Smith, who played at full-back in Scotland’s Six Nations win over Italy at the weekend, will return to club duties with his sights set on a double. Glasgow lie fourth in the URC with three rounds of fixtures remaining in the regular season. A top-eight finish will secure their place in the play-off quarter-finals while top four would guarantee a home tie. The Warriors take on Munster in Limerick on Saturday.
The Scotstoun club are also through to the last 16 of the Challenge Cup and will host Dragons on April 1, with a home quarter-final to come against either Lions or Racing 92 if they can see off the Welsh side. But Franco Smith, Glasgow’s head coach, is already looking beyond that, revealed the full-back.
“Franco talks about having 10 games left which would mean we would get to both finals of both competitions,” said Ollie Smith. “We certainly believe we can do that, it’s now in our hands to do that. We’ve got a good run of games, hopefully have a home stretch, certainly in Europe, and then in the play-offs, so hopefully we can get some good results.”
Glasgow went on a 10-game unbeaten run from early December which was ended by a loss to the Lions in Johannesburg in a rearranged URC match. They bounced back to hammer Zebre Parma 50-8 earlier this month but will face a far stiffer test at Thomond Park this weekend before rounding off their league fixtures with home games against Scarlets and Connacht in April. Smith is likely to be in the thick of the action, with his confidence bolstered by his first experience of playing in the Six Nations. He had to be patient, sitting out the first four matches, but he got his chance when Stuart Hogg was ruled out of the Italy game with an ankle injury. His aim now is to maintain his form and put himself in the frame for selection for Gregor Townsend’s Rugby World Cup squad.
“I was obviously chuffed to be involved in my first full Six Nations campaign,” he said. “I had to wait a bit to get a game but I was hoping it would come at some point and I’m glad it did. I can only do so much and perform my role to the best of my ability for the rest of the team and hopefully I’ve done that. World Cups are always a goal, especially as a kid you want to play at a World Cup. I’m just going to get stuck back into playing at Glasgow for the next couple of weeks and see where I am come summertime.”
Scotland will play four preparation matches before heading to the World Cup, three of which will be at Murrayfield. Townsend’s side will face Italy at home on Saturday, July 29, and then welcome France a week later, before travelling to face the French on Saturday, August 12, with the venue to be confirmed but expected to be Saint-Étienne. After a week’s break, Scotland will complete their summer programme against Georgia in Edinburgh on Saturday, August 26.