Why Glasgow Warriors feels like home for Jamie Bhatti after a tough couple of years
The loosehead left Scotstoun for Edinburgh after the 2019 Pro14 final but his time in the capital was not particularly happy and his contract was cut short in January to allow him to join Bath for the remainder of last season.
He felt his time in the English Premiership was hugely beneficial but Glasgow is where he wants to be - and where he’d like to stay, if possible.
“I love Glasgow, I love being back, and Glasgow is home for me,” he said. “It would be easy for me to sit here and say I would love to be at Glasgow for the rest of my career but ultimately that is not my decision. I can’t offer myself a contract, although I wish I could. But I will do all I can to be the best version of myself again. We will see what happens.”
Bhatti had the first competitive outing of his second spell at the Warriors when he came on as a second-half replacement in last Friday’s narrow defeat by Ulster in Belfast. There were lots of good things for Glasgow to take from the game - including two bonus points - but the prop was also left frustrated.
“We were really close, it was just a couple of mistakes,” he said. “These mistakes happen, it’s the game we play, a couple of knock-ons and... you never want to blame the referee, do you?”
Next up for the Warriors is a home game on Saturday against South African side the Sharks who’ll be missing a clutch of star names who are on Springboks duty against New Zealand in the Rugby Championship. Siya Kolisi, Sbu Nkosi, Lukhanyo Am, Makazole Mapimpi and Ox Nché will all be lining up against the All Blacks rather than Glasgow.
“It would be good to play against those guys,” Bhatti said. “It would be good to test yourself against the best. But we will take anyone, on our home patch as well.
“They will have a big pack, won't they? They are renowned for having good forwards and big ball-carriers so it will be a physical game. But that's good for us, we have a big pack, we have a good scrum, good lineout and good drive. We back ourselves against anyone.”
While his time at Bath was short, Bhatti feels it sharpened up his scrummaging skills and was particularly welcome after tough times at Edinburgh.
“I played 10 times [for Bath] and I definitely developed set-piece wise. The experience of playing in the Premiership and playing against Harlequins and the top teams, it was good for me to get that experience and bring it back up here. A change of scenery as well is always good.
“I am back at Glasgow and I am grateful for the opportunity to come back here. I want to play as much rugby as I can this season. It has been a tough couple of years, leaving Edinburgh and things not really working out at Edinburgh.
“But I am happy being back here, I am comfortable here, and the more I play the more confident I will get as well.”
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