We took advantage of our position as Official Solicitors to Bath Rugby to chat with our sponsored player, Andy Beattie.
We were very sad to hear that you are retiring from the club due to an ankle injury, when did you realise that this injury was going to end your career?
I injured my ankle in training towards the end of January, coming down out of a line out. I knew I had done something serious. Over the next month or so I saw a couple of specialist and they advised that, ultimately, the best thing to do was to give up playing professional rugby.
How did you deal with the news?
It is very disappointing but I know it is for the best thing for me and my body going forward. In the end it was an easy decision to make. I would have loved to have played a few more games for Bath, in front of the fans, but it wasn’t to be. However, I feel very lucky to have played rugby at a professional level for so many years and being at a club like Bath, I have been very fortunate.
What are you doing with your days now you’re retired?
I have a 10 month old daughter so she keeps me busy! I'm enjoying spending more time with my wife and daughter, we went down to Cornwall last week for a few days to get a way. I’m just taking some time away to decide what I have to do next.
Are you keen to stay involved with the game? What are your long term plans? Coaching?
I would like to stay involved with the game by coaching the younger age groups. I would love to still have a connection with the club. Ultimately, job wise, I would like to get involved in Financial Services and become an Independent Financial Adviser, hopefully that will mean staying in Bath and working around here.
If you could pick any back row in the world playing at the moment to replace you who would it be?
Still currently playing I would say, Dan Lydiate who played really well for Wales in the 6 Nations just gone.
What was the highlight of your career?
My debute for Bath in 2001 against Leeds, putting the shirt on for the first time was a big deal. Also winning the Challenge Cup final in 2008. We have had some great victories against some big teams; there are a lot of great memories. A great 11 years!
What is your biggest regret in your career?
Probably not playing for England, it’s not really a regret, but I was unfortunate. Maybe I was in the wrong place at the wrong time. There are so many class back row players playing for England during my time. I would have loved to have had that opportunity but it wasn’t to be.
You were at Bath for a long time, have you ever wished you had played for another club?
No, Ill always be a supporter of Bath, I have fond memories of Bath and of my previous clubs, Exeter & Richmond. I have only ever played for three clubs and Richmond is where I grew up so I have got a place in my heart for them, they put me through all the age groups growing up.
Who was your favourite coach during your time at Bath?
I have a lot of respect for all of the coaches over the years; I’ve had some great coaches and have been privileged to be coached by some world class coaches. One that stands out for me is Michael Foley. He helped shape me and now coaches in Australia. Mark Bakewell and current coach Martin Haag have also been good and helped my game improve. There have been so many coaches over the years and they have all been vital to my career.
What do you think about McGeechan leaving?
It’s sad because McGeechan has been good for Bath, he has helped with the cultural change in the last few years with moving to Farleigh. A lot has changed during his time. I wish him well with what ever he does next.
If you could change one thing about the game, what would it be?
I’m not sure I would change anything about the game. Possibly the amount of re-sets in scrums, I know the fans sometimes find that frustrating. Possibly little laws here and there, but, I don’t think there is anything about the game I would change.
Finally, do you have a message that you would like to give to your fans?
I am extremely grateful for the loyal support my fans have given me over the years. Through thick and thin they have been there. Im very grateful to the fans, my family the people I have played with over the years. I have made some great friends at Bath that I have played both with and against. I have loved my time as a professional rugby player.
Follow Andy Beattie (@beastie6) on Twitter.