Alex Samuel feels the benefit of more time in the saddle with Glasgow Warriors

21-year-old has enjoyed renewing partnership with his old age-grade boiler-house buddy Max Williamson in recent

Alex Samuel is feeling the benefit of regular game time with Glasgow Warriors. Image: © Craig Watson - www.craigwatson.co.uk
Alex Samuel is feeling the benefit of regular game time with Glasgow Warriors. Image: © Craig Watson - www.craigwatson.co.uk

ALEX SAMUEL says he and Glasgow Warriors second-row partner Max Williamson are loving every chance they get to represent the club they grew up supporting as they take their first steps in senior professional rugby.

The two 21-year-olds impressed in a 19-9 URC victory over Benetton on Saturday as Warriors became the first team in a year to beat the Italians in Treviso amid difficult weather conditions.

Samuel and Williamson, who came through the ranks together for Glasgow and with Scotland youth sides, packed down together at URC level for the first time against the Dragons a fortnight ago, and revived that boiler room partnership this weekend in Italy to help a youthful side control the line-out.

The pair are among a number of youngsters who have had more chances to start recently with Warriors missing 18 players between injury and Six Nations duties.


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“It’s awesome to be getting a few opportunities. I’m good mates with Max and we’re both buzzing every time we get to put the shirt on, because we’ve been fans of the club a long time,” Samuel said.

“It’s good we can take feedback week on week and keep working on our games. We’re still quite new to professional rugby but it’s awesome doing it together.”

Samuel has made eight appearances for Warriors this season, starting four games, as he takes advantage of the absence of stalwarts Scott Cummings, Richie Gray and JP Du Preez.

He was one of several young Scots to star in Italy, with Franco Smith picking out flanker Euan Ferrie (22) and replacement hooker Gregor Hiddleston (21) for praise after the game and half-back partners Jamie Dobie (22) and Ross Thompson (24) also standing out.

“It’s awesome, especially with a lot of internationals away. We hadn’t won there since 2020, so it’s been a four-year gap for us. The atmosphere in the changing room afterwards was class,” said Samuel.

“There wasn’t much wind, but it was a tough pitch. It had rained for the previous three days there, so the ball was very wet. And it was very muddy, so we had to win the game in a different way.

 

 

“I think it was just about going back to our process,” Samuel said of Benetton’s second-half fight-back from 12-0 down to 12-9.

“We had talked about it all week  don’t really worry about what they’re bringing, it’s just about in defence getting in at the tackle and sticking in in attack.

“There wasn’t much attacking to do. It was about getting our kicking game right and then taking advantage when we got opportunities.”

It was an attention-grabbing result for Warriors as they ended Benetton’s long unbeaten home run and earned an eighth win in 11 league games.

That saw Smith’s side tighten their grip on the playoff spots, as they went top of the table for the afternoon before wins for Leinster and the Bulls dropped them back to third, four points behind the Irish league leaders and eight clear of rivals Edinburgh below them in fourth.

“We don’t look at the table too much,” said Samuel. “But it was nice to go top and hopefully we can keep building towards a big play-off push in the URC and Europe.”

 


URC: Benetton v Glasgow: gritty Warriors secure rare win at Stadio Monigo

3 Comments

  1. Surely now the south African lock should be on his way out, don’t want him coming back in and disrupting either Samuel or Williamson’s gametime

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    • Which one? And who takes up a position in the 2nd row if one of Samuel of Williamson gets injured? You’re not really looking at the big picture.

      I’d like to see Samuel and Williamson get more game time over Manjezi and Du Preez because they become better players than them rather than us forcing out them out. Competition breeds better players.

      I suspect our 2 young Scottish locks have learnt a lot from our south African forwards, especially with Gray and Cummings regularly being away for international duty… you need that experience.

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    • You’ll need to have 6 front line locks if 2 are away on international duty, expected injuries, succession planning for big Richie retiring and Smiths choice of 6-2 bench.

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