AT the grand old age of 23, Stafford McDowall is in danger of looking like a geriatric in Glasgow Warriors’ youthful backline during the three matches remaining in this season – but the powerful outside centre is determined to use the games to prove that he is not anywhere near being over the hill yet.

Head coach Danny Wilson has promised to use the almost entirely meaningless Rainbow Cup clashes against Edinburgh on Saturday night, the Dragons on 29th May and Leinster on 4th June, as an opportunity to give his emerging players some valuable game time, which will at least provide some reason to pay attention to the most tedious tournament in the history of professional rugby.

As he approaches the end of his third season as a full-time pro at Warriors, McDowall clearly has a few more miles on the clock than the likes of Rufus McLean, Ollie Smith and Jamie Dobie – but still has plenty to prove after five months out with a shoulder injury.

“It’s a really good group of young backs that I am keen to be a part of so that was one of the most frustrating things about the injury,” he said. “Cole Forbes is only 21, you have Ross Thompson [22], Ollie [20], Rufus [21] and Jamie [19], as well as a few other boys who are also kicking about. “So, there are a lot of us, and we’ve not all had the chance to play together yet, but hopefully we will at some point.

“The dressing room banter has definitely changed,’ he added. “There’s not so much chat about mortgages and things like that! It’s a bit younger now.”

McDowall made a solid comeback from that injury lay-off last Friday night as part of the team which recaptured the 1872 Cup with a well-deserved 29-19 win over Edinburgh at Scotstoun and is expected to be involved when the two sides meet again this coming Saturday.

“Every game is a chance to kick-on,” he said. “Hopefully, I’ve still got two or three games left to play this season before looking ahead to next year. I want to show to Danny what I’m about with a view to next season. “If I can play like I was doing before I got injured then, hopefully, I can put my hand up for selection more often.”

“I felt at the start this was going to be a good season for me to kick on but a mix of injury and other players taking their chance just led to a lot of frustration. I’m just keeping my head down, working hard and hoping that I come out of the other end having learned a bit about myself and what I need to do to get back in the team.”