NORTH Berwick rugby ace Harvey Elms has joined the county’s growing ranks of professional rugby players.

Elms has signed his first professional contract and will be involved with Scotland 7s this season, alongside fellow East Lothian ace Ally Miller, who joins the 7s squad from Edinburgh Rugby.

And former North Berwick High School pupil Elms admitted his first full-time deal was an unexpected one.

He told Courier Sport: “I got the call just before we went to Singapore [for the HSBC Sevens World Series].

“It wasn’t something that was on my mind, I was just concentrating on playing well in the tournaments that I was selected for.”

And when reflecting on his first season involved with John Dalziel’s side, he said: “I think my game has come on.

“I think my attacking game has grown – once I got a few tournaments under my belt I got a bit more confidence to just have a go.

“You can’t by shy to get your hands on the ball in 7s because there is so much more space [than 15-a-side games].

“And my defence has improved as well – at full-back [Elms’ position in the 15-a-side game] you might only make one or two tackles a game, but in 7s you have to make a lot more.”

The 24-year-old returned to pre-season training last week, and gave Courier Sport an insight as to what the first couple of weeks have been like.

He said: “We’ve done a lot of gym work.

“We came back in and did some testing, which we knew we’d get, but then we’ve been in the gym a fair bit.

“We’ll do more conditioning in the next few weeks.”

While earning selection and performing well for the 7s squad remains Elms’ priority, he is also keen to show the country’s professional 15-a-side coaches what he can do.

“For guys my age the 7s is a great development,” he said.

Elms added: “I just want to play well for the 7s but if I’m doing that then hopefully I will catch the eye of the professional coaches.”

And while many players will be midway through their seasons in November, Elms will just be beginning his – the first leg of the HSBC Sevens World Series takes place in Dubai then.