AS HE gets ready for Edinburgh’s game against Scarlets tomorrow afternoon, Dougie Fife could be forgiven for allowing his mind to drift off to the other side of the world for a few minutes. In different circumstances, the winger might well have been representing Scotland on the Gold Coast, where the pool stages in the Commonwealth Games sevens tournament reach a climax just a couple of hours before the PRO14 match at BT Murrayfield.
The Scotland winger has enjoyed a successful reintegration into the Edinburgh squad this season after spending the last campaign with the national sevens squad. But, as he looked forward to a league match which could nudge his team ever closer to a place in the end-of-season play-offs, Fife was also happy to look back on his sevens career – and to admit that a part of him at least would love to be involved in Australia.
“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.
“There’s been loads of chat about [the sevens]. At the start of the year the chat was that with the World Series, the Commonwealth Games and the World Cup it was a massive year for sevens. We had a few Commonwealth Games open days, meetings with all the other athletes. It’s something different, something special being in that multi-sport environment, so it will be brilliant for the boys who are involved and fingers crossed they do really well.”
With only the pool winners going through it will be a tough encounter 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.”
Qualification for the PRO14 play-offs is less cut-throat, of course, with the top three from each conference going through. Edinburgh are currently third, but being hotly pursued by Ulster, who beat them at Murrayfield last week.
“We let ourselves down [by losing to Ulster] at the weekend where we were all really gutted about that, 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,” Fife continued. “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.
“If we don’t turn up this week and Ulster potentially get a good win it’s going to come down to that last game [against Glasgow], but we’ve given ourselves a good chance. We’re going to throw everything at it and we’ve said that we’re really going to go down fighting.”