Stafford McDowall hopes to repay Glasgow Warriors boss Franco Smith for resurrecting his rugby career with some big performances for the club, after signing a two-year contract extension yesterday.

The 25-year-old academy graduate and former Scotland Under-20s captain made his debut for the Scotstoun outfit against the Southern Kings in October 2017, before penning his first senior deal with the club in December 2018, and being named Warriors’ Young Player of the Season at the end of that campaign.

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He was called up to the 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.

READ MORE: Glasgow coach says Scotland 10 years behind Ireland in player development

However, the arrival of Smith at the club last summer has rekindled his passion for the game, and his performances earned a recall to the Scotland squad for the recent Six Nations, although that first cap remains elusive.

McDowall has also captained Warriors on four occasions this season, which gives an indication of the regard he is held by both the club’s coaches and team-mates.

“Franco has been a huge influence on me,” he said. “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.

Glasgow Times:

“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.

“Growing up you dream of playing for Glasgow but captaining them was never something that crossed my mind, so 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.”

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

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“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.”