Jamie Bhatti hopes to have given Scotland Six Nations headache for England clash

The prop hit 100 appearances for Glasgow but was disappointed at not being involved for his country

Out of the disappointment at not featuring for Scotland so far in these Six Nations, Jamie Bhatti sought solace back on familiar territory and ended up experiencing a career highlight in the process.

If it came as a surprise to many that it was Alec Hepburn rather than Bhatti selected as blindside back-up for the matches against Wales and France, then the man himself was similarly caught out.

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Bhatti is not the most outspoken of characters but he is a man who wears his heart on his sleeve, making it not difficult to detect his frustration at having not been given the chance to add to his 34 caps so far this year.

Jamie Bhatti helped Glasgow Warriors overcome Dragons at Scotstoun.Jamie Bhatti helped Glasgow Warriors overcome Dragons at Scotstoun.
Jamie Bhatti helped Glasgow Warriors overcome Dragons at Scotstoun.

The 30-year-old didn’t want to say too much about the conversation he shared with head coach Gregor Townsend but hopes the door remains ajar for him to play some part in the three remaining games. Needing to get minutes into his legs, Bhatti took the opportunity to play for Glasgow against Dragons on Saturday night and hopes his display will have enhanced his prospects of featuring against England next weekend.

“I’m disappointed not to have played so far,” he said of his Six Nations experience. “I love being in that environment and playing for Scotland. I love helping when I can but it’s been quite difficult to take this time. I’ve got to be honest there. It was a bit of a surprise [not to be in the squad for either game]. I spoke to Gregor and had the conversations that needed to be had. But that was it really. I don’t want to go too much into it.

“I wanted to play for Glasgow regardless. I knew I hadn’t played since the Toulon game so I was champing at the bit to get some gametime. I’ve hopefully put my hand up for Scotland this week. I’ve had minutes and maybe given them a wee bit of a headache for selection. We’ll see. Fingers crossed.”

Bhatti’s appearance against Dragons was a milestone one as he racked up a century of appearances over his two spells at Scotstoun. And he admitted being asked to lead the team out was a moment that will stay with him. “I said to the boys after the game that it was probably the highlight of my career so far,” he added. “It was the proudest I’ve ever felt leading the boys out of the tunnel on the night. It was emotional.

“I joked to the others that I’m not captain material and I’ll probably never captain the club so for me leading the team out before the game was pretty special. It was never really one of my goals to be a centurion. But I’ve been very lucky that I’ve not been injured and that plays a massive part in it.”

A reminder that time waits for no man came in the form of a pre-match highlights reel. “Before the warm-up they put up a few clips of me playing from through the years,” Bhatti revealed. “I was thinking how quick I was back in the day! I was getting some good carries, bumping folk out the way. And was I thinking, ‘where’s that gone to?!’ Just getting older and slower, that’s what happens. But I can scrum now and couldn’t back then.”