beginning but I was quite quick and competitive and absolutely loved it. I played as much as I could, on Saturdays for my school team and on Sundays for the local club team. And I started to get better.
When did you realize that you were good and could make a go of it in the pros?
I definitely didn’t grow up dreaming of being a rugby player. I played for the Edinburgh age-grade sides and then moved up to Scotland age-grade sides so I did show talent as I grew older. I was really proud of it. But when I left school I had a place to go and study law at university. Thing was, I was offered a professional contract and because I was the youngest in my year by quite a bit, I decided to take it as a gap year before going to university and play pro rugby . That was a whirlwind of a year! I think I am still the youngest player to debut for Edinburgh, and played a couple of years for the Scotland U20s finishing as top try¹ scorer at the Junior World Cup. I soon realized just how much I loved it and at the end of that year cancelled my place to study law and picked up a part time business degree and signed to play rugby full time.
That really was a whirlwind! What skill sets do you bring to the game, and what is it about the more wide open 7s (seven players per side) game that appeals to you as compared to the more traditional 15s?
I am definitely not the most skillful player on the team, but like to think I bring a very high work rate to the team. My goal is to try and lift everyone around me.
I’ve played 7s, which is played one the same size pitch as 15s with shorter games, in both Edinburgh and Scotland for most of my career. But during COVID, when 7s wasn’t happening, I played a full season with Edinburgh 15s. I enjoyed it but it has always been 7s that has been my passion. Traveling the world with your best mates, living and eating together and experiencing the crowds, the pressure, the fatigue and the huge highs and lows of international 7s together – there’s nothing like it! It couldn’t be a more demanding sport and you learn a lot about yourself in those extreme highs and lows. I am an edge prop in 7s which is very similar to a winger in 15s.