Jamie Farndale: Full-time deal with Edinburgh is right move for 15s career

Jamie Farndale has the physique to do well in 15s rugby.
Jamie Farndale has the physique to do well in 15s rugby.
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As the snow fell on him and his Edinburgh team-mates in training, Jamie Farndale could have been forgiven for having second thoughts about the career move he had just made – giving up his place in the Scotland squad on the World Sevens Series for his first permanent contract with Richard Cockerill’s team.

But, while swapping Los Angeles with Leinster or Stellenbosch with Swansea may not appeal to those with a preference for warmer weather, the 25-year-old winger is convinced he has made the right choice. Realistically, he has achieved as much as he can in the shorter code. Having made a highly promising start to his period on secondment with Edinburgh, Farndale decided he had to give it a go when the offer of a full-time move came up.

“I’ve had a great time playing Sevens, a big part of my life,” he said earlier this week after signing his new contract with the capital club.

“I’ve been to the World Cup, to the Commonwealth Games, pushed close for Olympics and captained the side. There are things I want to achieve in 15s, so this is another step closer to putting myself in a position to do that.

“It’s exciting, really. The season started really well, I played a few games in a row and I felt like I played well. It always was an opportunity to show what I can do and I feel like I’ve done that and put myself in a position to add to it.”

While some sevens players are all about speed and trickery, making them ill prepared for the greater structure and physicality of 15s, Farndale is big and bulky enough to have made a smooth transition.

His ability in the air has come in pretty handy, too, and his robust defence and powerful running on the ball have made him a more than useful member of the Edinburgh squad.

“I was quite lucky, because I was a bigger sevens player,” he replied when asked how difficult the transition had been.

“That puts me in that bit where I can fit into both quite well. There are a few players that would want to be leaner if they played sevens or would go up a bit more weight for 15s.

“A bit more weight doesn’t harm you in 15s and I’ve probably put on two or three kilos just through all the gym work.

“That helps in 15s, whereas in sevens you want to be leaner – but one of my points of difference in sevens was being a bigger guy. I was always someone who was able to stay relatively
fit and fast and keep that strength on. I wouldn’t say I’ve changed too much.

“In 15s, there’s a bit more going through your roles, knowing your detail and knowing your structure. The approach to the games is different, but ultimately in both games you just want to go out and express yourself.”

Farndale’s next chance to express himself should come on Saturday when Edinburgh visit Swansea on Pro14 duty. The team for that match will be announced tomorrow.