Andy Cramond interview: Insight into his move from top level rugby player to property broker with Cox & Co

Gary Heatly

When Andy Cramond headed out to France from his hometown of Edinburgh to play rugby at the very highest level aged just 20, he was taking a big step into the unknown, but he embraced the challenge and thrived on it.

Fast forward nine years and, now 29, Andy has taken another big step having retired from top level rugby on medical advice and is now in the early stages of his new career as a property broker with leading Scottish company Cox & Co.

He is once again embracing a new challenge and thriving and with Scotland playing France in two Summer Nations Series matches around this time, it seemed like the perfect chance to catch up with him to look back and to look forward…

“I am a people person, I love getting out there and meeting new people and helping new people”: Andy on his new role

“While I was playing rugby I always thought that property was going to be something that I wanted to get into afterwards,” Andy explains.

“When I spoke to friends when I was putting the feelers out in the property world in Scotland a few people had named John Cox as someone that I should get in touch with.

“His name kept coming up, so I dropped him a message on LinkedIn around this time last year and then we arranged to meet for a coffee at the Gleneagles Townhouse in Edinburgh.

“We had a really good chat, kept in touch and then a couple of months ago when Cox & Co announced an expansion we reconnected and John offered me a role which I was delighted to accept.

“My main focus is acting as a buying and selling agent for the company. Traditionally in this country most estate agents have acted as selling agents, but what we are trying to do here at Cox & Co is to bring something new to the market.

“It is more of an American realtor model so buying agents are involved too helping to source properties. Cox & Co have traditionally done this with off market deals for investors, but now we want to open up that service to families and people looking for residential houses.

“We want to help them along with the process using our extensive contacts and we aim to tie things up before closing dates to avoid people having pain and anguish at that time.”

A number of sportsmen and women can find it hard to transition into another job after their playing days, but Andy has taken the communication, leadership and other skills forward from his high level playing days and is enjoying sinking his teeth into a completely different project.

“I am loving my role so far, I am a people person, I love getting out there and meeting new people and helping new people,” he explained about his early days as a property broker with Cox & Co.

“When you enter any new rugby environment you have to learn as you go along and I feel like I am doing that in this role too.

“Being a rugby player I was used to always being part of a team and that aspect of life at Cox & Co really appealed to me.

“John [Cox, the managing director of Cox & Co] played rugby to a high level himself, so he knows all about creating a good culture and he is a very approachable and driven individual.

“The rest of the team at Cox & Co are the same, we are always sharing ideas with each other, bouncing things off each other and having a laugh in the office and that kind of supportive and enjoyable atmosphere is helping me adjust to my new role.

“I am looking forward to the coming months and beyond.”

“I was suddenly training alongside Ali Williams and Bakkies Botha”: Andy on his big rugby breakthrough in 2014

Let’s go back to the 2014 World under-20 rugby Championship in New Zealand in June of that year.

Andy, a second-row by trade, was focusing on playing for Scotland’s age-grade team out in that rugby-loving country alongside players who have since gone on to play for the full national team like Zander Fagerson, Glen Young, Magnus Bradbury, Ben Vellacott, Rory Hutchinson and Damien Hoyland.

But in the background talks were continuing between his agent and a number of professional clubs who were interesting in signing the up-and-coming talent.

“Interest had started earlier in the year during the under-20 Six Nations and when I heard that Toulon were keen I had my heart set on moving to France,” Andy, whose rugby journey had started at Royal High Corstorphine and taken him to Aberdeen Grammar at that point whilst studying at Robert Gordon’s University, stated.

“I knew it would be a big jump for me, but I really wanted to give it a go and a few weeks later I was over there.

“Although it was an ‘Espoirs’ [under-23] contract that I had signed, I was training with the full squad almost immediately and in the early days of training at Toulon I was rubbing my eyes and thinking ‘this can’t be happening to me’!

