sport

Beattie: It's been great fun

Johnnie Beattie is aiming to revive his Scotland career after rediscovering his confidence following a summer move to France.

The forward has this month helped Montpellier into the Heineken Cup quarter-finals, scoring a try in a crucial win over Sale, as well as gaining his first international call-up for 18 months.

The 27-year-old was back in Glasgow on Monday as Scotland interim head coach Scott Johnson gathered an extended squad for a three-day training camp ahead of the RBS 6 Nations opener against England at Twickenham on February 2.

Beattie, who was last involved in the warm-up matches before being left out of the 2011 World Cup squad, believes improved confidence has been the most important outcome of his move after falling out of favour at Glasgow.

Beattie said: "It's been great fun. I have loved the change of environment and the change of culture, and the change in rugby has been great for me.

"I'm really glad I made the move and also managed to keep in touch with the national set-up and still be asked back.

"I haven't played as many games back to back for a long, long time.

"I have played 80 minutes for the past eight or nine games.

"That has really helped just get back into the run of things, continuity in the legs, going through contacts and collisions and building confidence back up. So it has been great in that respect."

The number eight, who impressed in the 2010 Six Nations before undergoing shoulder surgery that summer, added: "I had stayed at one club for eight years and everyone needs a freshen-up and a change every now and again.

"You have to expose yourself to as many different environments as you can to learn in as many different ways as you can.

"So far it's been great, I have picked up a few things and it's great to play with different players and learn from different coaches."

Beattie realised there was a risk that moving abroad might have damaged his international prospects, but the switch has had the opposite effect.

"You look at the Welsh players in France and a lot of them aren't being asked back to the national camp, so for me it was an enormous relief after playing a few games to get the call to come back and be part of this environment again," he said.

"It's positive for a lot of players moving across. Mike Blair is really enjoying Brive, Chris Cusiter and Nathan Hines were across and have all spoken of it really highly. I'm just glad I have made the change.

"It's obviously a huge honour to be asked to come back and it's very exciting to see everybody and potentially have the chance to play.

"And obviously there is a fresh environment with Johnno heading things up and a different coaching team. It's an exciting time."

Johnson had been assisting predecessor Andy Robinson since last summer's successful tour of Australasia before stepping up when the Englishman quit in the wake of the defeat by Tonga in November, but Beattie got his first impressions today.

"He seems like a really positive bloke," Beattie said. "He wants to get the best out of everyone here.

"Everyone is really hoping that the change of environment can maybe change the structure of the way we play and give a few people a fright in the tournament, and just chuck everything at it.

"Everyone loved working under Andy but we didn't achieve what we wanted to achieve.

"Johnno just spoke this morning about trying to maximise in every single aspect, chucking in exactly 100 per cent to whatever you can each day to improve so that when we get to Test matches everything is geared to performing in a winning way."