Castres' Johnnie Beattie eager to make Scotland impact

By Tom EnglishBBC Scotland
Scotland forward Johnnie Beattie
Beattie has 32 caps having made his international debut in 2006

Scotland forward Johnnie Beattie hopes the troubled times of the last three seasons with the national team are behind him.

Beattie, 28, recently moved from Montpellier to Castres and featured in Scotland's summer tour.

Injuries towards the end of his spell with Glasgow Warriors limited his international appearances and he also missed the end of the 2014 Six Nations.

"I had a really tricky time," he told BBC Radio Scotland's Sport Nation.

"I had had two bad shoulder operations. I pretty much missed 12 months of rugby, which in any professional sport career is a long time," Beattie added.

"You can understand why the set-up in Scotland were fed-up of me, I had been injured for 12 months."

With New Zealander Vern Cotter in charge, Beattie is eager to be involved in the upcoming autumn series as well as next year's Six Nations and World Cup.

"He's a very hard and a very steely bloke," Beattie said of Cotter.

Johnnie Beattie playing for Montpellier
Beattie spent two years with Montpellier before moving to Castres

"From now on in we're going to see more of his tactical imprint on the team and I really hope that can do us well and put us in good stead.

"I'm excited to see how our gameplan changes and what he can add to the Scotland team and I'd be delighted if I can be involved.

"As much as results haven't gone ideally the way that we would've wanted over the past three seasons, with the young group of players that we've got coming through, there are definite signs of progression and some signs of hope."

Beattie describes his move to French Top 14 side Castres as "a very straightforward transition".

"[Scotland team-mates] Richie Gray and Max Evans are also here so they've eased the process," he added.

"It's a great set-up, great bunch of boys and everything so far's been fantastic.

"It's a very easy-going and very relaxed environment, which I'm really enjoying so far.

"I was lucky that I landed on my feet [when I first moved to France in 2012], found a fantastic place to play rugby and something to rejuvenate me.

"It was always a dream to play in France. For me the choice between France, England or Wales was an easy choice. The lifestyle is absolutely fantastic."

You can hear more of Johnnie Beattie's interview with Tom English on Sport Nation on BBC Radio Scotland on Saturday, 16 August at 11:05 BST.