The Glasgow Warrior made his Test debut in Argentina in 2022
Scotland full-back Ollie Smith
Date of birth 7 August 2000 Born Prestwick Position Full-back Club Glasgow Warriors Country Scotland
How did you get involved in rugby?
I was taken by my dad at seven years old. He’d failed to get my brother into sport a couple of years before me, so I was the next one! I played for Marr all the way through primary school and a bit of secondary school, then I moved to Ayr.
So your dad is a big rugby fan?
He got me involved and took me around to games. Now I’m playing for Glasgow there are probably only one or two games he’s missed.
He’s sacrificed quite a lot, to send me to boarding school, Strathallan, and travel to games. One of the reasons I enjoy playing is to give back to him.
Who was your childhood hero?
I loved watching Quade Cooper when I was a kid. I’d watch his best moments or best steps on YouTube. He was massive for the Wallabies when I was in my early teens and was a role model for how I want to play.
What would you say your position is?
I see myself as primarily a full-back, but I’m comfortable playing across the back-line. At school I played mostly at 13. I feel very settled at full-back but can cover multiple positions.
What are your strengths?
I’d say my running game, my ability to beat the first defender or beat a player with footwork. I can have a big kicking game if the ball drop goes all right. But my running threat is the biggest part of my game.
Is the ball drop a work-on?
I’ve been working on that for years! As a full-back my high ball is a work-on and basics like the catch-pass and positional stuff.
When did you link up with Glasgow?
When I left school. I was in the academy for a year and a half, then signed my first pro contract in January last year.
What are your goals going forward?
To keep my form going and have belief in myself to play the sort of game I can play and have played, and not get bogged down in results or mistakes or anything in the background.
Are you studying?
I’m doing a business with accounting degree through the Open University. It’ll be good to have a qualification at the end of it.
RW Verdict: Glasgow’s Young Player of the Year, he played through the Scotland age groups and won his first senior cap against the Pumas having earned a place in Gregor Townsend’s squad following a breakout 2022.
This article originally appeared in Rugby World magazine’s August 2022 edition.
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