UNFORTUNATELY, because it is now Scottish Rugby policy to keep player contract lengths secret, we do not know how significant a piece of business the re-signing of Glasgow Warriors full-back Ollie Smith really is. 

As one of the brightest young talents in the game in this country, it was great for the club’s fans to hear yesterday that the 21-year-old is sticking around for at least one more season – and it was an added bonus when the player let it slip during his media duties that the commitment is for “another couple of years”. 

However, at a time when supporters are expressing anxiety about a rising ticket prices and the long-term vision for the club, it is disappointing that this sort of information is not being shared, because if Smith is signed up for the next two years then that is perfectly fine, but if he has been tied into a four or five year deal then that would be a demonstration that there really is a determination to create the same sort of rugby dynasty which our rivals across the Irish Sea have expertly and painstakingly developed during the professional era. 

As it stands, we simply don’t know if there is an over-arching strategy for the club, or just an on-going frantic scramble to fill gaps as and when they reveal themselves. 

It is a similar story with the secrecy around midfielders Stafford McDowall and Tom Jordan, who also re-signed with the club for undisclosed periods of time yesterday, although that pair don’t currently have the same sort of profile and potential as Smith. 

It is a frustration for those on the outside looking in, but the players – quite rightly – don’t concern themselves much with such matters, with Smith having plenty on his plate at the moment between Saturday’s United Rugby against Leinster in Dublin, and then finding out early next week if he has made the cut to tour Chile and Argentina with Scotland this summer. 

“I'm obviously chuffed to be sticking around the club I grew up with and I'm chuffed that the coaches have the belief to keep me around for another couple of years,” he said. “At the start of the season, when the game-time wasn’t coming around, it was just about having that confidence in yourself to know that when it comes you can still do the things you know you can do. It's just about staying patient, sticking to processes and making sure you keep ticking over.” 

Smith flinches when it is put to him that his performances for Glasgow during the second half of this season, which led to him being unveiled as the club’s Young Player of the Year last week, has earmarked him as the heir apparent to Stuart Hogg as custodian of the Scotland No 15 jersey.

“I tend to work short term. I work in little increments. I'm not looking that far ahead,” he responds, before conceding that he does fancy a trip to South America with the national team this summer. 

“Potentially, yes, but that is out of my hands,” he says. “We'll see what happens in the next couple of weeks. Fingers crossed but I've not heard anything yet.” 

As for Leinster on Saturday, Smith says the Warriors team will draw energy from their hunger to finish a generally disappointing season on a positive note. 

“We want to right a few wrongs and there's no better opposition than Leinster away,” he said. "You know what you're getting with them. They're one of the best teams in Europe, if not the world, at the moment. It is always going to be a tough challenge, but we know we can perform.. We just have to back ourselves. 

“They pride themselves on basics. You know they will have long phases when they are on top, but we know that we can stick to our systems and deal with that.  

“You don't want to go into a game scared of the opposition. We know that our game at times has cut teams apart. We beat Exeter here and put La Rochelle under the pump both times we played them in the pool stage of the Heineken Cup, so we’re not a million miles away.”