Young talent Matt Smith will make his Glasgow Warriors debut against the Ospreys on Sunday (1.05pm, live on BBC ALBA).

Back-row Smith, who played nine times for Scotland under-20, signed a professional deal earlier this season.

He took up rugby when he was quite young, but then gave it up to concentrate on football.

Thankfully for Scottish rugby supporters he returned to the sport and during his senior school years at Stirling High School he played regularly for Stirling County.

He was part of the County youth team that won a National Youth Cup in 2013 and went on to earn caps at Scotland under-18 level.

“The under-18 programme was a big step-up to what I was used to and I enjoyed playing for them because it tested me and showed me what level I needed to be at going forward,” Smith previously said.

“I loved playing at County as it was my local team, but I was frustrated by the amount of game time I had  and I wanted to push on towards more under-20s caps so I moved to Glasgow Hawks.”

Things have since gone from strength-to-stregth for him culminating in this appearance in the Guinness PRO12.

Prop Jamie Bhatti is handed his first start and replacement Pat MacArthur is in line to make his 150th appearance for the club, becoming only the eighth player to reach that landmark.

Brandon Thomson moves up the field to his more familiar position of stand-off while Pete Horne will Captain the side from inside centre

Ratu Tagive could also make a first appearance from the bench.

Glasgow Warriors Head Coach Gregor Townsend said: “Matt and Jamie have an opportunity to start for the first time and we are looking forward to seeing them play.

“There is a good blend of youth and experience throughout the 23 and there has been an edge to our training this week as all our players have been pushing hard to be selected.

“With Ratu potentially making his debut and Pat set to play his 150th game for the club, we have a group of players keen to make an impact from the bench.

“We’ll have to take the game to the Ospreys for 80 minutes as they have been very impressive this season.”


15 Peter Murchie

14 Junior Bulumakau

13 Nick Grigg

12 Peter Horne (C)

11 Rory Hughes

10 Brandon Thomson

9 Grayson Hart

1 Jamie Bhatti

Corey Flynn

Sila Puafisi

Brian Alainu’uese

Scott Cummings

Rob Harley

Matt Smith

Lewis Wynne

Subs: 16 Pat MacArthur, 17 Alex Allan, 18 D’arcy Rae, Tjiuee Uanivi, Chris Fusaro, Nemia Kenatale, Richie Vernon, Ratu Tagive.

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