Jim Thompson made a flying visit to Scotland during the festive period and is preparing for another brief stopover this weekend, when his London Scottish side travel to take on Edinburgh Accies in the British & Irish Cup.
The Greene King IPA Championship side had matches on December 21 and January 1, allowing the former Heriot's and Edinburgh man just four days north of the border.
It is part of a professional sportsman's lot and the 29-year-old is not inclined to complain about life with the Richmond club just now. "We managed to defeat the leaders London Welsh just before Christmas and, although we lost to Bedford at the start of the year, we are still sitting fifth with a chance of making the play-offs," said Thompson.
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"When Simon Amor left as head coach early on in the season it could have unsettled us, but the transition was smooth and acting head coach James Buckland has done really well. He has brought in Mike Friday to work with the backs and he has got us working pretty well."
In the B&I Cup, the club are going well too after securing three wins out of four. Those came in a pool comprising London Welsh, Pontypridd and Edinburgh Accies. When Accies - yet to record a pool win - travelled south to Richmond in October they lost 55-19, but their large travelling support certainly made Thompson aware of their presence. "They gave me a warm welcome when I came on to the pitch and every time I touched the ball," the centre said wryly.
"I think it is great for the Scottish club sides to be involved in this event. It is tough for amateur players but, in the long run, it will help players and club rugby improve."
Lee Millar gained B&I Cup experience with Gala last term and has since joined Scottish, where Thompson has been impressed with the 22-year-old. "I am surprised Edinburgh or Glasgow didn't take him on," he added.