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Rory Lamont
Rory Lamont talks to glasgowwarriors.com about his eventful first year at Glasgow
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December 22, 2005

The Rory Lamont Interview

When we interviewed Sean Lamont last summer, he mentioned that his brother Rory needed to sort out his timekeeping. So, when it was Rory's turn to be interviewed, we thought we'd have a bit of time before the interview to go over our notes. However, it wasn't to be, Rory was bang on time, and ready to face the questions from glasgowwarriors.com

Rory Lamont has made great strides since coming to play his rugby in GlasgowThe subject of time seems to crop up quite a bit where the Lamonts are concerned. Sean became a full international in his two years at Glasgow, and Rory has done the same in less than half that time. So, just how quickly did things move for Rory after he headed north?

"I moved up to Glasgow in August and trained for a while at Hawks and played a couple of warm-up games for them. Sean had put a word in for me at Glasgow, so I was invited along to train with them so they could have a look at me, and then I played a pre-season friendly at Leeds and at Hughenden against Sale.

Hawks... Warriors... Scotland...

Rory has sorted out the injury problems that hampered his early career"Then I was lucky enough to be offered a month to month contract at Glasgow. I was over the moon, so happy just to get that chance. But, then it all went a bit static. I was training but not really getting anywhere near the first XV or even the team runs, and I was picking up niggling injuries and struggling a bit. Then I managed to finally get my groin problem sorted and all of a sudden I was picked for the game against Borders. I've never been so nervous leading up to a game, but I thought I did ok, I was pretty solid.

"I played a few games and then I was called into Scotland training squad. It was almost overwhelming the way it happened. I'd only played about ten games. I just couldn't believe the way things have gone. It's something I knew I could do if I could shake off injury problems."

Injury was a big concern for Rory earlier in his career. Problems with his pelvis meant he often ended up in agony after games. "I felt I had about three years of really bad luck with injury. I've had problems with my pelvis that caused a lot of pain and at first I was given the wrong exercises to help it. It meant I couldn't train as much as I wanted to and when I played a game I couldn't walk for days afterwards. I just felt if I could get rid of the groin problem I could make it in rugby.

"But now I've been given the right exercises and it's so much better. It still gives me wee problems but nothing like it was. Bob and Lisa have worked really hard with me and are probably responsible for me still being able to play rugby."

Brothers Lamont

Despite being modest and quite shy individuals Sean and Rory make up a physically imposing wing combination for Scotland, as they previously did with the Warriors. Now Sean is at Northampton, does Rory see his brother as a competitor for his international place?

"It is difficult," laughs Rory, "he is a competitor for a place in the back three for Scotland, but I'd never really want to take his place - I want us both to play. I'd be gutted if he was dropped, so I'm just going to play as well as I can and keep my place, and hopefully we can go on playing together.

"Sean is playing so well just now, I think he's the most exciting player in British rugby at the moment. He's just playing with so much confidence and getting better all the time. He's not scared to try things."

The season so far

There are observers - many among the Glasgow support - who think Rory would be an ideal full-back for the club. In the handful of appearances Rory has made in the number 15 shirt he has impressed, hitting the line in a way reminiscent of a former Glasgow favourite Glenn Metcalfe.

"I'll play wherever is best for Glasgow really. I enjoy playing at full-back and I think in the long-term that's where I'd like to play, but Graydon has played really well for Glasgow since he came in, he's very solid and has a really strong boot. He waited for a while for his chance - like me last year - and he's taken his opportunity. I've not played there consistantly, but yes, I find it easier to get involved at full-back and I think long-term I'd like to play there."

So, halfway through the season, what does Rory think of the way things have gone for him so far this term?

"I'd maybe give myself a six out of ten, if we're looking at it that way. I don't feel I'm touching the ball enough. I need to get more involved, I maybe need to look at coming in a bit more to get the ball, hitting hard lines. I look at the way Sean plays and I see him coming in and taking the ball from the scrum-half and I think I maybe need to do that a bit more.

