Pierre Schoeman sells sausage business as he focuses on Edinburgh and winning a Scotland call-up
Pierre Schoeman has sold his sausage business to Edinburgh team-mate WP Nel so he can devote more time to rugby in what promises to be a big season for the loosehead prop.
Schoeman is now eligible to play for Scotland after fulfilling the three-year residency requirement but knows he will have to produce consistently for his club if he wants to win a call-up from Gregor Townsend.
With a new coach and a new stadium it has been a summer of change at Edinburgh and there is a heightened sense of anticipation around the United Rugby Championship campaign which begins for them on Saturday at home against the Scarlets.
Schoeman, now in his fourth season at the club, wants no distractions as he seeks to cement his place in the side and win his first cap. Having built up The Proper Pioneer, the South African-born forward is now passing the beef and biltong business to Nel.
“It got so successful, it got very big, and I know WP Nel has a big ambition for it,” explained Schoeman. “He’s coming towards the end of his career and he loves doing something like that. Maybe he’ll open up a South African-Scottish shop as well.
“I want to focus on the rugby now and it suited him to buy it and he’s doing very well. Hats off to him - four children, coaching us, playing as well and running a business. Feeding the team as well!”
Schoeman jokes that he sold up because he was eating too much stock and had to lose 10 kilos but the loosehead knows fitness will be key for Edinburgh on their new artificial pitch as they try to play a faster brand of rugby under Mike Blair. He is looking forward to a more attacking style but as a dyed-in-the-wool prop he is adamant that set-piece fundamentals will remain key.
“I do think it will suit us, especially me, but one thing you realise when you come to the northern hemisphere is set-piece first: scrum first, lineout first, defence first. Then you get to carry the ball and do the fun stuff.
“I think the playmakers are enjoying it a lot, and it’s not just about chucking the ball around, it’s about earning the right to get wide, getting pressure on the kicks, pressure on the set pieces as well.”
Scotland’s Autumn Nations Series is just around the corner, with Tonga at Murrayfield first up next month followed by further Tests against Australia, South Africa and Japan. Schoeman doesn’t want to pre-empt anything but would dearly love to be involved with the national side.
“First jobs first is playing for Edinburgh - but yeah, qualified now so it’s one of my goals and ambitions to do so and that’s what I’m looking for here really,” he said.
“It’s a huge opportunity and it’s a massive blessing on the way if it can happen. I believe it will happen, but it’s hard work and it’s a big responsibility as well. But like I said the focus is on Edinburgh first now, honestly, and when the chance comes I’ll give it my all, 100 per cent.
“I’ve stayed here three years already and plan to do so for the long term. I love Edinburgh and I love Scotland.”