Name: Elliot Robert Beattie
Age: 20 years
Position: Tight head Prop
Started playing rugby: 12 years old (school year 8)
First club: Blaydon RFC
Aim: To progress to the highest level in rugby that I am capable of
Most memorable moment: playing at Twickenham on 6th May 2017 for Durham U20s vs Yorkshire
Elliot Beattie is your archetypal No.3; solid, tall and wide, and an imposing figure to any unlucky opposition. Yet, as soon as we start talking, his enthusiasm for the game, and ear-to-ear smile, soon wins me over, and I can see how infectious his love for rugby is.
So, Elliot, who do you look up to in rugby?
Dan Cole is my all-time favourite rugby player.
Who is your biggest supporter Elliot?
My family, but especially my mum, Lisa.
Do you feel it’s important that grassroots rugby clubs get the recognition they deserve in terms of acting as a platform for Aviva Premiership players?
Yes, that's where my passion is, and I feel that an increase in recognition for the grassroots game will influence more young players to take up the sport.
Being a No.3, and so in in the thick of it, do you feel you're prone to injury more, playing in the forwards pack?
No, not really, I have only ever had 2 injuries.... AC joint grade 1 (shoulder) and a sprained ankle.
What encouraged you to start playing rugby Elliot, especially since Newcastle is predominantly a football area?
I enjoyed playing rugby at a young age, and as I got older my passion for the sport developed alongaide the game getting more serious — The competitive aspect definitely drew me in.
What is your favourite aspect of the game?
When I'm in a game, there are no worries. I just put my head down, and focus on what is in front of me.
What do you want to see more of in rugby?
I would like to see more schools focusing on, and funding rugby, because it helps children let out aggression, and also teaches them the key values of rugby, alongside valuable life skills, such as teamwork and respect.
What is your greatest rugby achievement so far?
Getting into the Newcastle Falcons U18s Academy and also playing at Twickenham for Durhams U20s against Yorkshire.
As you are a student at Hartpury College in Gloucestershire, you must play a lot of Uni Rugby—how does it compare to Saturday League?
Uni rugby is a fast paced and technical game, whereas Saturday rugby is tougher and more physically demanding. Both aspects help me with my overall ability as a player though; I get a lot from both.
Would you say that playing rugby has helped you as a person outside of the pitch?
Without a doubt, it has developed my discipline, my confidence, people skills, and just made me a better person overall.
Rugby careers can be short lived; have you given any thought to what you might like to do when your career is over?
I have thought about becoming a coach at a lower level, and working with children in the hope that I can instill my passion for the game into them, and let them enjoy it as much as I did.
So, Elliot, you play lots of rugby games through the season; how do you prepare mentally for them?
On the morning of the game, I listen to quite chilled music, just to get relaxed. Then maybe driving or walking to the game, I will listen to something lilke Kings of Leon, which is still chilled but a bit more upbeat. Once I get to the changing room, I listen to music that’ll pump me up and get me game ready. So, yeah music is key.
If you could pick a professional club to play for—who would it be and why?
It would probably be Newcastle Falcons, because that is my home club and I have a huge passion for the city.
You recently played at Twickenham for the county U20s match Durham vs Yorkshire, what did that feel like walking out of the tunnel onto the pitch?
When we walked out, it was surreal—I couldn't believe I was going to play on that pitch, it made the hairs stand up on the back of my neck!
Elliot Beattie has to be one of the nicest and funniest guys, whose enthusiasm for Rugby is worn like a badge on his proud chest. A true Northerner, who loves his family, friends and team mates. I am sure we will be seeing more of this young man very soon...Big things await for this big guy.