Brandon Thomson keen to kick on after signing Glasgow Warriors contract extension

South African-born stand-off is determined to establish himself as a front-line player at the club

21/01/19 Guinness Pro14 Scotstoun Stadium - Glasgow Glasgow Warriors v Ospreys Brandon Thomson pen Photo credit should read: © Craig Watson Craig Watson, 07479748060

BRANDON THOMSON, who initially arrived at Glasgow Warriors on a two-month loan deal as stand-off cover during the 2017 Six Nations, has just put pen to paper on a contract extension which will take his time at the club up to four and a half years by the time the deal concludes in the summer of 2021. And the 23-year-old South African has vowed to make full use of the opportunity head coach Dave Rennie has handed him, by finally establishing himself as a front-line player.

“In the back for every player’s mind is the question of how much game time he will get, and it comes down to yourself, and whether you are willing to push yourself,” he said. “Are you willing to work hard enough? I am. I am really looking forward to next season. We love pushing each other in the position and whoever gets the jersey at the weekend will be happy.

“Originally, I came over on a little two-month loan, during the Six Nations, then went back home, before getting the opportunity to sign a two-year deal, which is currently coming towards the end.So, I’m really excited to have signed for another two years. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed my time in Scotland so far and I really feel like my rugby has grown since being here. I’m really looking forward to the next two years.”

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Thomson was initially behind Finn Russell and Pete Horne in the Glasgow Warriors pecking order when he first rocked up at the club, and by the time Russell moved to Racing 92 last summer Adam Hastings had emerged as the heir apparent to the number ten jersey, with Horne cotinueing to flit between inside-centre and stand-off.

He has managed just eight starts and 10 replacement appearances during his time at the club but has become a more credible contender for regular game time in recent months, with a towering performance which included a personal tally of 24 points when 14-man Warriors defeated Scarlets at the start of December sending out a strong message that he is not just at the club to hold the tackle bag at training.

“Things are slowly starting to fall into place,” said Thomson, who has a British passport va his Scottish-born father. “There is still a lot to be worked on, but I am happy with the way the last couple of months have gone and I hope to build on that.

When asked which areas specifically he feels he has improved, Thomson replied: “My general game management –which is a lot is to do with Dave Rennie helping out on little things – and my skill-level is definitely better, and my kicking out of hand.”

Thomson added that playing in Scottish weather conditions has forced him to think more about the game and work hard on key fundamentals, but also pointed out that Glasgow’s general style is not too different to what he was used to growing up in South Africa’s Mpumalanga province.

“It is a pretty quick game with the 4G pitch, and a lot of teams have 4G pitches,” he said. “Initially coming over, I thought it would he slower but to my surprise I thought it was just as quick. I am really happy about it.”

Warriors head coach Dave Rennie welcomed the re-signing.

“Brandon is a good man and has worked really hard to give us coaches a selection headache this season in a highly competitive position,” he said.

“He’s played a big part in some massive games for us this year and is continuing to learn and develop his game. We look forward to seeing more of that over the next two seasons.”

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About David Barnes 3956 Articles
David has worked as a freelance rugby journalist since 2004 covering every level of the game in Scotland for publications including he Herald/Sunday Herald, The Sunday Times, The Telegraph, The Scotsman/Scotland on Sunday/Evening News, The Daily Record, The Daily Mail/Mail on Sunday and The Sun.