Stafford McDowall signs contract extension with Glasgow Warriors

Centre's career has been given a fresh lease of life under Franco Smith this season

Stafford McDowall has signed a contract extension with Glasgow Warriors. Image: © Craig Watson -
Stafford McDowall has signed a contract extension with Glasgow Warriors. Image: © Craig Watson -

STAFFORD MCDOWALL has signed a contract extension with Glasgow Warriors which it is understood will run for two years.

The 25-year-old academy graduate made his senior debut for the Scotsoun outfit against the Southern Kings in October 2017,  penned his first senior deal with the club in December 2018, and was named Warriors’ Young Player of the Season at the end of that campaign.

He is a product of Stewartry RFC and Merchiston Castle School, and a former Scotland Under-20s captain. He was called up to the senior national squad’s training camp for the first time ahead of the 2020 Six Nations, but then struggled for game time at club level during Danny Wilson‘s tenure between the summers of 2020 and 2022, during which time he managed just eight starts in two years.

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McDowall’s career has revived this season under Franco Smith with the powerful centre winning the McCrea Financial Services Warrior of the Month award in February 2023, captaining the side on four occasions, and earning a recall to the senior Scotland training squad ahead of the recent Six Nations, although an international debut did not come his way on this occasion.

“I’m massively pleased to re-sign,” said McDowall. “To be able to continue to represent this club – my home club – is such a thing for me. I’m incredibly proud to represent this team and everyone that is part of it.

“Franco has been a huge influence on me. The whole coaching group this season has really instilled a lot of confidence back into me again, and playing on a regular basis is such an important thing for any player.

“It’s also been really cool to captain this team this year. Growing up you dream of playing for Glasgow Warriors, but captaining them was never something that crossed my mind. For Franco to give me that opportunity was a real honour. We’ve got a great group of leaders throughout this squad, though, and that’s absolutely key for us.

“I just want to say thank you to the fans, too – seeing them getting behind us home and away week in, week out is something that gives us a massive buzz, and I’m proud to represent them every time I step onto the field.”

Head coach Smith added: “Stafford is someone who has fully bought into what we are looking to build here at Scotstoun.

“He’s a key member of both our attack and defence, and someone who helps to bring out the best of his fellow Warriors.

“We know that he is someone that will give his all for this club, and we look forward to continuing to see him develop over the next couple of years.”

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About David Barnes 3908 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.


  1. Good news. I think he has really excelled this year given more opportunity. In the past few seasons he didn’t show up so well so Im not sure what has made the difference. Previously he seemed to lack physicality both in attack and defence for a guy of his stature but he’s a lot more abrasive this year so whatever has caused the change – well done.

    • He surely can’t be far off the Scotland 23… has improved exponentially under F Smith. Always had potential….says a lot about the difference a quality coach makes. If he could had a bit more bulk to his frame he could be quite the player.

  2. Sadly we will never know how good this kid should be right now in his prime because he has had so little opportunity the past few years, we have only got to see glimpses. What does this tell young upcoming home-bred true scots players? Be the best in your position in Scotland and only have a small chance of getting professional opportunities.

    A shame one-dimensional residency garbage and a fake-scot have blocked his path to more starts and international opportunities.

  3. Great news for both Glasgow and Scotland; he might have to be second fiddle to Huw Jones for club and country but what a player to have as back up. Can cover 12 or 13, is strong and with a great skill set. So pleased he now seems to have found his groove under Franco Smith, did look for a while like he might be next in a far too long a line of unfulfilled midfield promise. Would have no complaints if selected as 4th pick centre for RWC but he’ll have a tough job convincing Toony to leave Harris out.

    • One thing Stafford has in his locker that Scotland’s other centres do not – he’s a lineout “specialist”. 😎

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