Ritchie Says It’s Too Early to Make Judgements
On Monday, Edinburgh Rugby’s young forward star Jamie Ritchie, talked to the media about reaching 50 caps at the tender age of 22, the continuing theme of development at the club and the approaching Connacht clash.
Jamie Ritchie in training (Photo: Edinburgh Rugby twitter)
The prestigious 50 club
Last Friday, in running out against Ulster at Kingspan Stadium, Jamie Ritchie joined Edinburgh Rugby’s 50 caps club. For a player who is only 22 years old, this is an impressive achievement.
Asked if he thought it came quicker then he could have predicted, Ritchie light-heartedly replied: “Oh, I don’t know. This is my fifth season now and I played once in my first year – so that was 2014, when I played Leinster away.
“And then yeah, 50 games later – it doesn’t feel like 50 games. They’ve all flown by. I’m happy to reach that milestone, and hopefully look forward to the next 50.”
He added: “I’m honoured and thankful to all the people who have given me the chance to play from such a young age, and hopefully I can do enough to keep playing.”
Ritchie joked that one thing he hoped had changed since his school playing days, was his size, saying: “…hopefully I’ve got a wee bit bigger, I’m not sure how much.”
Ritchie also took a moment to reflect on how his life has developed alongside his playing career: “My first start for Edinburgh was the same day that my son was born, so it’s kind of run alongside me playing more for Edinburgh and gaining that experience, so hopefully I’ve matured on the field and off the field at the same time.”
Edinburgh is still a club under rejuvenation
As has been widely covered, under the leadership of head coach Richard Cockerill, Edinburgh has restructured their club culture into one which focuses on continual development and revival – a culture which already produced positive results last season.
Ritchie addressed this: “We built up a bit of a reputation last year for being a very hard team to beat, and got a bit of a hard edge around us which I think we possibly lacked in the past.
“When I first started we were quite happy with being a hard team to beat but being on the wrong end of a result, as long as we played well. Obviously, no one likes to lose, regardless of who your coach is, but I think we’ve built up a bit of a reputation and gained some respect.
“Now we’ve got to deal with it. The club’s in a really good place, I think. Happy to be pushing on and I think this is a big year for us.”
Addressing the fact that Edinburgh have not gotten their season off to a winning start, Ritchie took a fair perspective: “It’s the start of the season: I think we’ve got a long way to go before we can start making judgements.”
Players looking to put out their ‘best game’ against Connacht
Edinburgh are now looking ahead to their game against Connacht tomorrow night – their first home game of the season. So, Cockerill and his players will surely be looking to grace BT Murrayfield with a win.
Ritchie spoke about the hope for a win: “We don’t want to lose any games, and I think if we perform to our potential we should win this game. That’s the kind of onus Cockers has put on us – to put our best game out there every week, and should it be enough then it will be enough.”
He elaborated: “I think that’s how we always look at it – we look more inward as we have done with the losses than we do outwards. So, we should improve ourselves and hopefully that will get us the result.”
Edinburgh v Connacht kicks off at 7:35pm tomorrow at BT Murrayfield.