25 Nov Fan Q&A | John Barclay
Every week during the Autumn Tests, fans can ask a Scotland player questions on Facebook. The best questions will be put to the player and answers published on thescotlandteam.com and the match-day programme. If you’re on Facebook, make sure you like the Scottish Rugby Facebook page and keep an eye out for the Q&A to get involved.
John Barclay | Scotland second-row
Q. At what point did you realise you were one of the more experienced players in the team? What advice have you given the less experienced players? It’s definitely a much younger Scotland now. Maybe in the team photo, the more caps you have the closer you are to the front row and middle and I’m two down from Greig Laidlaw now. Most of younger players are quire experienced. If they ever ask something I’m happy to help them whether it’s looking at something on the computer or in training.
Q. What do you feel when you hear Flower of Scotland at BT Murrayfield? It’s what you always dream of doing – playing for Scotland. I remember as a kid going to BT Murrayfield and used to get goose bumps. Now I can see my family sitting in the stands so I always find it quite emotional. It’s a very proud moment.
Q. Which player has the best sense of humour in the dressing room?Ryan Wilson is the most energetic, certainly. He’s always looking for a laugh.
Q. What would you attribute your return to the Scottish starting XV to? Perseverance. Keeping my head down. Not giving up. That’s probably the advice I would give the young guys – if you’re lucky to have a career there will be ups and downs and stick to what you know and what you believe in and if you do that you shouldn’t go too far wrong.
Q. You can play at 6, 7 and 8. Which is your preference, and has your preference changed over the years? Originally I always wanted to play 7 and I played 7 for Scotland pretty much the first nine years of my career. I genuinely don’t really mind now. I’m more comfortable at 6 and 7 but it doesn’t really make a difference.
Q. If you could play in any team throughout history which team would it be and why? As a kid I watched the ‘97 Lions so I like the idea of going back when it wasn’t professional. It seemed like good fun and they were successful as well.
Q. What position did you play at school? I played fullback at school but I got to heavy and slow so I moved to the forwards.
Q. What sort of pre-match routine do you have before taking to the field? I don’t’ really have any to be honest. I’m quite relaxed … have a coffee, take the dog and kids for a walk.
Q. What is your most memorable game in a Scotland jersey? Most memorable for the wrong reasons, the Wales game in 2010 when we lost in the last minute when we were winning by 15 points. People still talk to me about that game now. And a win – beating Australia in 2012 when we played them down there and it was pouring with rain
Q. Who was your rugby idol when you were growing up? Josh Kronfeld, the All Black