Glasgow sign tighthead prop Patrick Schickerling from Exeter

Patrick Schickerling
Patrick Schickerling in action for current club Exeter. Image courtesy Glasgow Warriors.

EXETER tighthead Patrick Schickerling will head north in the summer after signing a three -year deal with Glasgow. The 25-year-old from Namibia believes that he – and the Warriors – can continue to make progress over the coming seasons, and explained that belief made his decision to leave the south-west of England for Scotstoun an easy one.

“I’m very excited,” Schickerling, the club’s first signing for next season, told “I believe that my best years are still ahead of me, and Ithink that Glasgow’s style of play will suit me down to the ground – I enjoy my set-piece work, but I love to get my hands on the ball and I’d say I’m not your typical tight-head, so I’m keen to get involved as much as I can.

“I think Glasgow is one of the best places to be playing right now, which is why I’ve committed to a long-term deal. Talking to Franco [Smith] and the coaching team, the fact that this club is so closely linked to the community is a massive selling point for me, and I’m excited to join a club that’s intent on challenging for domestic and European honours.

“I’ve been watching Glasgow a lot in the URC and in Europe this year, and the club is on a really exciting journey. It was an easy decision to make when the offer came in – now I’m looking forward to meeting everyone and getting stuck in this summer.”

Head coach Smith said: “We’re pleased to welcome Patrick to the club as we continue to make preparations for the 2024/25 season. He is a strong ball-carrier and someone who will bring a unique set of characteristics to our playing group.

“He is someone who we believe has a great deal of potential, and is a player with whom we are excited to work and help to develop into the best version of himself.”


About Stuart Bathgate 1363 Articles
Stuart has been the rugby correspondent for both The Scotsman and The Herald, and was also The Scotsman’s chief sports writer for 14 years from 2000.


  1. This is has been happening for years why the big deal now.There is no pathway from academy to pro teams for front row.I could name you 20 front row boys released from the academy in the past 5 years.The sru invested serious time and money in these boys.Sorry but why would Patrick schickering want to sign for glasgow to be 3 choice tight head.Its game time all these none starting academy/second string props at glasgow and Edinburgh need.Edinburgh signed D’Arcy rae tight head prop.Has he featured no he is 4 choice.This is just another part of scottish rugby that needs fixed.What about the young tight head props playing super six are none of them fit for purpose.The system is broke it needs fixed.We don’t spend time developing young props we just but them that’s how the sru work

    • Agree Oracle as it seems such a waste of front row talent as Dobson and GT rather spend millions importing players and our young talent are cast aside or left not playing and stagnating. Superbly fit physically but not match fit and no doubt as is coming to light more and more is the impact on mental health and well being. The signing of Rae who played 50 odd games for Bath and was playing in the top 14 makes no sense at all. Someone in the SRU had to have approved this signing but it is utterly pointless for the player and the club if he is not playing.

  2. Serious question….can somebody tell me when the golden age of State school rugby happened? I think that I must have blinked or been out of the room when it came along. Please note that I am not being facetious in asking this question but it comes from almost twenty years working in sport including the development of School to Club links. I could go into some detail but suffice to say that however well intentioned the schemes were they were resource hungry and results moderate to poor. It also seems to me that PE does not figure highly in the curriculum and ally that to Scotland’s legendary poor dietary issues it would appear that sport in general faces an uphill battle.
    I contend that if rugby is to develop and thrive then a new approach to player development needs to be considered. If we continue to do the same things but expect different results then we truly are the embodiment of Einstein’s definition of madness.
    My final thought….look for athletes who could become rugby players. If you look into the background of many current players, particularly in the English Premiership , they have a background in sports that develop skills both mental and physical which are applicable to rugby. If we cast our mind back to the 1982 Australian Rugby League tour we can see probably one of the best examples still of superb athletes who just happened to play rugby. They wiped the floor with anything that got in their way.
    In short doing the same things in the same way leads to the same results… 6N trophy soon, dismal RWC performances, resources financial and physical squandered, etc
    I admit freely that I am not clever enough to produce an off the shelf answer but I do know that what is happening now isn’t it.
    I’m now going to lie down in a darkened room!
    Good luck to the boys on Saturday.

