Warrior Roots | Jamie Dobie

Warrior Roots | Jamie Dobie

Jamie Dobie was born in 2001 in Inverness. He discovered rugby when his best friend invited him along to the Highland Minis, which started him on his journey to professional rugby.

This journey saw him sign for Glasgow Warriors in 2019, and then win his first international men’s cap in October 2021.

Jamie is one of the youngest players to sign for Glasgow Warriors on a full-time basis, bypassing the senior academy that most upcoming players typically come through.

His impressive work ethic and abilities has seen him become an established scrum half, who has also provided exceptional wing cover in Franco Smith’s squad throughout the 2023/24 season. Dobie is someone who excels in whatever challenge comes his way.

In the latest instalment of Warrior Roots Jamie shares his story from starting out in rugby through to his current ambitions, as well as the people who have shaped his journey so far.


“My first ever memory of rugby is with my wider family, with cousins on family holidays in the summer. I had a couple of older cousins from Exeter, and they were big into rugby. My first ever memory was throwing a ball about with them.

“They had played a lot of rugby at their local club, and I’d never done that. I was just trying to keep up with them. That was very casual in the garden whenever we were together.

“Rugby was much less of a feature in my family. My Mum’s two brothers both played rugby, but my close family, such as my Dad had never played. We never really watched it either, it wasn’t a feature certainly that I can remember.

“However, I played a lot of other sports before I’d played rugby. I played a bit of everything. I played a lot of tennis and golf, which came from my parents, and I still love those sports. Tennis was my main sport up until about 14. I spent a lot of time training and travelling to Inverness. I was travelling all over the country going to tournaments from aged eight up until 14 when I was at school in Edinburgh. I’d play with my dad and my brother a lot too.”


“Rugby developed as something I picked up through friends and when I joined the rugby club later.

“At Kirkhill Primary School near Inverness I had a good friend, Cammy Cochrane, who was playing at Highland in the mini section and his dad was involved with coaching. I remember heading along with him for the first time when I was eight or nine. Cammy’s the reason I got into rugby.

“I’d train on a Sunday and play in tournaments with other teams across the north and north east. I really enjoyed that first involvement in organised rugby and what stood out was playing with my team mates and travelling back and forwards on the bus trips, even singing rugby songs.

“There weren’t any rugby clubs close to Highland, so I’d be travelling down to Stirling, further East against Ellon, so there was a fair amount of travel. It was good fun though.

“Highland was a really good club; I was just in the minis section. There were lots of volunteers and parents helping and doing the coaching. It was a proper old school club. They have some great facilities now, but back then the clubhouse wasn’t in the best nick. Saying that though, the numbers were growing at that stage, it was very friendly and welcoming, particularly the boys who had played a few years before I’d joined. It was easy to get stuck right in.”


Though rugby may not have been Jamie’s first love, but he has no doubt the sports he played before helped him establish and refine his skillset in rugby.

He continued: “Tennis and golf have contributed to my skills in rugby massively.

“I put a lot of my rugby skills down to having played those sports when I was younger, from the hand-eye-coordination I built when I was really young and the footwork element from tennis, where you’re on your toes a lot.

“Growing up I was always the smallest and the lightest, so I had to make up for that. Being fast and having the ability to change direction with footwork I definitely developed from playing tennis. I still try and make the most of that skill when I play now. If I hadn’t played those sports, I wouldn’t have had that basic athleticism to utilise.”

From Highland, Dobie secured a tennis scholarship at Merchiston Castle School in Edinburgh where he moved in 2012, aged 11.

“I moved down into the tennis academy. However, rugby was big at the school, so I began playing more regularly with a team and training a couple of times a week and playing against other schools at the weekend. Then as I moved up through the school, I was balancing both the tennis and the rugby, competing in both, and trying to get that balance right.

“It got to the stage when I was 14 where I just started enjoying rugby more. I loved tennis and had lots of memories and good involvements with the school and won some cool competitions.

“It was the team element from rugby which drew me more towards it. Then the workload increased with exams, and it wasn’t possible to try to balance tennis, alongside more work, and my pathway in Edinburgh which was beginning to get going.


“I still played tennis for fun, but the main thing was playing for enjoyment and playing with my mates on the weekend. Then in my last year at school I started to see the potential to go on and make rugby something more than just a hobby.

“I was fortunate to play in an excellent team and have good coaches. The set up at school made it very enjoyable. Then in my last year at school it was starting to become a reality that I could try and push into one of the academies, but then I ended up going straight through to Glasgow.

“I spent time thinking about what I was going to do. In tennis you must be in the top few of your age in the UK or Scotland to go on and make it. At that point I wasn’t thinking I’d make it in rugby, but I was just enjoying the rugby and more of my friends were playing rugby and that’s where I was spending my time, so it sort of became the natural thing to do.


“I can’t think how many hours I spent on the road playing tennis, and training. It wasn’t an easy decision, but it was the right one at the right time.

