Harley gearing up for Ulster trip
He might be in his tenth pre-season with the club and have 212 appearances to his name, but Rob Harley is still as eager as ever to return to match-day action.
Thankfully, the 29-year-old doesn’t have much longer to wait, as he and his Glasgow Warriors team-mates open their pre-season account against Ulster in Belfast this Saturday.
Harley’s anticipation is a feeling echoed throughout the squad, as final preparations continue for the first hit-out of the new campaign.
“It’s exciting to be back in game week,” said the Glasgow flanker.
“I think the whole squad has been itching to get back out there – it’s always nice to get to the end of a season and decompress a bit, but since we’ve come back into pre-season we’ve been building towards getting back and ready to go.
“I can’t wait.”
Saturday’s match will also be the first chance for supporters to watch their team in action in the brand-new Macron kit for 2019/20 – kits that have the approval of the club’s most-capped player.
“I wouldn’t say I’m the most qualified in the squad to be discussing fashion choices – Paddy Kelly looks like a model in [the new kit],” quipped Harley.
“I really like both kits. The away shirt is a bit different to what we’ve had in the last few years, with the light blue stripes – it looks really sharp.
“I’m really looking forward to wearing them on matchday.”
With a return to Scotstoun for The Famous Grouse Pre-Season Challenge just over a week away, the Warrior Nation is beginning to look ahead to the new Guinness PRO14 campaign. Harley insists that the primary focus remains on the upcoming pre-season tests, however, with the squad well aware of the quality Ulster has to offer.
“I’ve missed running out at Scotstoun, and it’s exciting to think that it’s not that long until we’re back out in front of our fans,” he said.
“Long-term, our goal is definitely to go one step better than last year, but our focus right now is solely on the Ulster games.
“We fly out to South Africa for a huge match to start the new season [against the Toyota Cheetahs on Friday 27 September], so we want to be ready for that when it comes around.
“We’re ready to get out there and put in a good performance in Belfast.”