Impressive displays earn Alex Dunbar new contract at Glasgow
AFTER two years of striving to make his mark in professional rugby, Alex Dunbar has been rewarded for grasping his opportunity in recent weeks with a new contract.
Sean Lineen, the Glasgow head coach, was still finalising his squad for the handover to new coach Gregor Townsend next season when Dunbar was given a long-awaited start in the Warriors midfield.
Originally from Lockerbie, the powerful centre moved from Annan RFC to Selkirk as the Borders club pushed into Premier One to step up his education alongside his academy work, and it paid off with a pro contract. However, chances to start for Glasgow have been few and there was a fear he could follow other young talents in being squeezed out of Scotland’s narrow professional game.
However, Dunbar continued to impress Lineen in training and, when handed the chance last month, turned in good displays in wins over the Ospreys and Aironi before a tremendous try-scoring performance in Friday night’s win against Cardiff. He moved position to replace the injured Graeme Morrison at inside centre, and earned the ‘Man of the Match’ award.
Those performances clinched a new two-year deal, and Dunbar said: “I’m delighted.
“The team and club are in a strong position to make further progress in the next couple of years. I’ve really enjoyed working with and learning from the players and coaches. The performances we’ve put in this season show just how good an environment has been created.
“There’s a great buzz around the club about the opportunity to finish strongly in the RaboDirect Pro12, and everyone is determined to keep winning for ourselves and the supporters.”
Lineen commented: “I’m really happy that Alex has decided his future is with the Warriors. His ability has always been clear, and he’s benefiting from getting a run in the side to prove to the wider audience that he can more than hold his own at this level.
“His displays in the Ospreys, Aironi and Cardiff matches have been very exciting to watch. He’s got power and pace and he’s also an elusive runner when he gets up that head of steam.
“There’s plenty more to come from Alex if he keeps working hard at his game, and I’m delighted that the Warriors are going to feel the benefit of that.”
Dunbar’s signing takes to 18 the number of existing Warriors out of contract this summer who have re-signed, ahead of the move to Scotstoun.
Dunbar has represented Glasgow at every age-group level between under-14 and under-18 and now has 18 appearances in the RaboDirect Pro12, and one try, and with Morrison unlikely to recover in time to face Munster in Limerick on 14 April, Dunbar will remain a key player. Glasgow also have Treviso away (22 April) and then Connacht at home (5 May) to decide whether they reach the play-offs.
The Warriors management have also linked up that final match at Firhill in the evening with the Emirates Airline Glasgow Sevens at Scotstoun on the afternoon of 5 May, with a joint ticket and bus transfer between the grounds.
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Saturday 18 May 2013
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