We took advantage of our position as Official Solicitors to Bath Rugby to chat with player Mark McMillan, winner of the Spirit of Rugby Award.
You won the Spirit of Rugby Award at the Annual Awards Dinner, did you know you were going to win or was it a complete surprise?
I had absolutely no idea to be honest. Only when I sat at my table did I realise I had been nominated. It was a pleasant surprise.
How did you find the rehab process?
I found it tough. It came at the worst time, in the middle of contract negotiations and it became stressful. I suppose there is never a good time to get injured. As a rugby player all you want to do is play with the team - watching them everyday from the physio room quickly became frustrating. However, I was lucky that we have 1st class medics at the Club and they helped get me back to fitness quicker than expected.
What difference does it make having the training facilities at Farleigh?
Having the whole operation under one roof is hugely beneficial, not least from a logistical point of view but also from a rugby perspective. There is now complete control on preparation for matches. For example, having the gym next to the medical centre allows the conditioners and medics to work very closely and control a players needs much easier. Before, having physio at Lambridge and weights at the university while sharing the gym with other sports meant it was much harder to manage.
You’ve played for Scotland A, is it your ambition to get full honours?
Having played so many times for the A team and being so close to full honours AND having been called in to both Autumn test and Six Nations squads I am desperate to get a full cap! To me there is no greater honour. I would love to represent my country!
You must have been pleased to get back playing again?
Yes indeed. I was desperate to get back out and at least try and help the squad in what was proving to be a challenging season.
You were honoured for the commitment you have to the club despite adversity, how do you think you achieved this?
I’m not too sure! I guess perhaps it was the way in which I reacted to the situation I found myself in. You can get your head down and work hard and still be a positive influence around the Club, or you can bring everybody down by being negative and not helping. I'd like to think, although I was really struggling inside I worked really hard on my rehab and tried to be upbeat as much as possible. In the end I made a much faster recovery than expected and signed a contract extension!
How do you get involved with the community foundation?
We do various things for the community team, whether it's visiting schools or clubs or Q and A sessions. The guys do a fantastic job in the community team, they work really hard on taking Bath Rugby to the far reaches of the south west.
What is your best moment as a sportsman?
It would have to be playing in and winning the Heineken Cup with Wasps in 2007 or the Premiership Final victory in 2008 - both moments were very special to me and will stay with me forever.
Who is your sporting hero (rugby and other)?
I always admired Gary Armstrong, an old Scottish scrum half growing up. I remember as a kid always trying to be like him and play like him. He probably had an influence on the way I like to play the game.