"The Autumn internationals were ok but I think I maybe took a wee step back in terms of confidence. It dented my confidence a wee bit. Rugby is like that, you have periods of great progress and times when it slows down a bit. Hopefully I'll get a run of games and get that confidence back. I want to shine in each game, carry the ball, make my tackles. I want to raise my game to make sure I'm involved in the Six Nations.

"I don't think I'm playing poorly. I'm doing good things when I get the ball, making tackles and generally working hard. I just want to do more. I'm having a bit of a dry spell, I've not scored a try for a wee while after doing really well at the start of the season. I know that's not all there is to my game but I'd like to get a few tries."

Rory credits Gary Mercer for Glasgow's improving defensive workAs well as offering that potent attacking threat Rory has proven to be a rock in defence for the Warriors with some heroic tackles, summed up in the game against Edinburgh when he held up Simon Cross even though the big flanker looked set to touch the ball down for the Gunners.

"Gary Mercer (Glasgow's defence coach) has brought great enthusiasm to the team. When a guy makes a tackle the others really get behind him. It's almost like scoring a try - it's really uplifting to see it. Against Edinburgh, they were battering our line and were desperate for a try, and one of their guys looked set to go over but Tim (Barker) drove him back yards. That kind of thing really picks up the team when you see it.

"It was the same in the Munster game earlier this season. We put in an intense performance in the last 15 minutes of first half. Munster were camped in our 22, desperate to get a score, but we kept them out. The guys were exhausted at half-time but the effort by Hobbsy (Calvin Howarth) when he dived headlong to tackle the guy in the corner stopped a certain try."

This season has been a nightmare for Glasgow in terms of injuries to key players. At times the squad has been stretched almost - but not quite - to breaking point, but other players have come in and played some great stuff. "The squad is stronger this season," says Rory. "The guys have really developed. You're always going to miss guys like Sean, but guys like Tim came in and he has been outstanding - he'll need a rest soon because he puts his body on the line time and time again. I wasn't sure at the start of the season about the squad, but they have developed really well, and credit to Hugh Campbell for that, because it's a strong squad. The injury situation has been bad, but it has let guys come in and really stand up and be counted.

"We miss Sean but we've got a very dynamic squad. Young John Beattie has been superb, but I've also got to mention John Barclay. He has been outstanding - tackling, making turnovers, hitting the line really hard. The two Johns have hands and pace that are as good as backs. They have very bright futures ahead of them."

The Move to Firhill

There has been a lot of debate among the Glasgow support about the move to Firhill, so what do the players think of the switch from Hughenden. "I liked the intimacy of Hughenden, says Rory. "I'd been up to watch Sean a few times and I was surprised Glasgow were playing at a ground like Hughenden, but I enjoyed it because the fans are close to the pitch, but the surface at Firhill is absolutely first class, it's like a bowling green and the floodlights and general facilities are excellent.

"All the players also commented about the level of noise that comes from the crowd at Firhill. It does look a bit bare at times because only one stand is used, but the noise from the crowd comes right out to the field."

You won't catch Rory doing daft poses for photographers...Sean and Rory have grabbed a lot of attention as the latest set of brothers to play together for Scotland, so does the extra attention that brings from journalists and photographers ever get a bit tiresome? "Well it's good for our mum," laughs Rory, "because she gets lots of photos of us together.

"Yeah, it's part of the job, but you do get asked to do some ridiculous things by photographers who want us to do some terrible poses. Some of them seem to be verging on the homoerotic or the photographers are after an award or something for an arty pose, so Sean and I just say 'No, we're not doing that' and do our own thing!

"And we always get asked how we want our name to be pronounced. We don't care how people say it, if you're Scottish you say it one way, we were brought up in England so people would say it the other way, we really aren't bothered."

And Rory's thoughts on his own timekeeping? "Oh I'm terrible. I'll always be there, but usually with seconds to spare. So, if there's a slight hold up..."

Like his brother Sean, Rory didn't take too much time to burst onto the scene after his move to Glasgow, but it looks like they could be fixtures together in a dark blue jersey for a long time to come.

Many thanks to Rory for taking the time to talk to glasgowwarriors.com