GLASGOW WARRIORS have handed Murphy Walker his first senior professional contract. The 22-year-old prop, who has been a full-time member of the Scottish Rugby academy since the summer of 2018, made his Glasgow Warriors debut in October, coming off the bench in a 35-24 victory over the Cell C Sharks at Scotstoun, before retaining his spot in the match-day 23 for the win over the Emirates Lions a week later. The length of the deal has not been disclosed.
Walker can play on both sides of the front-row but is seen primarily as a tight-head. After missing the entirety of the 2020-21 season with a torn hamstring, he bounced back well playing for Stirling County in Super6 at the start of this campaign, making four appearances for the Bridgehaugh outfit and crossing for a try against Watsonians, which led to that senior call-up.
A product of Dundee Eagles, Walker captained a Strathallan School side containing future Glasgow team-mate Ollie Smith to Schools Cup glory in 2018.
“It’s been such a big thing I’ve aimed towards these last 18 months, ” said the player. “I’ve had some obstacles to overcome with my hamstring injury and for me to achieve this goal it’s been unbelievable. I’m proud to get the chance to continue to play for this club and to represent my family and my little village of Longforgan.
“Being a Glasgow Warrior means a lot, not only to me but my family, too. My parents have been behind me since day one. My dad took me to Dundee Eagles when I was a wee kid just to have fun. I never expected to be here and to be making a career out of playing rugby.
“We have a great group of guys here at the club who are always driving each other forward. Zander [Fagerson] and Oli [Kebble] have been massive for my progress at scrum time and Fraser [Brown] worked with me a lot while I was injured on my skills and set-piece. Having guys like that to learn from is amazing.
“I don’t think anything changes now I’m a full-time professional. I’ve been given this opportunity because of the work I’ve been putting in and I’m going to continue to train as hard as I can every day to stake a claim for a place in the match day 23.”
Head coach Danny Wilson added: “Murphy is a young man who has really impressed us throughout the time that he’s been in our environment.
“His attitude and willingness to put in the hard work on and off the field has been first-rate and he’s earned his opportunity this season. His drive to be a Warrior is clear for all to see.
“He’s hungry to learn from guys in his position like Zander, Simon [Berghan] and Enrique [Pieretto] who have a lot of experience and international quality, and we believe he’s going to go from strength to strength for us.”
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