IT isn’t where he wants to be, but George Horne is determined to make the most of getting some regular game-time for Glasgow Warriors during this Six Nations window in order to elbow his way back into international contention.
The 26-year-old was a regular member of the Scotland squad from his debut during the summer of 2018 up until the start of this Six Nations campaign, but has now found himself out frozen out after Ben White of London Irish and Ben Vellacott of Edinburgh were called up by Gregor Townsend last month instead to provide back-up to Ali Price at scrum-half.
Horne admits that he was disappointed to miss out, but is determined to push his way back up the international pecking order by helping Warriors push on in the United Rugby Championship. He has started the team’s last two games – wins over Connacht and Munster – and is hoping to retain the No 9 jersey for Saturday evening’s visit of Benetton to Scotstoun.
“There are a lot of games in this window, more than we expected at the start of the year [due to several re-arranged fixtures due to Covid], and to get two wins so far against the Irish teams has been great, so we’re happy with that,” he said.
“It’s, obviously, been great to get a couple of starts, a good few minutes under the belt, and I’ve been pretty happy with how it’s gone,” he added. “The team is playing well and I’ve tried to bring what I’m good at which is to try to speed the game up and get the attack going. I’ve really enjoyed it.”
With Scotland still having three Six Nations games to play – against France at Murrayfield next Saturday, followed by Italy and Ireland away on 12th and 19th March, respectively – Horne has given up hope on adding to his cap tally this Spring.
“The door is always open, and it’s happened before,” he reasoned. “But you try not to think about that. All you can do is pitch up for your club and put in the best performance possible. If that [a call-up] comes then great. At the moment, it’s just about winning as many games as we can for Glasgow.
“We’re sitting third now in the URC with the top five teams separated by a point or so, so every weekend is massive.
“We’re under no illusions about that this week. Benetton won the Rainbow Cup last year so they are a team you need to play your best rugby against to get a result. We want to keep our recent momentum going from the last few weeks.”