    • I believe state school rugby came to an end in 1985, when Margaret Thatcher stopped paying teachers for extra circular after school activities like rugby. Maybe older subscribers to this forum can confirm

      • correct Andy.
        Thatcher p*ssed off the teachers big time, they stopped doing extra curricular stuff as part of protest/work to rule. Many decided the extra time with their own families was a better choice and never went back to it, so a long term loss to schools, kids and rugby

      • An older subscriber here! We did extracurricular sports, state schools, with the kids during lunch break, after school and Saturday mornings back in those days. We didn’t get paid as it was expected of you, certainly as a PE teacher, and we enjoyed it though it was tough going sometimes especially when we had our own matches to play in the afternoons..
        I’m not aware of any one being paid for after school activities in the state system.

    • I can only say that in the 70s most state schools played rugby as I can think of plenty state schools that I played against that no longer play at all. As one of those older subscriber I can say that Andy is absolutely right.

  3. Are there no young TH Scots that would benefit from three years at Glasgow, yes I know he’s oven ready… but perhaps a little baking of our own wouldn’t go a miss 🤷‍♂️

  4. I saw him a few times last season and he’s a pretty dynamic ball carrying prop. He doesn’t seemed to have featured this season and so clearly looking for a fresh start. He was actually picked for the England squad that toured Australia in 2022 but wasn’t capped. Maybe Franco has unearthed another hidden gem ala Vailanu. We will see.

    • He went that tour, but EJ’s blushes were spared by not fielding the guy because he wasn’t eligible to play for England and didn’t become EQ until late 2023….!

  5. Problem is the rugby playing population in Scotland is tiny in a football mad country. Until this changes then we will have to go overseas to get players of sufficient Quality. Unless we get rugby into state schools then we are doomed to repeat the process.The SRU are not always to blame for everything.

    • It used to be tennis courts across Scotland were busy when Andy Murray was in contention at Wimbledon, then tennis disappeared from the airwaves for most of the next 12 months and people lost interest. Cricket was the fastest growing sport in Scotland when an exciting Ashes series was shown live on Channel 4, then it went to Sky and interest evaporated. There’s no doubt success in the 6 Nations would bolster interest in the game, as coverage is free to air, but winning and keeping interest at a high level are crucial to stopping player numbers dropping, never mind growing participation. Easier said than done, but maybe fresh leadership at the SRU can devise a plan to get more kids playing and watching rugby.

    • The SRU are indeed not to blame for everything, but when almost all of the players who ‘graduate’ their academy are released instead of signed, there’s either something wrong with their initial selection or there’s another issue that it would be nice to have clarification on.

      There have been a number of Tighthead props who have come through the academy in the last number of years who have looked good at U20s level even in otherwise mostly poor age-grade teams – Euan McLaren, Mak Wilson, Moby Ogunlaja to name a few – but none have any Pro Team appearances for Edinburgh or Glasgow let alone have signed a contract.

      The SRU aren’t to blame for the small pool of players available, although they could do more to support clubs engaging with schools, but they are blame when they squander potentially promising talent by not giving them any chances.

    • The reason we have a small playing pool is that we delete 95% of our players from development programmes by the age of 15! Ireland keep as many players developing as possible and minimise the spend on foreign players. With a loss of £10 million on our highest ever revenue year we should not be buying in any more foreign players. We only need to populate 2 pro sides yet 2/3 of the pro players are from out with Scotland. We are literally discriminating against our own players for being Scottish because there’s no money to be made from them in scouting Ur recruitment the way there is with SH players. When Leinster n Ulster were short of players post RWC they dipped into Irish club rugby to make up the numbers….. Glasgow signed Peterson which blocked Samuel and Williamson from getting meaningful game time…..which strategy will be more sustainable and produce best long term benefits??!! We have talented players but it’s a deliberate strategy to deny them the game time they need to develop so we can pretend we need to import players (at huge cost).

      • What you don’t mention is the investment made by Irish Rugby in keeping that talent in the pathway.

