George Horne couldn’t have dreamed of a better way to mark becoming a Glasgow Warriors centurion when he went to bed on Saturday night. 

The 28-year-old returned from the World Cup in France conscious that a landmark occasion would greet him upon his return to club rugby. Horne’s close friends and family, including his brother - ex-Scotland international Peter - were in attendance at Scotstoun to witness Horne make his 100th appearance for Glasgow. 

The versatile back received a rapturous ovation on his introduction from the bench on 51 minutes, but the decibels were significantly cranked up just sixty seconds later. After Tommy Jordan burst through the Leinster defence, the fly-off offloaded to Greg Petterson before a surging Horne provided support to receive the pass and he raced clear to score in the corner. 

The sheer joy in Horne’s celebration, as he pointed poignantly to the sky, was indicative of how special a moment it was in his career. 

I dreamt about it,” Horne admitted. “Yeah, this week has been strange. Not often as a rugby player you reflect or take a moment to look at what you have done but this week I was so looking forward to getting out there and adding something. That is something I managed to do which was sniff out a little support line which is something I have managed to do at times during my career. 

“There were a few things going out on social media and a few nice things done at the club to commemorate my 100th game and it got me thinking. Yeah, I was just so proud to be part of it really. That was the main thing that came out. I was just so looking forward to getting out there and getting it over with and hopefully getting the win which we have done. 

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“I always say playing with my brother was the highlight of my career. He has done so much for me. I look up to him. I wouldn’t be here without him. It would have been cool if he had been on the field still but yeah, we have a great relationship and I am thankful to have him as an older brother.” 

Horne’s amiable outlook has solidified his reputation as one of the most popular players in Glasgow’s squad since making his senior debut against Ospreys in November 2016. 

While debuts are often the highlight of players’ careers, Horne believes defeating Leinster on his 100th appearance eclipses that moment.

“Yeah, it was special but tonight definitely topped it,” Horne added on his debut. “We won tonight, we didn’t win on my first cap, and that is what it is all about. I am a competitive guy and want to win every game I play in so tonight was just amazing and the way we won as well. The amount of goal-line defence, we held them out and it showed how much the boys mean to each other and how much everyone cares.  

“After the disappointment [of the World Cup] the best way to get over it is to get back out there and play. It was so nice being back in Glasgow again, seeing all the boys again,  all the staff. There is such a good group here, people, squad. I was delighted to be back and it was easy to get up for this, my 100th game.”

Horne featured in three of four games in France as Scotland failed to progress from the group of death with South Africa and Ireland. Gregor Townsend was in attendance at Scotstoun to watch Glasgow’s impressive start to their URC campaign and Horne remains young enough to be in contention for the next World Cup in Australia. 

Horne accepts that Scotland simply didn’t turn up when they needed to but he insists one of the country’s most talented squads ever are desperate to avenge that in the Six Nations.

“I was disappointed,” Horne conceded. “We knew we had a tough group but we knew we had the game and the players to win against Ireland and South Africa but we didn’t put in a performance. You go into every game wanting to win and not to do that was disappointing and hard to take but as I said there was a chance to go out there and put some of those wrongs right. It was a nice way to get over it. 

“We had a quick debrief and everybody was gutted, gutted we didn’t put in our best performances which was what was needed to beat Ireland and South Africa, two of the best teams in the world. Talking is, as they say, cheap. You have to turn up in these big Test matches, in these big arenas and win. We didn’t do that. 

“We have shown that previously but we need to be consistent heading towards the Six Nations but first everybody wants to go back to their clubs and play well to try and get a chance to play in the Six Nations.”

The World Cup has been a fantastic spectacle with some of the best games in the history of the sport being played out in the knockout stages. Despite the frustration of Scotland’s under-performance, Horne will be tuned in for the final on Saturday night - even if he’s undecided on who he wants to win.

“Yeah, I have been watching. I am a rugby fan and you learn so much from these teams. The two quarter-finals- Ireland v New Zealand, and South Africa v France -  were two of the best games I have ever watched. They showed the physicality of the game and the skill level. 

“England were outstanding against South Africa. It was a different type of game with the weather and both teams battered each other for 80 minutes so it is tough watching, not being there, but I am still watching as a fan. I am not sure who I wanted to win. I was cheering for France with the home World Cup and it would be cool if they won but yeah, I am a neutral fan now.”