A PRESTWICK born rugby star had the chance to shine on the biggest of stages yesterday, Sunday, September 10.

It was a tough start for Scotland at the Rugby World Cup in France, as Gregor Townsend's men fell to an 18-3 defeat at the hands of reigning champions South Africa in their opening pool stage match.

There was a proud moment 66 minutes into the match for one former Marr Rugby and Ayr RFC star.

Ollie Smith came on as a subsitute at that stage, filling in to play full back for the remaining minutes of the match.

It was the Prestwick man's seventh national team cap - but first on the biggest stage in the sport.

It comes little over a year after the 23-year-old's debut for Scotland, which he made when starting the third Test of last summer’s tour to Argentina.

It's the latest stage in an quick rise to the top for Smith, who was playing for the Ayrshire Bulls as recently as the 2019-20 season.

From there he was named as a member of the Glasgow Warriors academy for the 2020–21 season - and made his first appearance for the Scotstoun side later that season.

In February 2021 it was announced that Smith had graduated from the academy to sign with thre first XV side on a permanent basis.

He has impressed considerably since and picked up the club’s Young Player of the Season award only last year.

On the national stage, he scored his first international try against Australia on October 29, 2022 at Murrayfield Stadium - and impressed enough to be included in this Autumn's World Cup squad.

This looks to be the first of many appearances at the tournament, where Smith will hope to be part of a Scotland side which finds its way out of an incredibly challenging pool and into the quarter-finals.

The national side are back in action in two weeks time, Sunday, September 24, as they face Tonga in their second pool stage match.