What’s your biog Chris?
I recently retired from professional rugby, having played for Glasgow Warriors my whole career, from 2010-2021. I had the honour of representing Scotland, winning 4 caps. I’m now back in Fife, very close to where I grew up. I joined the family business, Luvians, a chain of bottleshops that sell high quality whiskies, wines and beers … and also ice cream which is made on the premises. I have a wife, Katie, and three children, Sofia, Freddie and Nora.
What made you go down the route of becoming a professional Rugby player?
I didn’t set out to become a professional rugby player. I enjoyed success with the Howe of Fife and Bell Baxter High School teams, and when I went to Edinburgh University to study Chemical Engineering, I moved to Heriots rugby club. After getting picked to play 7’s rugby for Scotland in my first year at University, I was eventually signed to the national academy, where I trained for two years. I then signed to Glasgow Warriors in 2010.
So, we’re talking about eyesight and night lenses. What was your experience with day lenses and rugby – did one ever fall out on to the pitch? Why did you switch to night lenses?
I got into day lenses as a teenager, and they were great for rugby. My catching improved, well slightly anyways! However, I was so bad at putting them in that if they fell out when I was playing, I would run to the side of the pitch and my mum would put my spare lens back in. I only learned to do it myself just before heading off to Uni. Mortifying, I know! Once I started playing professionally it was just one more thing to worry about, when all my focus should have been on my pre-game preparation and match performance. I regularly lost lenses during games. The idea of wearing a lens overnight, and then having perfect sight with nothing in my eye to worry about come match day, was literally a game changer for me.
How have night lenses helped you in your rugby career?
Not only was it one less thing to worry about on game day, but sight is important in any sport and the night lenses helped sharpen things up a bit. They definitely contributed to allowing me to perform to, and at, the highest level.
How did your depth perception and the ability to judge distances change once you started wearing night lenses?
My depth perception and ability to judge distances improved immeasurably, giving me more confidence on the pitch, going from a fuzzy sighted rugby player to one who could see clearly.
Why would you recommend night lenses to others?
No matter what profession you are in, night lenses are a great option. There’s none of the waste associated with dailies and you can never lose a lens when you’re out and about, as you have nothing in your eye to lose! You’ll never accidentally rub your lens out of your eye whilst at work, on your commute, or worst of all, whilst driving. It’s just one less thing to worry about during the busy schedules that have become normal for most people’s everyday life.
You have travelled worldwide to play rugby – which was your favourite stadium to play in?
I was lucky enough to play in Hong Kong during the 7’s World Series. There is so much rugby heritage there and it was an amazing city to visit. The atmosphere was unbelievable, it was literally a three-day party in the stands! It’s a memory that will stay with me for a long time.
Who was your inspiration on the rugby field?
Richie McCaw. The New Zealand number 7 when I was growing up, who managed to stay at the top of his game for his whole career. He also captained the All Blacks to back-to-back World Cups, which is pretty special!