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Young Gun: Kaleem Barreto – Glasgow scrum-half

Kaleem Barreto is not sure which version of the game he will be playing this season just yet but one thing is for certain he wants it to lead him to a professional contract with Glasgow.

The 18-year-old left Glenalmond College last summer and is now a stage-3 academy player at the Warriors training full-time for his first season of senior rugby.

Able to play at scrum-half or on the wing, his skills and speed attributes were picked up by the Scotland Sevens coaches who asked him to link up with the squad as they gear up towards the World Series.

Not sure what will come of it, the 5ft 8in and 12st 11lbs Barreto might end up playing on loan in the Scottish Premiership but he is looking at the bigger picture.

“It doesn’t matter where or how I play my rugby this season,” he told The Rugby Paper. “All I know is that I want to end the season with my first professional contract with Glasgow.

“I’ve started the second block of training with the Sevens squad and it’s very enjoyable. The World Series is a long way away but I guess I’ll know where I stand with them if I’m asked to come back for the next block in a couple of weeks.

“Sevens is great to develop your skills and a few players have showed that you can have a very good season on the circuit and then get a contract. That’s what George Horne and Jamie Farndale did so that could be a way into professional rugby.

“If it doesn’t come off, I’ll go back to Glasgow and probably play for Marr in the Premiership. Both Marr and the Sevens circuit will be good for me regardless, so I’ll just give my whole to whoever picks me and hope that’s enough to secure that contract I’ve been dreaming about.”

Barreto was born in Portugal with his father hailing from Mozambique but the family moved to his mother’s home country in Scotland when he was only three years old.

Impressing while playing for Glenalmond College, he was selected for the Scotland U16s and U19s teams in the past couple of years and he is now targeting the U20s.

He added: “I won’t be able to play for the U20s next season because my birthday is only 11 days after the cut off dates so this season is my one and only opportunity to get in the squad.

“I’m quite strong for my size so that might help me bridge the age gap this year and I’ve also played a bit of senior rugby.

“I’m going to be training full time for the first time in my career but it’s going well so far. I guess the biggest thing for me will be to keep my performance level at a high standard all season.

“At this level you can’t afford to not work hard in training and hope to play well in the games. It’s not school rugby anymore and being at my best week in week out is what the Warriors will expect from me if they are to offer me that contract.”

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