Smith looking to make up for lost time

Having grown up in the city, Glasgow Warriors flanker Matt Smith is looking forward to returning to Stirling when the club takes on Northampton Saints tomorrow afternoon.Matt Smith is in the starting XV for tomorrow's game

Smith, who previously played his rugby at Stirling County, starts in the back-row tomorrow alongside fellow local boy Adam Ashe, who captains the side.

He said: “Pre-season has been really tough, but it’s been good to get my first full pre-season under my belt – I’ve been injured for pre-season over the past couple of seasons. I feel in good shape.”

After suffering an injury before the beginning of last season, Smith was forced to wait until February to make his debut for the club. Whilst some players may have been left frustrated, the 20-year-old is philosophical about events.

“Everything happens for a reason, and I’ve bounced back from the injury a lot better than me from two years ago would have,” said Smith.

“I’m in good nick, and can hopefully do enough to secure a contract after this season.”

Top of the agenda for the Scotland U20 international will be earning game time in the Warriors back-row. However, with fierce competition for places, Smith is also looking to pick the brains of a couple of his team-mates.

He said: “It’s exciting to have Callum Gibbins now in – I’m really looking forward to learning from him. Chris Fusaro, too, is someone I’m learning from every day, so it’s a really good opportunity.

“I’ve been watching Callum (Gibbins) a lot – he’s a great player. He makes a lot of tackles and is a very physical player."

Smith’s immediate focus, however, is on a return to Bridgehaugh tomorrow for the visit of the Saints, with one member of the visiting squad set to receive special attention from the young back-rower.

“I’m really looking forward to it,” said Smith.

“We’ve put in a good amount of preparation, and we’re looking to kick-start our season.

“I'll see my good buddy Rory Hutchinson too – I’ve played all through the age-grades with him, so it’ll be exciting to see him and hopefully play against him." 

Tickets for the Warriors pre-season game against Northampton Saints at Bridgehaugh in Stirling on Saturday 19 August are available here and from Bridgehaugh Park from 10.30am on Saturday.