While Gregor Townsend will be wrapping some of his key men in cotton wool this weekend, Jamie Bhatti hopes to get back to Scotstoun to prove he’s worthy of a place in the matchday squad.
The 25-year-old former Stirling slaughterman has had a comedown from his brilliant first professional season, where he started for Glasgow Warriors almost from the season opener and then played in every game during the Autumn Tests and the Six Nations, ending 2018 with 11 caps.
He thinks he will recover that form if he gets more playing time, which emans he’s one of the training squad at Oriam hoping to be sent back to his club, as the Warriors play Ospreys in the PRO14 on Friday.
“I’ll play anywhere,” he said. “If I’m involved here with the squad I’ll give my all, and if I am back at Glasgow I will play as well as I can for them.
“It has been frustrating. My form was not where it should have been at the start and I’ve been getting chances off the bench and I think doing okay.
“Every player wants to play as much as they can. Sometimes it just comes down to the fact you’re not getting selected so you need to ask the questions why that’s happening and work on those things.
“I was maybe a bit surprised when Gregor gave me the phone call (to say he was in the squad) but I’m happy to be back involved here. Wherever I’m given a chance to play, here or with Glasgow, then hopefully I can put my hand up again and show why I’m here.”
Loose head prop is one the question positions for Townsend, with the pro team starting slots dominated by ineligible players in Oli Kebble and Pierre Schoeman, while Gordon Reid, who started against South Africa in November, has been left out of the squad.
The choice is between Bhatti, Allan Dell and Alex Allan, and all of them have seen most of their action off the bench.
“Me, Alex and Allan, we’re all in the same boat,” said Bhatti. “We’ve been sitting on the bench, not playing as much, waiting for our chances.
“After the year I had, it was tough watching the Autumn Tests from the sideline. Having been there and knowing what it is like to run out at Murrayfield you are jealous of the guy that is doing it.
“It makes you train that little bit harder during the week as you want to get back here. I just want to train as well as I can here and show the coaches that I’m ready to go.”