Nick Auterac: Edinburgh Rugby’s new prop is tech house-loving foodie and wannabe bagpiper
Nick Auterac has a plan, and it’s a good one. The new Edinburgh prop has a vision of his post-rugby career which is as far removed from as you could imagine from the traditional avenues of coaching and punditry.
Auterac’s twin passions are house music and cooking and he dreams of a stellar future in both fields.
“I've got a 10-year plan,” he says. “I want to work in the music industry for 10 years, build up enough of a status to become a celebrity so I can be a celebrity chef for 10 years then retire at 50 and write the occasional cookbook to keep my income coming.”
The likeable front row forward may or may not have had his tongue in cheek but there’s no disguising his enthusiasm for food and music.
Auterac, who admitted he contemplated retiring after being released by Northampton Saints, is a multi-instrumentalist who has a studio in his house. He cites Swedish DJ Eric Prydz as his main musical inspiration but his love of house goes deep.
“I’ve played music for the past 10 years or so. I’ve built a studio. It’s a bit hard in my current flat so I’m actually using the master bedroom as a studio and sleep in the spare bedroom. It’s a bit of a weird use of space but it’s just how it has happened.
“I make house music and all the sub-genres of house - melodic house, tech house, a bit of disco. At the same time I’d love to be able to work with artists. I grew up playing instruments. I learnt the piano from about the age of five, then the clarinet and drums and I taught myself guitar as well. Music was a big part of my life and it was what I wanted to do if rugby didn’t happen. I wanted to do music A-level and music at university but rugby took over.”
The 29-year-old’s arrival in Edinburgh has coincided with the Festival and he has managed to take in a few shows, some good, some bad. It is the Military Tattoo that has made the biggest impression on him, so much so that he is keen to add the bagpipes to his musical oeuvre. “I haven’t told my neighbours yet!” he laughs.
And his ambitions as a chef?
“I cook a lot for myself. I need a lot of good, quality food. I love making pasta - making the dough, rolling the pasta, even simple things like carbonara or making ravioli, things like that.”
Rugby remains his main focus and he could get his first run-out in Edinburgh colours on Friday in the pre-season clash with London Scottish at the DAM Health Stadium.
The Scottish-qualified loosehead was thrilled to land the move to the capital and credits Mike Blair with saving him from the rugby scrapheap. The Edinburgh coach was alerted to the player’s availability after reading an interview with Auterac and other out of contract players who faced an uncertain future in England.
“It was quite a difficult time with the salary cap reducing down there. I was about to retire as I didn’t think I had any options. I wasn’t really sure what I was going to do. Then as soon as the article came out, that Mike must have read, Mike phoned me up and said he didn’t realise I was out of contract and we had a chat and he asked if I wanted to come up and join.
“There were a few clubs interested after the article came out but Edinburgh was the only club I wanted to join. I had a couple of other offers down south but they didn’t really quite have the purpose that coming here had for me.”
Blair first got to know Auterac during his short spell as interim Scotland coach last summer when the player was called into the squad for an A international against England and Test matches in Romania and Georgia. All three games were scuppered by Covid but Auterac made enough of an impression to convince Blair to bring him north.
“He is the reason I am here today,” said Auterac. “I really enjoyed working with him. I really liked the way he coached. He seemed a good bloke. Still seems a good bloke. Hopefully that says the same!”
A former England Under-20 international, he qualifies for Scotland through his late maternal grandmother. He was called up again by Scotland in the autumn but has yet to win a full cap.
“My mum’s proud of her Scottish side,” said Auterac. “When I had a chance to go with Scotland she jumped at it. I phoned her up and she said, ‘you have to do it’.
“She is happy I am up here and I wouldn’t be surprised if she wanted to come up here and live with me!”
The London-born Auterac has an impressive rugby pedigree. He came through the Saracens academy and broke into the first team following loan spells at London Scottish and Bedford. He moved to Bath in 2014 in search of more regular game-time and helped them reach the Premiership final where they lost to Sarries at Twickenham. He joined Harlequins in 2018 before moving to Northampton a couple of years later.
Edinburgh is a new chapter for the player and his first impressions have been favourable.
“I’ve been impressed by the way Mike coaches, and all the coaches here. They want to improve as coaches and it makes us want to improve as players. “I missed out on last pre-season because of the summer stuff and the season before because of Covid so I needed a good pre-season to get my body right and strengthen a few areas where there were little niggles. Getting a good pre-season was something I was looking forward to.
“I’ve been really happy and integrating with the city as well. It has been a nice transition.”
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