OLLIE SMITH has graduated from a Stage Three Scottish Rugby Academy contract to a full-time deal with Glasgow Warriors for an undisclosed period of time.
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.
Former Scotland Under-20s cap, Smith, made his debut for the club in the closing stages of January’s 23-22 victory over Edinburgh at Scotstoun. After leaving Strathallan school in the summer of 2018, Smith played a season with hometown club Ayr in the Tennents Premiership, then Ayrshire Bulls during the first season of Super6 in 2019-20.
He played two seasons for Scotland Under-20s, scoring two tries against New Zealand in the 2019 World Rugby Junior Championship in Argentina, and was then an ever-present during the 2020 Six Nations campaign, crossing the whitewash in the 52-17 dismantling of Wales in Colwyn Bay last March.
“It’s a dream come true for me to sign for a club I’ve supported since I was young,” said the full-back/winger after agreeing terms with Warriors. “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.”
Warriors had coach Danny Wilson welcomed the signing. “It’s great to be able to retain another promising Scottish back three,” he said.
“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.”