Had circumstances been different, Dougie Fife would find himself in Australia right now, putting the final touches to preparations for the Commonwealth Games sevens tournament which begins in the early hours of tomorrow morning. Instead, he finds himself at Murrayfield, getting ready for a game which could see Edinburgh take a significant step towards the Pro14 play-offs.
After being farmed out to the Scotland sevens squad last season, the winger has successfully reintegrated into the Edinburgh squad during this campaign, and should be involved in tomorrow afternoon’s league match against Scarlets. Fife is clearly enthused to have been part of such a promising campaign under Richard Cockerill, but on the eve of the sevens tournament on the Gold Coast it is understandable that a part of him at least would like to be out there.
“I’m with Edinburgh now,” the 27-year-old said. “It’s great to be back and I am enjoying it, but it would be awesome to be part of the Commonwealth Games - but that’s where I am. We’re lucky to be in a good position to really do something special this year.
“We let ourselves down [by losing to Ulster] at the weekend, but luckily we’ve put ourselves in a position that we’ve got another shot to push Scarlets for second place and hopefully get away from Ulster in third. Scarlets are obviously one of the form teams in Europe: in the semi-final of the Champions Cup, doing well in the league. Any squad they bring up I’m sure they’ll be pretty talented, and could cause problems if we don’t turn up.”
The game against Scarlets kicks off just a couple of hours after Scotland’s third and potentially decisive pool match against South Africa, so the Edinburgh squad should be able to catch it on TV - Cockerill permitting, of course. With only the pool winners going through it will be tough against the competition’s No 1 seeds, but Fife reckons the build-up to the Games could just give the Scots an edge.
“They’ve had that week gelling together [by playing in Hong Kong], whereas South Africa have been in a training camp, with a different squad out in Hong Kong. They’ve had that week, which is precious in sevens. You need to be playing together, so I think it’s good that they did that.”