Danny Wilson stood down as Glasgow Warriors head coach

Hammering in Leinster was final straw after disappointing end to season

Danny Wilson has been stood down as Glasgow Warriors head coach. Image: © Craig Watson - www.craigwatson.co.uk
Danny Wilson has been stood down as Glasgow Warriors head coach. Image: © Craig Watson - www.craigwatson.co.uk

DANNY WILSON has lost his job as Glasgow Warriors head coach, just two days after his team suffered a humiliating 76-14 thrashing by Leinster in Dublin. He has been stood down with immediate effect.

“Scottish Rugby would like to thank Danny for his contribution over the past four years,” said a statement issued by Scottish Rugby. “The Glasgow Warriors squad will break for the close season at the end of this week and the club will now begin a recruitment process for a new head coach.”

Wilson took up the Warriors role in the summer of 2020 and led the United Rugby Championship side for two seasons. He first came to Scotland as the national team’s Forwards Coach in 2018 and was part of Gregor Townsend’s coaching group at the 2019 Rugby World Cup.


Super6 Sprint: round seven team-of-the-week

SGM offers opportunity for Scottish Rugby to start moving past governance struggle

Leinster v Glasgow: Warriors end season with humiliating defeat in Dublin


“I’d like to thank Danny for his contribution to rugby in Scotland over the past four years,” said Scottish Rugby Chief Executive Mark Dodson. “He faced a challenging period taking on the Glasgow role mid-pandemic and while there have been several high points ultimately recent results have not been consistent enough and given the importance of our two professional teams, we needed to address that in a timely manner.

“I have a lot of respect for Danny and the professional way he conducts himself and wish him well in the future.”

Director of High-Performance Rugby Jim Mallinder added: “Danny has worked with and developed a significant number of players in the Scotland set-up over the past four years and I’d like to thank him for all his hard work and commitment across Scotland and Glasgow Warriors.

“There is no doubt the team faced a difficult run in to the end of the URC competition but as we move into a world cup season it is vital we put ourselves in the best possible position to compete consistently on the professional and international stage.

“I want to wish Danny all the very best in his next role in rugby.”

Glasgow Warriors Managing Director Al Kellock said: “The recent run of results have not been acceptable and had a significant impact on everyone connected to the club. We are a proud organisation and want to be competitive week in, week out and we felt therefore a change of head coach was the right step to take.

“It is never pleasant to have to make changes to our team, but we needed to act. I’ve enjoyed working closely with Danny and know he has given a huge amount to Glasgow over the past two seasons and for that I’d like to thank him and wish him well.

Wilson said: “I am proud that we finished the season in the top eight and qualified for a quarter-final and like everyone I am extremely disappointed with the result at the weekend.

“I’d like to thank the players and staff at Glasgow Warriors for all their hard work and commitment over the two seasons I was with the club.”


Super6 Sprint: round seven team-of-the-week

THE OFFSIDE LINE'S coverage of Glasgow Warriors is powered by MCCREA FINANCIAL SERVICES.

McCrea Financial Services sponsor Glasgow Warriors and provide a wide range of financial advisory services including mortgage, pension and retirement planning advice. See www.mccreafs.co.uk to contact them for more information.
About David Barnes 2991 Articles
David has worked as a freelance rugby journalist since 2004 covering every level of the game in Scotland for publications including he Herald/Sunday Herald, The Sunday Times, The Telegraph, The Scotsman/Scotland on Sunday/Evening News, The Daily Record, The Daily Mail/Mail on Sunday and The Sun.

49 Comments

  1. I feel sorry for Wilson but the Leinster result made his departure inevitable. Latterly, Wilson’s selections were severely restricted by injury to key personnel. If you look at the results of Edinburgh and Glasgow, there was really very little to choose between them. The key result was Edinburgh’s win over Glasgow. If it had gone the other way, who is to say that Rdinburgh wouldn’t have been humbled by Leinster and Blair’s coat would have been on a shoogly peg, especially as he benefitted from Cockers’ shrewd signings made before his unexpected departure. I assume it was the money worshippers who invited the South African teams to join the league but feel this was a big mistake to the detriment of the British teams. The jury must still be out on Blair after the continuing failure to win crunch games at home and away.

    2
    2
  2. This may be slightly off centre, but how many full time pro players feature in Super6, how many off these feature several games & what is the ratio of Super6 v Pro side appearances?
    How can Super6 teams bring through new young SQ talent if, say, 20% of their players are f/t pro’s?

    8
    1
    • As an example, how many f/t pro players make up the marchday squads at the Watsonians v Stirling match this weekend?

