In many ways, the inclusion of the 20-year-old who has managed to hold off the challenge of Stewart Campbell, the current Scotland A captain, epitomises the philosophy behind Richie Dixon's bid to turn Glasgow Caledonian Reds into a long-term success.

The coach has been determined to offer opportunities to developing homegrown talent and while Colin Stewart's selection for last week's visit to Pontypridd was forced upon him, the youngster has kept his place because he was part of a vibrant young side that put the Welsh team on the rack.

''I am quite chuffed because it was a bit of a surprise to keep my place,'' Stewart admitted.

''I thought Stewart was bound to get back in particularly with Swansea being such an experienced side.''

Campbell, like Andy Nicol, who is in the Reds senior squad for the first time this season, must wait patiently on the bench for his opportunity, then.

''We took a lot from last weekend's performance,'' said Stewart who, ironically, has made his move for regular involvement in the Reds senior squad since playing against his colleagues.

''I enjoyed the trip to Canada in the summer, but my only other game was the friendly against Munster, which was a bit of a disaster.

''However, I was in the Scotland under-21 side that beat the Reds (a Development XV which included a number of senior players) a couple of weeks ago and I took a lot of confidence from being involved.''

For a player who readily acknowledges having expected to spend much of this season with his club, East Kilbride, while trying to impress the Reds management with his attitude on the training paddock, the prospect of facing Swansea tomorrow could be daunting.

Yet after being called into the starting line-up late last week when Campbell went down with a bout of 'flu, Stewart has demonstrated his enthusiasm for a challenge.

''There has been all that rubbish about how no-one can travel to Wales. We were just looking to shut a few people up,'' he said of the Reds performance in the match, which was abandoned at Pontypridd with them leading 21-14 having scored three tries to one.

Consequently - albeit the confidence and naivete of youth may have something to do with it - a Swansea side including Scott Gibbs, Arwel Thomas, Paul Moriarty, and Colin Charvis is not something to be feared in Stewart's eyes as the Reds look to capitalise on home advantage.

''I'm used to the club scene and lots of games being off in December, so to get the chance to play on a surface like McDiarmid Park is brilliant,'' said Stewart.

That the Reds had a highly competitive work-out with this same XV for 40 minutes last weekend before the intervention of the elements should hold them in good stead.

A match with massive implications sees both sides among the six currently tied on 15 points at the top of the Celtic League.

The victors will automatically be regarded as being among the serious contenders for the title, whereas the losers could well find themselves clinging to a place in the top half of the division.

That was what made last week's abandonment at Sardis Road, when the Reds genuinely seemed poised to win, all the more irritating since three points earned there would have offered them something of a cushion going into this match.

''We have got to take the frustration of that situation and use it to help our performance on Sunday,'' Dixon said.

''Swansea are an excellent side. They had a disappointing start to this season's campaign, but unfortunately they got things together against the Reivers and since then I don't think they have lost a league match, while they have been going well in Europe as well.

''However our players did very well last week. I have said all along that consistency would be rewarded, so it is up to them to prove to us that they can reproduce the form they showed at Pontypridd.'' Teams:

Glasgow Caledonian Reds - A Bulloch, J Steel, J McLaren, J Stuart, J Craig, T Hayes, G Beveridge, D Hilton, G Bulloch, G McIlwham, J White, C Stewart, G Simpson, D Macfadyen, J Petrie. Replacements: G Scott, A Watt, S Campbell, R Reid, A Nicol, B Irving, S Longstaff.

Swansea - K Morgan, S Payne, S Gibbs, S Winn, M Robinson, A Thomas, S Martens, C Anthony, C Wells, B Evans, A Moore, T Maullin, P Moriarty, C Charvis, G Lewis. Replacements (from): D Weatherley, R Rees, C Rees, R Jones, G Jenkins, D Thomas, L Jones, G Henson, K Allen.

Referee: R Dickson (Madras).