Describing Kyle Rowe’s professional rugby career as a rollercoaster so far would be a bit of an understatement for the Glasgow winger. After beginning at Scotstoun, he had a short stint at Edinburgh before heading south of the border to join London Irish and get some regular game time under his belt.

Performances for the Irish Exiles earned him the recognition of Gregor Towsend in 2022 and he made his debut in a summer test against Argentina, only for it to come to an end after just 12 minutes due to an ACL injury and he’s had to be patient ever since by spending 11 months on the sideline. To make things worse, London Irish suffered financial problems and were placed into administration last summer and it left Rowe unsure of what was going to happen next while he was still recovering from his knee issue.

Warriors were keen to sign him and snapped him up but Rowe admits there were times he had no idea if he would play professional rugby again following the injury and then Irish going bust. It left him in a tough place but he’s not looked back since signing on the dotted line for Glasgow and getting a chance to play regularly for Franco Smith’s men.

He’s impressed in his appearances since the summer and got himself two tries in the Investec Cup victory over Toulon earlier this month and put himself into contention for a Guinness Six Nations start with Darcy Graham the latest to be ruled out of the early stages of the competition due to injury.

Speaking ahead of the tournament kicking off with an opening game in Cardiff against Wales next week, Rowe said: “It’s pretty mixed emotions I have now but it is what it is. Things like that happen to players. My circumstances after everything I’d been through with Covid, finally getting that opportunity and then having it taken away from you…But what had taken place with me up until that point had left me in a good place to deal with it mentally.

“Being out for nine months, not playing any rugby, especially with London Irish going under and not knowing if I was going to have a club, was pretty, not dark mentally, but in a bit of a weird spot. I didn’t know if I was going to have an opportunity to play pro rugby again. Glasgow have given me that opportunity and to play 12 games so far has been really good in terms of me getting my confidence back.

“When my agent told me about London Irish potentially going under he was in the background looking at clubs. When we were told the news around June 9 it gave me three weeks to find a club. We knew Glasgow were interested but it wasn’t a sure thing. It was good to get that deal over the line.

“Before Covid having not played any pro rugby I was taking anything I could just to try to prove myself. With London Irish popping up I couldn’t sign it quick enough. That was the best thing for me, getting away from Scotland and out of my comfort zone. I was just kind of thrown in to it. That was good for me and allowed me to be myself and express myself. They liked to throw the ball about and play my rugby and that led to that Scotland cap in Argentina.”

Rowe is happy to admit that he was more focused on football as a youngster and it was only really when he left school that rugby became a serious option for him when he played for Falkirk, Glasgow Hawks and Ayr before turning professional, but he’s desperate to get a taste of Murrayfield and reckons he might need to hide the tears when the national anthem is belted out if he gets the chance to play at the national stadium.

He added: “It’s not been my dream since I was a wee boy because I played football more. It was after I left school that rugby became more prevalent with the U20s, Ayr and the 7s. Looking back to the Argentina game I started crying and after the game I thought ‘if I ever get the chance at Murrayfield, I’m probably not going to be able to sing the anthem’. It would be pretty amazing.

“I’d have my fiancée and my mum and dad. As many people as possible really to be there. It would be a special moment for all of us.

“In football you’ve got to break through pretty young – I was just doing it because I enjoyed it. I was a centre midfielder. I didn’t want to run down the wing, I just wanted to break up play because I was always knackered. It’s the complete opposite of now.  

“Two amazing players are out [Ollie Smith and Darcy] through no fault of their own so it’s given me an opportunity to come in and play, whether that be starting or on the bench. Even if I don’t get picked I’ll still be in and around.  

“I can cover fullback. I’ve played a few games at Irish, and I’m getting reps in at training so I’m not going in blind. 

“I’d say so. After a year and a half of not being fully part of the set-up, I’ve gained my confidence back beating players and doing my thing. I’m just trying to bring that in here.”