  3. Rightly most comments about Wilson but I’m still staggered by the ineptitude of the players. Watched the highlights yesterday and it was even more painful than the live experience. The defence for some of the tries was non existent and it was ridiculously easy for Leinster. Whether it was maul defence or in the backs we seemed to lack the basic organisation and individual tackling skills. And then I remind myself that this was largely a team of internationals including both front rows – so how could they ship 76 points.

    I hope the players can somehow rationalise what went on and make sure that it never happens again whoever the next coach is.

    5
    1
  4. Forgive me for posing the question, although I am sure Mr. Wilson is a decent individual, could it not be that he was promoted way above his ability and expertise?
    From what I have read elsewhere he retired as a player with back problems at 25, unfortunate indeed, however playing for Weston super Mare, Cardiff Metropolitan University and then Treorchy is not exactly the most illustrious playing career and although that isn’t always the sign of an accomplished coach I’m sure it helps to ‘have been there and done that’ to some degree when push comes to shove with a dressing room that, whether over the hill or emergent still have experienced a significant level of the game higher than the Coach.
    Mind you Mr. D didn’t have a particularly stellar track record prior to lucking into a position 3 times the remuneration of for instance his successful Irish counterpart.
    Lets hope the new governance introduces more than a little common sense and a rather more critical selection process for both on and off the field performances.

    11
    3
    • George, he was also Cardiff coach when they won the European Challenge Cup, beating Toulon in the final. No Scottish coach has come close to that, Alan Solomon being in charge when Edinburgh reached the final in that competition.

      1
      7
      • Well he was also coaching in several other clubs Dragons, Scarlets, and his tenure at Cardiff 2015 with note that he would be leaving 2017/8 season, not questioning your knowledge but wasn’t it 2013 when Cardiff beat Toulon and I am not certain but I don’t think he was head coach but whatever he hasn’t seemed to be anywhere for any length of time and if he was involved in some capacity in the Cardiff set up when they beat Toulon it just might be that he lucked in.

        6
        5
      • Cardiff won the challenge cup in 2018 or 19 beating Gloucester in the final. Wilson was the head coach at the time

        5
        2
      • Nomad86 it was 2018 however as I suggested perhaps he lucked in just take a look at the players that were at Cardiff at the time.

        4
        5
      • Well that was his third and final season in charge at Cardiff so reason would suggest he built that squad himself, rather than lucking out. However regardless I still believe it’s the right decision and time to move on, last few years have been tough to follow Glasgow. Hopefully we can move on quickly

        4
        4
    • Wilson had a good track record. Very successful as Wales U20s coach. Took Scarlets pack from being as hard as a soaking toilet roll after it fell in the pan to a very good outfit. Was head coach at Cardiff when they won the Challenge Cup (coming from behind to beat Gloucester) in Bilbao. Then signed by Wasps as forwards coach but was nicked by the SRU to be Scotland forwards coach, then promoted to Glasgow head coach.
      It hasn’t worked out at Glasgow, we don’t really know why. When he left Cardiff he did so because he allegedly didn’t want to be head coach, maybe he tried again and it just doesn’t suit him.
      In his defence he inherited a crumbling squad post Rennie, and his teams have played some excellent rugby until recently – but tended to fold after 50-60mins. Not sorting that has to come back to the whole coaching team and the buck stopped at Wilson, but there are many players who need to take a look in the mirror as well
      His position was untenable after that Leinster game, but he is a good person and a good coach, maybe not a head coach

      10
      6
      • As I clearly said I’m sure he is a decent person, however you almost admit yourself that my suggestion that he was over promoted was a reasonable one. If you look at the side he inherited at Cardiff it is little wonder they won something. As regard some of the players needing to look at their own performance, as they say when you loose the dressing room the dressing room looses interest, not that that is an acceptable position either.

        5
        4
    • Nomad86 can I suggest you look up the Cardiff team that he took over that included Alex Cuthbert Gareth Anscombe Rhys Patchell Gareth Davies Tomos Williams Gethin Jenkins Rhys Williams Josh Navidi Sam Warburton and probably others that I’ve missed.

      5
      2
      • You can, but I won’t, seeing as ya have listed most of them. My point was more that he had three years there before he won anything, in an environment he was much clearly more comfortable in having been in the welsh set up for a lot longer than he was the Scottish one. And he no doubt added a fair amount of his own players to the ones who may have been there when he took over in 2015 opposed to 2018. Quite simply his face didn’t fit up here, so as I said, time to move on.

