Stafford McDowall has only been in the professional rugby ranks for a matter of months but already he has tasted the fickleness of it.

No sooner had the ink dried on the 21-year-old’s contract extension with Glasgow Warriors, he suffered a concussion that forced him to miss the team’s opening game of the new Pro 14 season last week.

Despite his youth however, the centre was able to put this minor setback into perspective and has regained fitness in time to be selected for Warriors’ clash with Scarlets on Friday evening.

“Obviously it was disappointing to miss last week’s game – but there’s boys with much longer-term injuries than me so I have to keep that in mind,” McDowall reflected.

“I obviously really wanted to play the first game of the season but being out for only one game isn’t too bad in the grand scheme of things.”

McDowall admits signing the contract extension, which will keep him at the club until at least the summer of 2022, was an easy decision, but it was a well-deserved reward for a stunning breakthrough last year. The former Ayr player was thrust into the team last November whilst still an Academy player but wasted no time in making his mark, making 12 appearances in the latter part of the season and before being named Land Rover Young Player of the Season.

There has been many a young player who has exceeded expectations in their rookie year before struggling to back it up in the seasons that follow but McDowall is confident that he can build on his breakthrough year and ensure he is a force to be reckoned with in the months ahead.

Warriors have something of an embarrassment of riches when it comes to centres and but the competition for places is a challenge McDowall relishes.

“It’s a great squad to be a part of – everyone is so willing to share their knowledge so it’s great to be a younger player in this kind of environment. I learn so much,” he said.

“There’s a healthy competitiveness. It’s a good environment and it’s really good for the team.”

Warriors’ start to the season last week was far from what they wanted – a 48-14 loss to Cheetahs was disappointing, to say the least, but McDowall is confident that this heavy loss was a mere blip.

“I don’t think we’re looking at anything other than that after reaching the final last year and the semis the year before,” he said.

“I feel like we’re in a good place to do that, despite the result last week. We’re still a good squad and we’re feeling good about the season.”