Pierre Schoeman shows Edinburgh players ‘what world class looks like’
We should credit Liam Gallagher for bringing the phrase “mad for it” into general usage but, according to Edinburgh forwards coach Stevie Lawrie, Pierre Schoeman shares the former Oasis frontman’s enthusiasm for the fray.
The prop forward has been immense for the capital club this season and Lawrie says Schoeman brings the same zest to training as he does to matches.
Edinburgh flew into South Africa this weekend to prepare for Saturday’s United Rugby Championship quarter-final against the Stormers and the dynamic forward will have a huge role to play.
Boan Venter’s injury has left the tourists a little light at loosehead and Schoeman may be asked to play the whole game in Cape Town.
Lawrie has no concerns on that score, describing the Scotland prop as “world class” with an attitude to match.
Asked if Schoeman ever had a day when he wasn’t anything other than totally committed to training, Lawrie said: “Genuinely, no. He is mad for it. Absolutely mad for it. He’s got something in him that drives him every day.
“Our training on Tuesday is pretty heinous but he’ll go from mobility into weights into a watt bike into a rugby session into scrum-specific stuff and just eats it up. And that rubs off on the other days.
“For me, a guy like Pierre Schoeman is world class. He came into this environment and allowed everyone else to see what world class looked like. And that rubs off on other players.
“Rory Sutherland is where he is because of Rory Sutherland. That’s key to say that. But having Pierre pushing and improving him was also a massive factor in that. It’s the same for Venter and any of the Scottish guys coming through.
“To see how this guy goes in every training session and every game – he’s mad for it. So Pierre is someone who wants to be playing every minute. We’ve had to manage him a little bit more especially now he’s playing international rugby this season. So we’ve given opportunities to other players as we recognise it’s important we don’t burn him out.”
Edinburgh will need to muster all the class they can find if they are to overcome the Stormers who finished second in the URC after ending the league season with a run of eight consecutive victories, seven of them at home. Their front row is formidable, with Springbok props Frans Malherbe and Steven Kitshoff anchoring the scrum.
The battle between Schoeman and Malherbe looks particularly tasty.
“That’s going to be really important,” said Lawrie, who has put pen to paper on a new Edinburgh contract which sees him promoted to lead forwards coach, the role he has been performing since Richard Cockerill's departure. “They’ve got a really good scrum, they’re patient and lots of weight in there. So we’ve been looking at strategies to try to nullify that.
“Scarlets did a really good job against them [the Welsh side lost 26-21]. Stormers, though, have quality. Evan Roos at 8 has been one of the players of the tournament, he’s been outstanding, Deon Fourie in that No 6 position is massive and then Kitshoff and Malherbe – that’s a decent front row.”