      • Nomad86 to be honest I didn’t detect the ‘his face didn’t fit’ aspect of your comment, as regards the fact he had three years with a squad that was to say the least ‘healthy’ from the start an opposing opinion might [unjustly?] ask ‘why did it take so long’. Regardless of anything else I agree with your hopes that an appropriate replacement is found.
        Perhaps the new governance combined with a bit of breathing space before next season will be beneficial: let’s hope so.

  5. I’m confused by some of the selections. Domingo Miotti (26 years) was brought in as an experienced Argentinian test player at 10 and he has hardly played. What happened to Walter Fifita? And Jamie Dobie was tipped by several journalists to be a future Lion and he has started very few games.

    • There are other guys as well as your list , we have 5 no9’s Price, Horne , Dobie , Kennedy, Lenac and from the 2 appearances he has made Lenac looked good but again why 5 no9’s. Then we let Swinson go and he has regularly played for Saracens for 2 years and we are about to let Harley go when to me he certainly has an other season in him. McDonald also seemed a guy we did not make full use of but Bristol seem to like the look of him. We seemed once capable of finding and putting a side together , Hogg , Finn , Seymour , VDM, Bennett , Dunbar Nakarawa and Nico , J Gray. Time we started again with the rebuilding.

      • are Lenac and Kennedy fixtures or short term cover for this season? G Horne has been injured all season and Price regularly with Scotland. Dobie just turned 21 today, and TBH he still has time to kick on but he hasn’t this season.
        Harley will forever be a legend but he has been past it for more than this season, and not the only one
        We do need to rebuild, we had a good squad but we lost too many of the very best to other teams/more money and literally no effort to start a rebuild under Rennie who left us in a far worse place than he inherited

        4
        2
  6. My son and I went to the Cardiff game and for 60 minutes we were all over Cardiff but then the wheels fell off. In my view the biggest weakness has been the defence (or lack of). Living in England I see very few live Glasgow games but the recordings I watch all provide the same conclusion of poorly organised defence. It cannot be rocket science that the defence organisation should replicate the national side’s so that players are comfortable with the system. That is down to coaching.

    11
  7. Not much to celebrate here. A man has lost his job, and not all of it is of his doing.

    Some of the players in that squad need a long hard look at themselves. We are carrying some lads in the twilight of their careers, and some of the younger lads need a good kick up the backside.

    What I saw in that game was absolute capitulation.

    Leinster were fighting for every ball, opportunity, and every set piece even when they were 50+ points ahead. They worked for each other, hustled, carried and supported right throughout the game. I saw none of that from Glasgow.

    Whoever comes in I hope they wait and make the right choice. We need a different brand of rugby that allows us to be flexible in attack and defence. Somebody above mentioned Jamie Joseph…whilst a great shout I doubt we’d get him. But that kind of rugby is what we need to play. Heads up, pro-active, aggressive rugby that keeps the other team blowing out their arse for large periods of time.

    The recruitment policy must be looked at. We are not a retirement home for lads who were once top drawer players.

    19
    2
    • Tom English put it well when he said that some players were undoing reputations they’d spent years building up. But nevertheless I think the buck stops at the coach. Mindset, work rate, organisation, discipline and focus are all things that as a collective are highly coachable and don’t rely on skill. Those things Glasgow currently lack should be the baseline.

      Recruitment has been mixed, with old squad filler alongside some genuinely talented acquisitions – but in my opinion is a red herring. Wilson hasn’t lost his job because Glasgow didn’t win a trophy, he lost his job because Glasgow have descended into a rabble.

      No one expects a new coach to turn Glasgow into a title-challenging side in a season but they do expect to turn them into more than the sun of their parts, which should be good enough to deliver a play off and ECC run, and really doesn’t require a huge squad overhaul.

      So yes, soul searching amongst the squad is required but let’s not pretend the main man responsible for Glasgow’s regression isn’t the one who has been removed. He’s a decent man so deserves sympathy but sport is ruthless and he didn’t come up to scratch.

      15
      1
  8. Would love to seen them recruit Jamie Jospeh as the new Head Coach, he did wonders with the Japan team in the 2019 World Cup playing a attacking brand of rugby which suits Glasgow more in my mind.

    6
    2
    • I doubt Joseph and Brown (they’re a joint ticket) would come for anything less than the Scotland job – and even then they’ve got strong ties to Japan back to their playing days.

  9. Leaving Jonny Matthews out( leading try scorer) was a no no. Team has been struggling all season and the big wigs have let it ramble on and on. Who’s next for the chopping block?

  10. Right thing to happen. Warriors have been atrocious all season even when winning. Clreatly Wilson a cheap move for Dodson and co and carried can for the debacle in Japan. This also says a lot for fan or people power as there were /are some very disgruntled supporters at Scotstoun. Need some more changes as highlighted in other posts. