Smith signs first professional deal
FOSROC Scottish Rugby Academy product Ollie Smith has put pen to paper on his first professional contract with Glasgow Warriors, adding to a memorable 2020/21 campaign for the young flyer.
The 20-year-old follows in the footsteps of fellow academy graduates Ross Thompson and Rufus McLean in agreeing new contracts in recent weeks, with all three having made their club debuts since the turn of the year.
Smith’s rapid acceleration and mesmeric footwork have long marked him out as one of Scottish rugby’s brightest prospects, having come through the youth ranks at Marr.
He became Warrior #321 when he came off the bench in the closing stages of January’s 23-22 victory over Edinburgh at Scotstoun, having impressed his Glasgow coaches and team-mates alike with his performances in training across the campaign to date.
Having previously represented hometown club Ayr in the Tennents Premiership, Smith was one of the standout performers for Ayrshire Bulls in the inaugural FOSROC Super6 season in 2019/20.
The young talent crossed for two tries in his seven appearances for the Bulls, impressing observers with his broken field running, power and rugby intelligence.
On the international stage, too, the full-back – equally adept on the wing – has excelled during his career to date, with an impressive brace of tries against New Zealand in the 2019 World Rugby U20 Championship in Argentina.
Smith was then an ever-present for Scotland in their 2020 U20 Six Nations campaign, crossing the whitewash in the 52-17 dismantling of Wales in Colwyn Bay last March.
On signing his first professional deal with the club Ollie Smith said: “It’s a dream come true for me to sign for a club I’ve supported since I was young. I grew up watching Glasgow play at Firhill and I was there in Belfast the day they won the PRO12 final.
“I’ve been training and involved with this group for a few seasons and it’s nice to see that my hard work has paid off.
“I’m extremely grateful that my job is to now play rugby full-time - I’ve played this sport since I was seven years-old and for it to be now my sole focus is amazing.
“I’m looking forward to continuing to advance my game at Glasgow, challenging for a place in the 23 and I plan to take my opportunities when they come.”
Head Coach Danny Wilson added: “It’s great to be able to retain another promising Scottish back three.
“Ollie is another young player with a lot of talent and promise. He had a number of strong outings during last year’s U20s Six Nations and has impressed in our environment this season.
“He has developed well this season and we look forward to seeing him continue to take his chances in the coming weeks.”