Peter Horne glad to be part of Glasgow future
PETER Horne has admitted that his decision to sign a new long-term deal keeping him at Glasgow until at least May 2017 was a “no brainer”.
The 24-year-old touched down in Warriors’ epic 22-20 success over champions Leinster in Glasgow’s maiden outing of the new Guinness Pro12 campaign, at Scotstoun, last Saturday.
The Glasgow star has battled back bravely from an anterior cruciate ligament injury he sustained in Scotland’s 30-17 loss against South Africa last summer.
Now Horne’s versatility in plying his flair game at stand-off or left-centre have made him an integral part of Gregor Townsend’s squad where his quick hands and ability to find space have made him a key member of Glasgow’s backs.
As he reflected on his side’s growth both on and off the field of play, it was clear that Horne, who has made 64 appearances for Warriors, since he made his debut against Ulster in March 2009, believes Scotstoun was the only place for him.
“When you look at how Glasgow have grown both on and off the field in the last few seasons then for me it was a no brainer to sign this deal,” admitted Horne.
“Every season, the matches seem to get bigger and bigger. Obviously we had a 10,000 sell-out for our final home game of last season in the play-off semi against Munster and then there were nearly 6,000 for the opener this time around with Leinster.
“So it’s great that the fan base is growing as it is, but when you look at the competition for places in the team then that is also really fierce.
“We may have been without Duncy Weir and Finn Russell on Saturday but we still had a British Lion in Stuart Hogg coming off the bench to fill in at 10 when I went off. For me that really tells you just how much quality of depth we now have at Glasgow and we will need all of that over the coming season.
“So Glasgow is a great club and they have put their faith in me and stuck by me when I was injured and it’s the perfect place for me to develop.”
The five times capped Scotland international also has no doubt about the importance of that opening day success against Leinster and the type of platform it has given Glasgow as they prepare to march on the Welsh capital to meet Cardiff Blues on Sunday.
“Any win against Leinster is a massive one and although it got a bit nervy at the end, the main thing is that we found a way to win and that sets us up for the trip to Cardiff,” admitted Horne.
He continued: “You can’t underestimate the importance of a good start and last season we won our first five games, so to beat the defending champions gives a lot in terms of self-belief and confidence going forward.
“Also the way we managed to keep hold of the ball for the last six minutes to manufacture the penalty for [Stuart Hogg] Hoggy was really pleasing.
“We kept our composure and held our nerve in a pressure situation and we got our reward with the victory.
“Any win against Leinster is something that you have to work really hard for but we know that it is going to be the same again at the Arms Park on Sunday.”
Although he started the Leinster game at 10, the former Howe of Fife player is equally comfortable at centre.
Indeed last season his centre partnership with Alex Dunbar was viewed as the premier pairing at the heart of the backline by the Warriors’ coaching staff with Horne very much the rapier to Dunbar’s bludgeon.
Although the versatile back suffered a knee knock against Matt O’Connor’s men, Horne is expected to be available for the trip to face Cardiff.
Sunday’s meeting with a Blues side who defeated Glasgow in both their pool encounters of the Heineken Cup last season, but were bested by Warriors home and away in Pro12 action, could well be a meaty encounter up front.
“I thought our forwards were fantastic against Leinster and they really helped us get quick ball for Henry [Pyrgos] at nine and that made life pretty easy for me at first receiver,” said Horne.
He continued: “But you look at the pack that Cardiff put out against Zebre and they had Adam Jones and Matthew Rees in the front row and the huge Samoan international Filo Paulo in the second row and they will be a handful.
“Obviously our results against Cardiff were mixed last season so we know how tough this one will be and with it being their first home game they will be determined to build on their win at Zebre.
“But you know that there are no easy games in the Pro12.”
Meanwhile, former Dalziel and Glasgow Hawks prop Gary Strain has signed a one-month training contract with Glasgow, after spending last season at Aviva Premiership side, Newcastle Falcons.
The 26-year-old, who spent two seasons at RC Massy in France, will be available to play for Glasgow Hawks when he’s not involved with Gregor Townsend’s squad.