Guinness PRO12 rising stars: Glasgow’s Matt Fagerson

Guinness PRO12 Editor
28 July 2017

Share this article

It’s been a summer of change for Glasgow Warriors with 14 players having departed so far and while reinforcements have arrived opportunities will surely arise this season for the club’s young talent.

And with the departure of the experienced No.8 Josh Strauss to Sale, highly-rated 19-year-old back row Matt Fagerson could be one of those to benefit.

The 19-year-old forward, younger brother of Scotland prop Zander Fagerson, is one of the most exciting talents in the Guinness PRO12 and here we take a look at the reasons why.

Tipped for greatness

The 6ft 2in No.8 made a try-scoring debut for the Warriors in a pre-season match against Canada ‘A’ in August 2016, and his Guinness PRO12 debut came against Ulster the following month.

Perhaps fortunately with the future in mind the man who handed him his debut, Gregor Townsend, now Scotland head coach, tipped Fagerson for big things.

“He’s a player with real potential,” said Townsend. “He played very well for the Under-20s this year at 7, but he did a lot of ball-carrying, he’s someone we have high hopes for in the future.

“If he grows more he could develop into someone who could play No.8 at the highest level.

“If he carries on working hard he can obviously achieve a lot in the game, he has a great role model in his brother.”

Sibling rivalry

Scotland have a long list of international rugby-playing brothers, Finlay and Jim Calder, Gavin and Scott Hastings, Rory and Sean Lamont, and now Jonny and Richie Gray.

There’s something about a sibling rivalry that brings out the best in players – and with Zander already making a huge impact for Scotland who would bet against his younger brother joining him under Townsend’s exciting new regime.

“I learn things from Zander and look up to him a lot,” said Fagerson. “There is a two-and-a-half year age gap between us and there has always been competition between us as there often is with brothers.

“As he’s been through similar things in his progression that I am going through right now he is always good to have a quiet word with, while our parents also come and watch a lot of our matches and are a good sounding board.”

Fast learner

With his skills honed through backyard squabbles with his brother, Matt played rugby for the High School of Dundee, Strathallan School and Scotland under-16s.

He went on to captain Scotland under-18s against England in March 2016 and was then enrolled in the BT Sport Scottish Rugby Academy for the 2016-17 season, assigned to the Warriors.

The Perth-born back-rower has been busy this summer as well, as he helped Scotland Under-20s to their highest-ever finish of fifth in the World Rugby Under-20 Championship, playing in all five games.

Share this article