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French rugby move pays off for Johnnie Beattie

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 23 January, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 29 April, 2014, 5:27pm

Johnnie Beattie is looking forward to getting his Scotland career back on track following a pre-season move to France.

The back-row forward, who won the last of his 16 caps in 2011, has been instrumental in Montpellier qualifying for the European Cup quarter-finals for the first time.

It looked as if Beattie's time at international level had come to an end when he was left out of the World Cup squad and worse followed when he fell out of favour at Glasgow.

But now he aims to regain his test place in time for the Six Nations opener away to England at Twickenham on February 2.

"It's been great fun," said Beattie, 27, back in Glasgow for a three-day Scotland training camp called by interim coach Scott Johnson.

"I have loved the change of environment and the change of culture, and the change in rugby has been great for me."

Beattie, whose career was interrupted by shoulder surgery shortly after he impressed in the 2010 Six Nations, said he had become struck in a rut.

"I had stayed at one club for eight years and everyone needs a freshen-up and a change."

Beattie admitted there was a concern moving abroad might have hindered rather than helped his Scotland prospects.

"You look at the Welsh players in France and a lot aren't asked back to national camp, so for me it was an enormous relief after playing a few games to get the call to come back and be part of this environment again," he said.