Whisky Magazine Issue 1
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Damian Riley-Smith talks to Scottish rugby star Rob Wainwright about winning matches, losing salmon and the contents of his hip flask, Photographs by Will Boxall.
Rob Wainwright sounds much more Scottish than he used to. The soft Scottish lilt he had during his time in England (six years studying medicine at Cambridge University) became staunchly Scottish overnight when he moved back north. ‘If you ask the Scots I've got an English accent, and if you ask the English I sound Scottish. I can't win.'
Win or not, he's nevertheless been capped 37 times for Scotland, including 16 times as captain; he captained the Scottish rugby team between 1995 and 1998. He plays for Glasgow Caley, was brought up in Perth where his parents still live and spends much of his free time heading north to see them. They come and watch the odd game, ‘but they don't come training'. Dougie, Wainwright's son, clearly thinks every moment should be spent practising to be a scrum half. Their other two children are much less active, so if Wainwright wants a rugby player to follow him, Dougie is his best chance. ‘I'll steer him into other things, but looking at his qualities at the moment rugby might be the best. He's full of energy, and he's moderately aggressive.' Trained into him by his father? ‘We're actually attempting to train it out of him.'
Becoming a doctor, traditionally an enthusiastic group of whisky consumers, came about more by chance than conviction. ‘I wanted to go to Cambridge, but I also wanted to do marine biology which they don't do at Cambridge. But they did do natural sciences and my sisters, all older than me, said “Natural sciences,...