AS you might expect from someone who less than 12 months ago was named both Glasgow Warriors’ Player and Young Player of the Year, George Horne has had a key role to fulfil with the Scotstoun side this year as they seek success on two fronts.

The 23-year-old scrum-half might have had ambitions of opening up a third stage of his own – at international level – this spring. However, injury put paid to him having any part in Gregor Townsend’s plans over at least three-fifths of the Six Nations calendar.

Nevertheless, a healthy Horne will still make an impact in the coming weeks as Glasgow Warriors target the Pro14 and Europe.

“Injuries are not ideal at any time but to get one around now, the timing of that wasn’t great going into camp for the Six Nations.

“You want to be able to put your hand up and play, get yourself a couple of caps during the Six Nations. So missing games is frustrating,” said Horne.

“I picked up a knock in the closing stages against Saracens and managed to play on for the minutes that were left, but afterwards everything seized up in my shoulder and I had no range of movement. But it’s all healed now.

“I’ve had a full week’s training last week and hope to be back fully fit in the coming week and ready to play against Connacht.”

The Irish outfit are one of those in the Conference mix with Glasgow for the knockout stages of this season’s Pro14.

“The Pro14 conference is really tight. A couple of wins, so we can maybe open up a gap in the next few weeks, would be huge to guarantee of that home semi-final come May time.”

Warriors also have an eye on a possible semi-final in the Champions Cup, should they get through their last-eight tie against Saracens. Glasgow, of course, already encountered Saracens in Pool 3 of this season’s Champions Cup. Now they must face the English Premiership club all over again.

“Saracens are one of the best around. We’re staying positive going there. If we play our best, we can put them under pressure,” says Horne, who faced – and lost – to the English giants twice in the group stages.

If Saracens pose a challenge to the Warriors’ long-term ambitions, Horne finds himself in a similar position closer to home as he contests the scrum-half starting berth with Scotland colleague Ali Price.

“Yeah, it’s been good,” George admits. “Ali has obviously played a lot of times for the club and he has been excellent for us the last couple of years and it’s good to have that level of competition – with Nick Frisby in there as well – and the three of us push each other.”

Whether starting or coming off the bench, Horne is an impact player. His dynamism and high level of activity making him a player who can change the course of a match.

“I guess speeding up the game is one of my strengths – trying to get to the ball and the breakdown fast, getting the team playing with tempo – which is how we like to play the game, and how the coaches want us playing. I think it’s a strength of all the nines, but obviously after 60 minutes it does get tiring. Equally, being able to come on and add that spark of energy and pace ... yes, it’s a strength.

“The subs, when they start to appear after 50 or 60 minutes, that’s always a really important spell. Those guys are game changers.”

The 2018/19 Glasgow Warriors Awards Dinner, sponsored by The Malcolm Group, will take place on May 1 at the Radisson Blu Hotel, Glasgow. It is open to supporters, sponsors, partners, and Platinum Club and Business Club members. Supporters can purchase tickets for the event from March 4, from