ALEX Allan believes that Glasgow’s pre-season friendlies with Harlequins and London Scottish will provide him with the perfect platform to claim a place in the Warriors’ front row for the opening league game of the Guinness PRO12 campaign against Leinster.
The powerful former Edinburgh EDP prop was one of five summer signings made by Glasgow head coach Gregor Townsend when he agreed a two-year switch to join the 1872 Cup holders.
Allan looked on with envy from along the M8 last season Finn Russell and Jonny Gray proved that at Glasgow the old adage of, “if you are good enough you are old enough” is cast in iron.
Now the 22-year-old prop is aiming to reinforce that point. “It has been a great pre-season over in France, then at St Andrews and now Scotstoun and with the announcement of the Guinness PRO12 fixtures it has really brought home that the league season is just around the corner,” said Allan.
He continued: “Having the repeat of the PRO12 final with Leinster at Scotstoun on 6 September, live on Sky Sports, is just something I am desperate to be part of.
“To do that I have to hope that I have done well enough in preparation to get involved in the friendlies with Harlequins [Saturday, 23 August, Scotstoun] and then down at Richmond against London Scottish.
“The competition for places at Glasgow is exceptional but that will only make me a better player. As a new start, making a strong beginning to the season is vital for me. Hopefully that starts with the Harlequins game.
“It will give us a real marker to set down just where we are.”
Allan, who is equally comfortable at either loose-head or tight-head, made his senior debut for Edinburgh Rugby against Munster last season in the Heineken Cup before garnering five appearances to add to his starting CV last time around.
He said: “I spoke with Jonny Gray when I was with the Scotland under-20s and he told me just how high the ambitions are at Glasgow and how strong the winning culture is at Scotstoun.
“When you look at how Jonny was given his chance and really took it, then how Finn Russell also came right through last season and started the PRO12 final against Leinster, that sends out a really positive message about your chances of making the breakthrough as a young player and a new signing.”
Reflecting on his first month with Glasgow, Allan is in no doubt that he has already built strong foundations to use to launch his bid to become a starting Warrior.
He said: “We have a lot of fitness and a lot of skill work behind us and the Scotland players are all back and we are driving forward into the friendlies.
“There are some awesome players here and hopefully I can learn from them and make a real contribution.”