Glasgow Warriors | Mark Bennett joins Glasgow on loan

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November 12, 2012

Mark Bennett joins Glasgow on loan

Posted by Editor on November 12, 2012 09:49 AM | No comments | Print | E-mail author

Mark Bennett has joined Glasgow on loan from Clermont Auvergne
Clermont Auvergne centre Mark Bennett will join Glasgow Warriors on loan until the end of the season.

Mark, a product of Cumnock and Ayr, was previously part of the Warriors Elite Development system. He made his first XV debut at the age of 18, starring away to Leinster in May 2011 and has represented Scotland at U18 and U20 level.

Mark then joined French club Clermont Auvergne, and made an impressive start before a knee injury interrupted his progress. He has been back playing since last January.

Mark today expressed delight at the prospect of being reunited with the Warriors, telling “It’s hugely exciting for me to have the opportunity to return to Glasgow. It’s always been my ambition to play professional rugby for the Warriors, and it was a massively tough decision to leave for Clermont 18 months ago.

“There has been real progress at Glasgow on and off the field since then, and it’s a great environment to be coming into. You only need to look at the quality and depth of the squad to know that the Warriors and Scottish Rugby are serious about taking the club forward, and I’m delighted to have the chance to play my part in that process.”

Warriors head coach Gregor Townsend added: “Mark has the potential to become a very important player for Glasgow Warriors.

“We already have a good number of options in the centres, so we’ll be looking to Mark to work hard in training and make a case for selection. Having coached him in the past, I know how driven he is to improve.

“His time in France will have developed him both as a rugby player and a person. From my conversations with him recently, the necessary desire and hunger to transfer what he has learned are there in abundance.

“It’s further good news for the club and for Scottish rugby in general to be bringing Mark on board. He’s here for the rest of the season, and, as with any player who comes in on loan, we’ll be constantly assessing if and how they might fit into our plans in the longer term.

“The priority for Mark at the moment is to get settled back into the fold and work to win a place in the team.”

Neil McIlroy, Team Manager with Clermont Auvergne, said: “We are very happy that Mark has found a professional club that can give him the necessary game-time that he needs at this stage of his career.

“Despite his injury last year, his development has been such that we felt it was important that he found an opportunity to play top-level rugby, something that we were unable to provide this season.

“It is great that such an opportunity has arisen with an set-up like Glasgow, near to his native West Coast roots, and I am sure that if he shows half the commitment, enthusiasm and diligence that he has shown during his time at Clermont, that he will become a valuable asset to Gregor Townsend.

“We will be monitoring his progress closely and wish him all the best”