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Scott-Young: I’ve grown heaps as a player at Saints

Angus Scott-Young enjoyed an impressive first season in English rugby, making 25 appearances for Northampton Saints. The Australian’s first outing at cinch Stadium at Franklin’s Gardens this term comes against a Barbarian F.C. side packed with his fellow countrymen tomorrow afternoon…

Q: What are your reflections on season one for the men in Black, Green and Gold?
ASY: I thoroughly enjoyed it. I’ve grown heaps as a player at Saints. I’ve added a lot to my game and that’s a testament to the coaching and the rugby environment here at Saints. I feel there’s a lot of personal growth and I think as a team we grew as well throughout the season.

Unfortunately, we didn’t hit that goal at the end to make it to the Final and contest for the trophy. But for my first season here, to play finals rugby, is quite a cool thing. If you think about everything that happened throughout the season, how crazy it was with teams dropping out left, right and centre. I was very proud of myself to move to the other side of the world to play some rugby and I am proud of the team’s performances. 

Q: How have you adapted to life in England?
ASY:
My first English winter was very interesting, cold and dark! It’s very different living here to compared to Australia. There’s a lot less space to do things. The housing situation is very different, with little town houses and terraced houses. I am very much used to it now and I do like it. I’ve got a nice little set up at my place and heaps of good mates. The boys pretty much all live in the same area, we walk around to each other’s houses and hang out.

Q: What areas of your game are you looking to develop entering season two?
ASY: 
I am one of those guys who wants to improve every area. There’s not really an area that I would neglect. I love carrying the ball and getting the ball in my hands as much as possible. I’d love to keep working on that with Sam Vesty. He is giving everyone, the forwards especially, licence to carry the ball. He has given us some important tips how to get better, and I feel like I have improved in the past year. 

As a back rower or at times a second row, I want to develop my set piece skills and my defensive work at breakdowns. The main one is to get my hands on the ball more and show what I can do.

Q: As a senior player in a younger playing squad that has prepared for the first two games, have you had increased leadership duties?
ASY: 
The team is quite young. We’ve had a lot of injuries in preseason and we’ve got a lot of guys coming up through the Academy who are very talented. They are a bit, shall I say, emotional, so sometimes you need older, more experienced heads like [Tom] Cruse, Jimmy [Grayson] and myself to calm them down. In terms of appointed roles, when Cruse came off against Bedford I was captain for like ten minutes, which was heaps of fun.

Q: This will be your second time tackling Barbarian F.C., what are your memories of the November 2022 clash at cinch Stadium at Franklin’s Gardens?
ASY: 
It was an interesting game, when you play the Barbarians you don’t know what to expect. They put out some interesting moves and it was a good occasion. I remember it being really, really cool. I always wanted to play them; it was awesome. Obviously, it was unfortunate that those two teams [Worcester Warriors and Wasps] dropped out during the season. Saints pivoting and putting on a Baa-Baas game was a cool experience. The Premiership was so dishevelled because of those two teams dropping out, they actually plugged a gap. They came in and formed a formidable team for Premiership-strength teams to play against.

Q: How many familiar faces are there for you in today’s Barbarian F.C. squad?
ASY: 
There’s loads! Jason Gilmore is the coach and he was actually my school coach at Churchie Grammar School in Queensland. He coached me at Australia Under-20s as well so it will be good to catch up with him over a beer. Hunter Paisami messaged me in the week asking what there is to do in Northampton! I played with a lot of them at Under-20s, it will be good to see them and welcome them to cinch Stadium at Franklin’s Gardens. It’s a good place to play. It will be funny to play against Hunter [Paisami], he will be coming to try and hit me on the field. He is a good friend of mine.

Q: Given the number of Australia and Japan players involved, and with a World Cup edging nearer, how seriously will Barbarian F.C. be taking the game?
ASY: 
Most of the Australia guys in the Barbarians squad will be fit to go if someone in the Wallabies squad goes down injured. They will be wanting to put their best food forward. I am sure it will be a very exciting game.

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