MURPHY Walker has become the latest Scottish born-and-raised player to be given a senior contract by Glasgow Warriors. He joins the likes of Ross Thompson, Rory Darge and his former schoolmate Ollie Smith in putting pen to paper with the Scotstoun outfit during the last 12 months. The length of the deal has not been disclosed. 

The 22-year-old prop has been a full-time member of the Scottish Rugby Academy since the summer of 2018 but missed the entirety of the 2020-21 season with a serious hamstring injury. His form playing for Stirling County in Super6 at the start of this season led to a Warriors debut off the bench against Cell C Sharks in early October, and he retained his spot in the match-day 23 the following week against the Emirates Lions. 

Walker, who can play on both sides of the front-row but is seen primarily as a tight-head, is a product of Dundee Eagles, then went on to captain the Strathallan School side which lifted the Scottish Schools Cup in 2018. 

“It’s been such a big thing I’ve aimed towards these last 18 months,” he said. “I’ve had some obstacles to overcome with my hamstring injury and for me to achieve this goal it’s been unbelievable. I’m proud to get the chance to continue to play for this club and to represent my family and my little village of Longforgan. 

“We have a great group of guys here at the club who are always driving each other forward. Zander [Fagerson] and Oli [Kebble] have been massive for my progress at scrum time, and Fraser [Brown] worked with me a lot while I was injured on my skills and set-piece. Having guys like that to learn from is amazing. 

“I don’t think anything changes now I’m a full-time professional. I’ve been given this opportunity because of the work I’ve been putting in and I’m going to continue to train as hard as I can every day to stake a claim for a place in the match day 23.” 

Warriors head coach Danny Wilson challenged the youngster to now go on and establish himself as a regular in the match-day squad against some stiff opposition. 

“Murphy is a young man who has really impressed us throughout the time that he’s been in our environment,” said Wilson. “His attitude and willingness to put in the hard work on and off the field has been first-rate and he’s earned his opportunity this season. His drive to be a Warrior is clear for all to see. 

“He’s hungry to learn from guys in his position like Zander, Simon [Berghan] and Enrique [Pieretto], who have a lot of experience and international quality, and we believe he’s going to go from strength to strength for us.”