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Matt Fagerson insists signing Glasgow Warriors contract extension was ‘no-brainer’

MATT FAGERSON says that deciding to sign a contract extension with Glasgow Warriors, which will keep the back-rower at the club for an undisclosed period of time, was a “no-brainer”.  

The new deal was announced yesterday, with 23-year-old Fagerson explaining that the environment at Scotstoun and the potential of the team means he is confident that it is the best place for him to realise his international ambitions. 

Fagerson became only the second teenage forward in 67 years to be capped by Scotland when he made his international debut against the USA during the summer of 2018 but struggled up until last year to nail down a regular place in Gregor Townsend’s side.  

He picked up eight of his 17 caps to date during the last 12 months, playing in all of Scotland’s matches during 2021 apart from their final Six Nations game against France when he was injured, and is now desperate to remain a central figure in the national squad. 

Having missed out on the 2019 World Cup in Japan, his sights are trained on being involved when the next tournament takes place in France in 2023. 

He is currently in camp with the Scotland squad preparing for the start of the Six Nations against England at Murrayfield on 5th February but faces stiff competition for the No 8 jersey from Nick Haining, Magnus Bradbury (both Edinburgh) and Josh Bayliss (Bath). 

“I’m loving my time with the Warriors and to stay with a club that I feel has real ambition and is starting to build towards something special was a no brainer,” said Fagerson, who has hit a rich vein of form at club level this season as part of a formidable back-row triumvirate alongside Jack Dempsey and Rory Darge. 

“I want to go to the next World Cup and perform well for Scotland on a regular basis – I believe Glasgow will give me the platform to do that. 

“I feel I’m able to continue to develop my game here. I get to work with the likes of Rory [Darge] and Jack [Dempsey] and the coaches are helping me develop the leadership aspect of my game. 

“Everybody loves coming into work and the guys give it their all every week, and I’m happy to do the same. I can’t wait for what’s ahead.” 

Fagerson is the fifth Scotland player to put pen to paper on a deal with Glasgow beyond the end of the current season, following in the footsteps of winger Kyle Steyn, stand-off Ross Thompson, scrum-half Ali Price and older brother Zander (with whom he is part of the 48th set of siblings to wear the thistle together). 

“It’s great news that another Scotland international has re-signed with the club,” said Warriors head coach Danny Wilson. 

“Matt came through the academy system here at Glasgow and has really stepped up in recent years. 

“He’s been playing well for us and gets through a lot of work in both attack and defence. We’re excited to see him continue to take the field in a Warriors jersey.” 

Fagerson was born in Perth and came to prominence playing for Strathallan School, which also played a crucial role in the rugby development of his Warriors team-mates George Horne, Ollie Smith and brother Zander. 

At 6ft 1ins and just over 17 stone, Fagerson is small by the standards of modern No 8s in the professional game, but he makes up for that lack in bulk through his dynamism, footwork and general work-rate.  

Fagerson made his first Glasgow appearance in a friendly against Canada ‘A’ back in 2016, just a few months after his 18th birthday, and has now made 79 appearances for the club.

He was still an academy player when he made his competitive debut for the club off the bench against Ulster in September 2016 and he went on to play a crucial role in the Scotland U20 side which achieved a best-ever fifth-place finish at the 2017 Junior World Rugby Championship in Georgia, playing alongside current Warriors team-mates Stafford McDowall, Thomas Gordon and Hamish Bain. 

Fagerson signed his first full-time senior contract ahead of the 2017-18 season and picked up the club’s Most Improved Player prize at the end of the of that campaign. 

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