Pierre Schoeman will miss out on summer tour but still has ambitions to play for Scotland and Lions
Pierre Schoeman will become Scottish qualified in the summer but not in time to be eligible for Scotland’s tour to Romania and Georgia.
The Edinburgh prop still harbours ambitions to play for the national side and has been inspired by the progress made by team-mate and fellow South African Duhan van der Merwe.
But for now Schoeman will focus solely on helping his club end the season on a positive note. It’s been a tough campaign for Edinburgh and defeat by Glasgow Warriors at Scotstoun last Friday saw them lose the 1872 Cup for the first time since 2017.
The sides will meet again at BT Murrayfield on Saturday and Schoeman knows exactly the areas in which Edinburgh must improve.
“For us, we reckon it’s physicality up front and also the breakdown area,” he said. “The kicking game was good, our setpieces were solid but you have to back that up the next week and the following week.”
Edinburgh under Richard Cockerill have been renowned for their physicality and Schoeman admitted there had been some harsh words in training on the back of the 29-19 loss.
“Yes, there was, especially with Glasgow getting into our 22 and scoring a soft try,” he said. “Here at the Gunners we always pride ourselves on being on it physically, say, eight times out of ten. But once or twice you slip and that’s costly against good attacking sides like Glasgow. So we have to be on it ten out of ten times.”
The loosehead joined Edinburgh in summer 2018 and reckons he will fulfil the three-year residency qualification on July 19 or 20, just too late for Scotland’s summer tour which ends with a Test match in Georgia on July 17.
“It’s actually a blessing just to focus on Edinburgh and not get distracted,” he said. “I’m not saying it’s a horrible distraction but it’s just nice to just keep giving to a team and keep on learning and grafting at Edinburgh.”
At 27, he remains ambitious to play international rugby and, inspired by van der Merwe, has not ruled out being involved in the next Lions tour in 2025.
“I’m very proud of him,” Schoeman said of the big winger who catapulted himself into the Lions squad after just ten Tests for Scotland. “At the Bulls we played juniors together and then he went to Montpellier. Richard Cockerill then gave him a massive chance and he used it and look where he is now, at his age . For our young lads, in fact all the lads, he’s a massive inspiration.
“The next Lions tour will be in only four years time, so it’s something to work towards. Imagine in those four years, how many games you can play for Edinburgh? I’d like to play as much as I can for the club and see where that leads to.
“If it happens to be Scotland, imagine how many caps you could play in that time? I would like to give back to the club and country and then maybe aspire to the Barbarians or the British & Irish Lions.
“It’s a massive goal to work for and it’s something that drives you every day, through lockdown, through winter, through summer, through every rep. It’s always at the back of your mind.”