JAMES Lang’s decision to move from Harlequins to Edinburgh in the summer in search of more regular international rugby has been vindicated by his inclusion in Gregor Townsend’s first training squad of the season.
Had he stayed with the London club, the 26-year-old inside centre would not have been available for Scotland’s opening Autumn Test against Tonga.
Now, having got the extra game time he was looking for since switching clubs, Lang is poised to take the next step and add more rapidly to his half-dozen caps.
“[The aim] was definitely to be more visible and accessible,” Lang explained.
“I’ve got aspirations to play for my country a lot more, and first and foremost I’ve got to put it out on the pitch at Edinburgh.
“The big thing for me was game time. I was still quite new to centre and I wasn’t getting the consistent game time at Quins that I would have wanted.”
Lang was still widely seen as a stand-off when first selected by Scotland back in 2018, but Townsend said then he had been picked as an inside centre, and the player now believes the coach’s decision has had a major impact on his career.
“Massively,” he added. “That was the first season I had my first game at 12 for Quins as well – Nick Evans [then Harlequins’ attack coach] moved me there and he kind of saw me as more of a ball-playing 12. Gregor also saw that, so from there it was a great experience.
“I really enjoy playing 12 and that’s my favourite position. 2018 seems years ago now – I’ve come a long way since then. But that was definitely the stepping stone of rebooting my career.
“I really saw then that I wanted to focus on 12 and that’s what I’ve done since then. I feel that it’s gone pretty well.”