Jamie Bhatti has admitted he's had important conversations with Gregor Townsend over being left out of Scotland's first two Six Nations games. 

The Glasgow Warriors prop hit 100 appearances for them on Saturday night and he was proud to lead the team out in front of captain Stafford McDowall. He got the acclaim of the Scotstoun support and he was in a jovial mood as he spoke in the aftermath of the 40-7 victory that pushed his team into second in the URC. 

He conceded that leading the team out probably isn't something that will happen regularly because he doesn't view himself as captain material and isn't one of the big talkers in the squad when everyone is available, but he did see the need to step up into that role this week with so many senior players unavailable for one reason or another through injury or international duty.

With so many young players in the squad he felt he had to and he showed up well in the game, with Scotland scrum coach Pieter de Villiers in attendance. He hopes that he has put his hand up for more game time moving forward but he has been hugely disappointed by the decision to keep him out of the match day 23 so far in the Guinness Six Nations, but stressed that he loves being able to help out in any way that he can.

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“I’m disappointed", admitted the 30-year-old. "I love being in that environment and playing for Scotland when I can. I love helping when I can but it’s been quite difficult to take this time. I’ve got to be honest there. All I can do if I’m released back again for the next game is to play as well as I can and put my hand up again. It was a bit of a surprise [not to be in the 23 for either game]. I spoke to Gregor and had the conversations that had to be had. But that it was it really. I don’t want to go too much into it.

"I’m chuffed to be back this week. I wanted to play for Glasgow regardless in this one. I know I hadn’t played since the Toulon game so I was champing at the bit to get some gametime. I’ve hopefully put my hand up this week. I’ve had minutes and maybe gave them a wee bit of a headache for selection. We’ll see. Fingers crossed.”

While Bhatti might not view himself as captain material, he did step up into a leader's role this week and was determined to help out the likes of Max Williamson and Alex Samuel in the starting lineup while the likes of Angus Fraser and Ruaraidh Hart were among those on the bench and have even less experience. 

It was clear to anyone listening that Bhatti was bursting with pride to have reached the milestone he did and he could have had even more had it not been for a short spell at Edinburgh and Bath in between his two Glasgow stints. 

He added: “I said a bit to the boys in the changing room after the game and that was probably the highlight of my career so far. When it’s a milestone they tend to let you lead the boys out and I was happy to do that. It was the proudest I’ve ever felt leading the boys out of the tunnel on the night. It was emotional. I joked that I’m not captain material and I’ll probably never captain the club so for me leading the team out before the game was pretty special. I enjoyed that and we got up on the scoreboard early doors and made it easy for ourselves. It was a bit wee scrappy at times, forcing things, but it was a good night.

“It was never really one of my goals to be a centurion. It wasn’t something that I ever thought I had to do. But I’ve been very lucky that I’ve not been injured and that plays a massive part in it. I’ve been available for selection most of the time and been selected fairly regularly. So if you can play 15 to 20 times a season the milestones quickly creep up on you. Since coming back I’ve only had one injury – touch wood – to my hand so being available most weeks has been a big help. My family were there on Saturday night and it was great to have them for that moment.

“Before the warm-up they put up a few clips of me playing from  through the years. I was thinking how quick I was back in the day! I was getting some good carries, bumping folk out the way. And was I thinking, ‘where’s that gone to?!’ Just getting older and slower, that’s what happens. But I can scrum now but couldn’t that back then.

“I’m not a big speaker around the group. But I tried to do more this week knowing it was a pretty young squad that we had. You look at the big 5 and Tommy Gordon is up there with me but Max, Alex, and some of the others haven’t got much experience. So me and Johnny [Matthews] had to step up this week and be the voice of the forward pack. I don’t mind speaking but when you’ve got boys who are good leaders like Dargey I just tend to keep myself to myself and try to get my job done. But this week I wanted to help the younger ones and they all did well on the night. There were a lot of new combinations and boys getting their first game like Ruaraidh Hart at 19 years old and we showed up well.”