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Young Gun: Sam Thomson – Glasgow lock

Sam ThomsonSam Thomson is back in Glasgow and he is desperate to prove he has what it takes to follow in the footsteps of his old pal Jonny Gray and break into the Warriors first team.

Playing alongside the precocious Gray in their teenage years, their path took different direction out of school and, while Gray was immediately involved with the Warriors and went on to represent Scotland aged only 19, Thomson journey took him to England, New Zealand and France over the past five years.

But he’s back home and he is looking to use the Scottish Premiership as a stepping stone for the Pro12.

He told The Rugby Paper: “I wasn’t sure I wanted to pursue a career in rugby so I went to University in Worcester and after I left I went to New Zealand.

“I ended up playing the 2015 season for Dan Carter’s old club Southbridge and on the back of that I moved to Perpignan and played in the Espoir competition.

“It went great down in France but they weren’t good in integrating young players in the first team so I never played in the ProD2.

“Then the opportunity to come back to Glasgow came up and I jumped on it. They’re definitely looking after their youngster and if you’re good enough you get a shot as Jonny Gray proved.

“We used to play together when we were 15 or 16 and it’s great to see how fast he’s moved up since. He’s worked very hard but it shows what you can achieve and that’s great to see.

“I should train with the main Warriors squad two or three days a week and from there I hope to break into the team. If I’m not needed I’ll play for the Glasgow Hawks in the Premiership.

“Hopefully I can dominate that league and prove to myself and the Warriors that I deserve to get a chance with the first team in the Pro12.”

It was a long journey for the 22-year-old but playing abroad gave him the opportunity to experience different style of rugby.

He added: “Playing in New Zealand was very interesting. There’s a lot of Fijian boys and Islanders playing and it’s a completely different style of rugby and I picked up a lot of things.

“The focus is on the set piece in Europe but in New Zealand they just love to run with the ball and the big boys always get involved with one-handed offloads and the rest of it. It was awesome to experience it first-hand.

“In France, it was all about the physicality and the emotion. They’re passionate people to say the least. Playing week-in week-out in the U22s competition was great.

“Now I’m back in Glasgow I hope to take all that experience with me and prove I’m serious about rugby and push on.”

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