McLean “I want to develop into the best rugby player I can be”
Four days into block two of pre-season training, and it would be fair to say that the intensity is ramping up at Scotstoun.
With 66 players back in the building and ready to put their hand up for selection ahead of next weekend’s clash with Worcester Warriors in Inverness, new Head Coach Franco Smith and his assistants have been putting their charges through their paces whatever the weather.
It’s been heavy going, but it’s a regimen that has been getting the best out of Rufus McLean and company – and one that promises fireworks once the season gets underway, according to the winger.
“It’s been tough, I won’t lie!” McLean grinned after the end of a particularly gruelling session.
“It’s been a good kind of tough, though, for sure – Franco’s come in with some new ideas and some stuff that took a bit of time to learn, but it’s been great.
“With the way we’re trying to play now, there’s a lot of focus on seeing space and playing what’s in front of you. For me, as someone who likes to get on the end of passes and play with my head up, that’s something I love to hear.
“We’ve definitely got the quality of ball-players at this club to make that system work, and I think it’s going to be a really exciting season for everyone.”
Having enjoyed a whirlwind start to life as a professional rugby player over the last 18 months, the young flyer continued his progression by embarking on Scotland’s summer tour, part of a 15-strong Glasgow contingent to make the trip to South America.
A try-scorer for Scotland A in their win over Chile, the tour was an experience that will live long in the memory for McLean.
“Honestly, it was unreal,” said the winger.
“The whole tour from start to finish was just brilliant. Unfortunately we didn’t manage to get the result we wanted from the Test series, but South America is such a great part of the world. I speak a bit of Spanish, so it was good to be able to put that into practice out there, too!
“It was also such a special experience to be able to play alongside my mates for Scotland, too. Ollie [Smith] getting his debut was massive, and having guys like him and Rory [Darge] around me makes it that much more special for me.
“To have come through the age grades with these guys, and to now be representing Glasgow and Scotland together – it’s just absolutely class.
Now back in the fold at Scotstoun, the fixtures will be coming thick and fast for McLean and his team-mates.
The upcoming visit to Inverness kick-starts a run of nine consecutive matches for the Warriors across both pre-season and the 2022/23 United Rugby Championship, in what promises to be a highly-competitive campaign.
Whilst still looking to continue his development and nail down a place in the Glasgow matchday 23, McLean isn’t looking too far ahead, though – there’s a more immediate target that needs his attention.
“The boys have been giving me a bit of grief over my bronco time, too, so first goal is to get a good bronco time!” he laughed.
“In all seriousness, though, I just want to keep playing rugby to be honest. Last season was a bit stop-start because of injury niggles here and there, so I just want to stay fit and get out there.
“I want to develop into the best rugby player I can be, too. That’s something Franco’s talked about a lot, and with the way we’re training now there’s not really any hiding place. The onus is on you to learn and adapt, and that’s exactly what I’m aiming to do.”