Dec 17 2009 Matthew Leslie
A decade at the highest level awaits young star says boss
There's 10 years of top class rugby for Richie Vernon if he wants says Glasgow Warriors boss Sean Lineen.
The back-row forward is the Glaswegian's young star of 2009 in a year which has seen a spectacular rise from club rugby with West of Scotland, pro rugby with the Warriors, finishing with the biggest stage of all, being capped for Scotland - including a superb shift off the bench in the memorable win over Australia last month.
If his rampant display in the Warriors' fine victory over Gloucester last week is anything to go by, Vernon is going to get even better - something Lineen says is down to the player himself.
He said: "I knew from day one that Richie was the real deal. If he worked hard and we monitored him closely, we knew he could be a valuable player for both club and country.
"We sent him off to West and we were impressed from what we saw but also with how highly John Beattie (West's coach) rated him.
"The route into the Warriors team is not easy - particular in the backrow where you have John Barclay, Johnnie Beattie and Kelly Brown there.
"But Richie has broken through and laid a challenge to those guys which is what we want in all areas of the squad.
"Make no mistake, he can shine on the big stage over the next 10 years."
2005: Johnnie Beattie (Glasgow Warriors)
2006: Susan Hughes (Badminton)
2007: Maurice Hampton (Glasgow Rocks)
2008: John Barclay ( Glasgow Warriors)