LUKE Crosbie has played the best rugby of his career so far over the past 12 months. 

A fact that was recognised when he was named Edinburgh’s 2020-21 player of the season.

Capped eight times at under-20 level, the flanker was named in the Scotland squad in the summer and would surely have made his full national debut but for the Covid-enforced cancellation of the planned fixtures.

Given those recent advances, it would be understandable if the 24-year-old were going into the new United Rugby Championship season with dreams of winning that elusive first cap in the Autumn Internationals.

Instead, he insists that he cannot afford to look any further forward at present than doing his best game after game for Edinburgh.

The stiffness of the competition in the Edinburgh back row is one reason for Crosbie’s taking that approach. He is a versatile player who can turn out at blindside or openside, but in either position he is up against world-class rivals such as Jamie Ritchie and Hamish Watson. 

Then there is Crosbie’s own personal history. He is a consistently hard-working player and in conversation comes across as down-to-earth and level-headed, but he insists that there have been times in the past he has allowed himself to be distracted by dreams of glory. 

This week, therefore, he is thinking no further than Saturday’s friendly at home to Benetton, just the second game to be played in the team’s new home, the ERS, following on from last week’s 26-10 loss to Newcastle Falcons.

After that his attention will turn to the opening URC match against Scarlets.

And so on week by week, with no thoughts about the Murrayfield Tests which begin in late October.

Glasgow Times: Crosbie goes down for the tryCrosbie goes down for the try

“I just want to play well: that’s it,” Crosbie said. “I don’t want to look too far in the future and I don’t want to look in the past. I just want to enjoy the place that I’m in, playing for Edinburgh in a cool stadium with a team that I like to play for. That’s what I want to do, get my performances right and step up to the mark. For now I just want to put my best foot forward for Edinburgh.

“Every season for the past four seasons I've been focusing too much [on higher things], but I don’t want to take away the good times and good memories of my playing career at Edinburgh. I think I started thinking too much about the future. It’s an honour for me to do this: this is my job.

"Being able to play for Edinburgh is good and if anything else happens I'll happily step up and take it, but I'm not going to underestimate how happy I am just going out and playing for Edinburgh is for me.

“Everyone knows that playing for your country is a big thing, and before I would think that if I played well then this would happen. I looked too far in the future.

“With anything in life, no matter what job it is, if you look too far ahead it takes away from where you are now and being in the moment. That's what I want to do in my sport: I want to enjoy the moment every time I step on the field. If you live in the moment you’ll play better, because you're focusing on your job and you're not looking to the next week.”

Having said all that, Crosbie does not deny that he has become a more self-confident performer over the past 12 months. That player-of the-season was recognition for just how well he played in the last campaign, and also, he says, provided a further boost to his confidence. 

“That proved to myself that I’m capable of stepping up,” he continued.

“Being part of a squad of talented players, to be recognised and get that award meant a lot to me and my family. If I’m playing I know I’m capable of being one of the top performers and I just want to keep building on that. That’s set a bar and I have to keep showing that I can keep performing to that level.

“It’s nice to get a personal accolade from time to time, especially when you consider the team we had last season with a lot of talented guys. When I got the award I was looking about the room and you just saw these unreal players who star for club and country. So to get that recognition and hear praise from your team-mates is great. It was an honour to get that award.”

Meanwhile, Glasgow have renewed their sponsorship agreement with McCrea Financial Services for a further two seasons. McCrea is the longest-serving sponsor of the Warriors, having first come on board 13 seasons ago.