Oli Kebble extends Glasgow stay as prop signs on until 2022

Oli Kebble helps unveil Glasgow Warriors' new home kit as he signs a contract extension at Scotstoun
Oli Kebble helps unveil Glasgow Warriors' new home kit as he signs a contract extension at Scotstoun
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Oli Kebble still had 12 months to run on his existing Glasgow Warriors contract, but he had no interest in using that time to shop around for a deal elsewhere.

When the opportunity to sign a two-year extension to his deal came along, he jumped at the chance.

“From my side, I want to stay at Warriors for as long as I can, so when the opportunity came across that we could sort something out early – sort out my security – I was happy to do that,” explained the South African prop, who is now committed to Warriors until at least the summer of 2022.

“This is one of the best team environments I have been part of," he added. "The coaching environment is unbelievable and we are obviously doing really well in the league and challenging a lot in Europe. So, from that point of view, it was a pretty easy decision.

“The city is also part of it. Glaswegian people are incredibly friendly and have been really welcoming to my partner and I, so outside of rugby it has been really good to us.”

Kebble’s three-year residency requirement to qualify to play for Scotland will be served this time next year, meaning he he is eligible to wear the thistle regardless of where he is based – but the 27-year-old says the lure of a move to England or France, where the cash runs a bit more freely, simply did not occur to him.

“I’m not thinking about it [the Scottish qualification issue] at the moment, it is not something we have talked about,” he insisted. “I do qualify in the next year, but I don’t know exactly when, and a whole season in rugby is a long time so I’m not looking that far ahead. I’m just worried about playing well for Warriors. That’s my priority.

“We stumbled at the final hurdle last year and that’s incredibly frustrating. We’ve been thinking about that game [against Leinster in the PRO14 Grand Final] for the whole of the off-season, and we obviously want to go one further this year. The whole squad is extremely hungry for a title."

At 6ft 3ins and 124kgs, Kebble is a mighty physical specimen, but he recognises that he was limited as a player when he first arrived at Scotstoun two-years ago. Now that he has properly bedded into his new environment he is looking forward to taking his career to the next level.

“I had ideas of what I was like as a player before I arrived, but very quickly you find out that northern hemisphere rugby is a bit different to Super Rugby, and I think it does take a year or so to adjust to the way everyone plays up here,” he explained.

“Set-piece wise, I have learned a lot in the last two years. South Africa has a lot of strong men with a lot of power but coming up here I have had to learn more about technique.

“Also, from an attacking and a defence point of view, the coaches have taught me a lot. It is just a completely different game from Super Rugby, I would say.”