        A large percentage starts in private, fee paying schools in Leinster who either have kids developing that their parents pay for or they receive a scholarship if their parents can’t and they show a lot of promise.

        It then goes to university level or they are farmed out to the AIL Div 1/2 for development. Ireland has a thriving pathway because of their provincial model, the crossover from Gaelic sport helps immensely in developing proper footballers.

        But all of the above comes from private/public funding mainly with Provinces/IRFU holding the purse strings.

        Scotland does not have any of that structure nor the cash as the SRU are technically broke and operating beyond their means. Any cash reserves we did have has been blown on fantasy projects that have borne no fruit whatsoever (Super 6/ American rugby, bonuses and “experts” etc.)

  6. Great news for those who hate to see young Scottish players getting a sniff. Why don’t we just ban all Scots under 23 and be done….maybe change the national kit to a few thing green colour…..

  7. Why though? Scotland’s lack of depth at Tighthead has been revealed in this international window yet the SRU have signed another non-SQ player in this key position rather than bringing through a young Scottish player. And for 3 years no less, taking it right up to the next World Cup. Mindless.

    Wonder what John McGuigan makes of it with his rhetoric about improving the pathway for Scottish players?

    • its perfectly possible to bring someone in who is ready to play at pro level And develop younger props. Despite repeated long term injuries Glasgow invested in Murphy Walker, still do. But if his situation continues what next? The key is being ready to play top level. Norrie is in the Glasgow academy, if he continues to scrum as last week for the U2os he will be knocking on the door soon enough. Meantime I expect one of Pieretto or Sordoni to exit

      • Yes, it is possible and hopefully this means that one of (or ideally both) the Argentine players are moving on at the end of the season. Nothing against them but they need to if there’s going to be a place for Scottish talent to come through.
        Norrie has definitely looked good at this level but so did Ogunlaja and Wilson at U20s and neither were signed. I understand that players need to be ready to play top level but if there’s only been one player (Murphy Walker) from the last 10+ Tighthead Props in the academy who is ready to take that step then there’s something wrong with the selection or training of these players. Even Italy seem to be having more success in that area than Scotland and they’re traditionally just as football mad a country as Scotland.

      • Septic Murphy Walker is Sean Lineens nephew and he has had special treatment because even though he was rotten in the U20s he still got contracted. He also has nearly as many full Scotland caps as starting caps with Glasgow. He struggled playing in the S6 but that is all part of him learning his trade as he is obviously one of the SRUs elites fabled sons.

    • @ Alan Mann.

      s’funny all the whinges about giving anyone a chance, but one is given a chance and its corrupt, eh?
      I know they are related. I also know that many on here were livid that the SRU treatment of Sean Lineen. Just maybe he didn’t have the sway you insinuate. All conspiracy theories and smears is Trumpland

      Did Romaine Ntmack get picked because of his father? Ditto Penaud? Or Roumat at Toulouse? Or Sleighthome at Northampton? oh and did Finn Russell get picked up because of his father? I could go on but no point when dealing with bitter little conspiracy theories

      • Fully agree. Conspiracy theories don’t help, especially in this kind of situation where it involves a young player who should get our support rather than finding ways to critique him based on unfounded claims.

      • Septic there were better props than Walker around at the same time and he was a loosehead who got mullered at U20 level so they then converted him to TH.

        I watched him in the flesh get mullered in the S6 by a drafted club player and he was already a full internationalist!! He was also one of the select few who got sent to Strathallan on an SRU scholarship.

        We all agree that Sean was treated badly but he had been part of the SRU furniture prior to the arrival of Malinder who would not even move to Scotland but was happy to push out the door a man who moved here from the other side of the world.

        Prior to this however Sean was an important SRU employee and held many key roles after being pushed out of Glasgow to give Townsend what he wanted. Under 20s coach, Head of International Age-Grade, Head of Academies etc.

        I am no Donald Trump or into conspiracy theories but Gregor likes ball playing athletic forwards. Murphy fits that bill but he is a prop that is not very good at propping whereas others who were better than him have been discarded. I am old school and I want players to be very good at their job within the team and anything else is a bonus.

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