Ally Miller on taking inspiration from Rory Darge and why he has no regrets about swapping Vegas for Llanelli

Since transitioning to 15-a-sides it’s been a little more grunt and a little less glamor but the 25-year-old wouldn’t have it any other way.

Miller has had to be patient for his chance with Glasgow Warriors but recent weeks have seen the back-row forward play his part in victories over Connacht, Munster and Benetton.

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Danny Wilson’s side are now up to third in the United Rugby Championship on the back of a five-match winning run and will look to make it six when they take on Scarlets in Wales on Saturday night.

Wet and windy Llanelli may be a world away from Vegas but Miller is relishing the trip to Parc and Scarlets.

“I love it down there!” he said. “I did the sevens for four years and absolutely loved it. I played alongside guys like Scott Riddell, James Fleming, Mark Robertson, and really took experience from those guys. The professionalism that they showed was brilliant.

“In terms of skill it was massive for me. It’s not often you get to play in front of 40,000 in Hong Kong against England on a Friday night. Those experiences that will stick with me forever.”

Miller joined Edinburgh initially after moving away from sevens but found his opportunities limited in the capital.

Ally Miller has helped Glasgow Warriors to wins over Connacht, Munster and Benetton. (Photo by Ross MacDonald/SNS Group)

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Miller has nothing but admiration for his team-mate whose rapid progress he finds inspiring.

“Rory has gone absolutely brilliantly,” said Miller. “He has been absolutely phenomenal so it definitely shows how quickly you can kick on and progress. Hats off to Rory and I’m sure there are plenty more levels for him to go as well.”

Ally Miller in action for Scotland during the Canada Sevens in Vancouver. (Photo by Ben Nelms/Getty Images)

Glasgow’s run of matches during the Six Nations has opened the door for Miller and it’s an opportunity he’s eager to take on the face of stiff competition.

“It’s similar to Rory – just making the most of the time you have on the pitch,” he said. “People like Matt Fagerson are away at the moment in the national setup, but there are some quality back-row guys here, with Ryan Wilson, Jack Dempsey. Every time you get a shot you have to show what you’ve got.”

Miller has had to bulk up for the 15-a-side game but has been careful not to blunt the attributes that made him such an effective sevens player.

“It’s about trying to keep as much power and speed work as you can,” I explained. “For the back row, with mauls and scrums, you try to put a bit of weight on. There is a different style of collisions as well.

“In sevens it is a lot more high-speed and you have to have a lot of repeatability sprints in you, whereas in 15s there is a lot more downtime. When you set up for scrums you can catch your breath a bit more.”

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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