“I was suddenly training alongside second-rows of the calibre of Ali Williams [77 caps for New Zealand between 2002 and 2012 and a 2011 Rugby World Cup winner] and Bakkies Botha [85 caps for South Africa between 2002 and 2014 and a 2007 Rugby World Cup winner] and it was just amazing.

“I just tried to learn every day from them and I think being so young helped me because I didn’t really worry to much that I was surrounded by world class talent. I just enjoyed every moment and I even managed to play a few first team games that first season.”

The Toulon squad at the time really was a who’s who of world rugby at the time with Carl Hayman, Chris Masoe, Leigh Halfpenny, James O’Connor, Bryan Habana, Drew Mitchell, Mathieu Bastareaud, Matt Giteau, Juan Smith, Guilhem Guirado, Juan Martín Hernández, Juan Martín Fernández Lobbe, Frédéric Michalak and others all in the dressing room.

It is no surprise that the won the European Champions Cup in 2014/15 and although Andy was not part of the matchday 23 for the final, he was an important part of the wider squad.

“I may have had to stop playing aged 27, but I have no regrets and so many wonderful memories from my rugby career”: Andy on Vannes, Biarritz and hanging up the boots

 Two more seasons came at Toulon before Andy, then aged 23, moved to another French club Vannes in the summer of 2017.

While Toulon were in the Top 14 in France, Vannes were in the Pro D2 – the second tier – at that stage, but were an up-and-coming outfit.

“I really had a great time at Vannes and it was a good move for me at the time,” Andy recounts.

“The club is in a lovely part of the world and three years there flew by.

“That took us up to the start of the pandemic and I fancied a change. Edinburgh Rugby were keen to sign me, but for one reason or another it never quite happened.

“Biarritz were also keen and, having had a great six years in France, I thought that would be a good move too.

“In the first year there [2020/21] we were in Pro D2 and we had a great run to get promoted to the Top 14.

“At the start of the next season, having already had previous issues with concussions, the lead medic at the club told me that if I had one more head knock then my career could be over.

“As a sportsperson that is tough to hear, but I always trusted whatever the medics said to me during my playing days and head injuries are serious, so I was always going to agree with whatever they said and their advice and the appropriate.

“A handful of games into the season a final head knock came and I knew it was the sensible decision to stop.

“That was in October 2021 and I stayed with the club until the end of the 2021/22 season before spending a few more months in Biarritz to relax and take stock of things before returning to Edinburgh and my new challenge with Cox & Co.

“I may have had to stop playing aged 27, but I have no regrets and so many wonderful memories from my rugby career.”

“Andy is a very personable guy, a real asset and we are delighted to have him on board at Cox & Co”: John on Andy

When John Cox was a rugby player with Currie when they were flying high in the Premiership in Scotland a few years ago, he always wanted to play alongside driven team mates who would give it their all and could bring their collective talents together to get results.

He has looked for the same type of people in business over recent years as he has built Cox & Co up to the company it is now.

Through their love of rugby and their character traits, he and Andy hit it off straight away and John is looking forward to seeing his new recruit grow into the role going forward.

“Andy is a very personable guy, a real asset and we are delighted to have him on board at Cox & Co,” John said.

“We want to do things differently as Andy mentioned and when I told him of our plans he was keen and hungry to get involved.

“Andy understands the need to really get out there and meet people, he understands the need to have a constantly evolving contacts book and he is a really good communicator.

“Everybody who I have spoken to so far about Andy find him easy to get on with and a very impressive human – he has a huge future and I am delighted that he has decided to start his property journey with myself and Cox & Co.”

Cox & Co started its life offering whole of market mortgage advice, but our passion for all things property and our entrepreneurial flair soon led us to seek new challenges and ways to do more for our customers. Diversifying our offering by moving into property letting, property sourcing, property investment and finally, open-market property sales were obvious next steps.

 Today, we’re proud to be able to offer our clients a truly complete service: A modern approach to traditional estate agency, specialist lending advice covering all types of mortgages and insurance, letting and property management, off-market property sourcing and portfolio building in Edinburgh and across Scotland’s central belt – all under one roof.

 For more information, visit