“I had been involved with the pathway in Edinburgh, and in my last year at school I’d played Scotland U18, and had another year at that. Then I remember, Dave Rennie was coach of Glasgow and he came to watch one of our school games against Dollar. I didn’t know or I hadn’t spoken to him at this point, but I imagine he was coming to watch a few of us play. Then I went on to have a conversation with him about the opportunity to come straight from school and play for Glasgow. Dave explained to me that he thought it was the right time to make the next step and become involved with the squad.

“It was a big step from school. I hadn’t played any men’s rugby before; I was coming straight from the school game into a pre-season game. That was almost five years ago now!

“I was thrown in at the deep end, but now I wouldn’t have had it any other way. That meant less time to think and more opportunities to just do, learn from the players around me, and play from the start which was amazing.

“I am very fortunate and grateful to Dave for putting his faith in me and giving me that opportunity straight from school. If he hadn’t it might be a completely different story.


Dave Rennie is certainly not the only significant influence that Jamie has had on his career so far. Players and coaches alike have helped him to shape the player he wants to be.

Jamie continued: “In 2013 I remember going to one of my first international games. Greig Laidlaw was great to watch and after that I tried to emulate him where I could. It was his leadership and his calmness that struck me most. I was fortunate to captain teams coming up through school. I had to work a lot on leadership, so looking at his ability to bring people around him for a common goal was awesome.

“My first XV coach at school was also influential. Roddy Deans, he was massive for my development. There is no doubt I’d be here if it wasn’t for him. As a rugby coach he gave us a lot more detail and rugby knowledge than perhaps other peers did. He also taught me a lot about leadership and being a good person, he brought that to our school and our year. He was massive on good people and how that makes a difference. I am still in contact with him and catch up with him a lot.

“Being a good role model got engrained into me at school, because even then the younger teams would watch you and look up to you or clubs would visit to see your games. Roddy was a really good role model for me, and he taught me a lot about the person I should be away from the rugby pitch and on it. I have a lot to owe him for that and being here today.

“One of the best things that Franco [Smith] has brought to Glasgow is how much he cares about the person not just the rugby player. He speaks about it, and he talks about struggling to pick teams and he feels so much for boys he can’t pick, and you see he means it, and it’s not just empty words.

“That is what builds a good culture in a club, it comes from the top and feeling valued across the squad. It’s hard to nurture that, but that is where successful teams come from – a good well-rounded squad, where you’re valued and your happy to be there and work hard for each other. Franco does that brilliantly. He values the person first before the rugby player and you see how much that translates into matches. You can see how much he cares on game day and wants most of all the performance being the best and us putting the best of ourselves out there, not just the results. They will take care of themselves. More than ever, I can see how much that means to Franco and why he wants that culture rather than just looking at results.

“I can take that value into everyday life, caring for all those around you, not just my team mates at the club, but everyone when I’m away from Scotstoun and my family and friends not involved with rugby. I try and live that value as much as possible!”


For Jamie, culture is evidently important, but to be at your best there also needs to be a healthy dose of pressure too.

He carries on: “I thrive on the pressure in my career. All I’ve ever known is being thrown straight in and learning on the move. I’ve made plenty of mistakes and still do, but that is how you learn and that’s the key. It took me a while to learn what the benefit of learning from mistakes were but I’m now in a much stronger place in my career than if I’d had a different start.

“That last year at school I was just playing with freedom and enjoyment, that was the best year I had at school in terms of enjoyment and as a team we had a really good group of boys. I didn’t really know at the time I was being watched, which meant there wasn’t any pressure on how I performed. It was only towards the back end of the school season I started to speak to Glasgow and the opportunity started to become clearer.

“The next steps for me, which I’ve got to make here at Glasgow, is playing regularly. It’s all good having a good game here and there but I need to push the coaches so I can play regularly and push for selection and have performances where you’re playing well each week.

“I need to make the most of the opportunities I get, I’ve been fortunate to play a good few games recently. There are a lot of good nines here which is awesome, and I’ve learned a lot from them, but I want to keep pushing and playing as much as possible. There is an opportunity to do something really cool here as a group and I want to push to be part of that as much as possible on the pitch.


“I approach challenges by getting my head down and working hard. That’s something I’ve always been able to do well. I find it pretty easy to stay motivated at Glasgow, of course there are tough times to go through, but we remind ourselves how fortunate we are to do what we do and play here at Glasgow and represent this club and city. That is enough for me to motivate myself and put my best foot forward for the team and for myself going forward.

“If we do that and we remind ourselves of how fortunate we are to do what we do each day, if that’s training or spending time with your friends chilling in and around the club, not many people get to do that for their job, that’s what motivates me to keep going and get to the best position possible.

“I try to be a positive person for people to be around and a good person to try to make a difference. Franco speaks a lot about wanting to make a difference in this city and that would be awesome to do. Rugby doesn’t always have the headlights on it in Glasgow, but the more we can get out there and inspire people to come and watch the game and get into the sport, that resonates with me.

“At Glasgow Warriors I am going to give my everything to be the best player I can be, and whether it be coaching or visiting local schools and clubs, I want to be inspiring people to come to Scotstoun.”

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