Donald Malcolm has more reason than most for looking forward to tomorrow's RBS West Regional Cup final - the 27-year-old GHA back-row forward will line up against his former club Glasgow Hawks.
Malcolm was impressive last weekend as the RBS National League side secured their final place with a 39-22 win over Hillhead/Jordanhill to set up the tie at Old Anniesland with local pride and a national cup last-four spot at stake.
Malcolm, immersed in Glasgow rugby from a young age, has strong links with GHA but also regularly watched his father Walter play for Glasgow Accies, GHK and Hawks.
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On leaving school, he earned Scotland caps at under-18 and 19 level and began playing at senior level for GHA, as well as being involved at an academy level with Glasgow Warriors. He moved to Hawks after GHA were relegated from the top flight in 2005. Problems arose in his first outing, though, as he suffered a bad knee injury in a pre-season tournament.
Malcolm, who previously played hooker but now operates in the back row, recalled: "I was really keen to get going with Hawks but that injury knocked me back for a whole year. After recovering, I enjoyed my time at the club and the highlight was undoubtedly winning the Scottish Cup in 2007 [they beat Edinburgh Accies 24-13 in the final]."
Having taken a couple of years out of rugby after his time at Hawks to ensure that his knee was properly repaired, Malcolm rediscovered the bug and rejoined GHA. "It felt like home to me," he said. "I wanted to get back involved and help the club back to the top level of the Scottish club game. We have found the going in the National League a bit tougher but to reach this final against Hawks has really given us all a big boost."
GHA are led by the former Scotland internationalist Andy Henderson while stand-off Niall Cassie will also be key to causing a shock. "I am looking forward to catching up with people at Hawks," Malcolm said. "I am sure some in the stand will make me welcome."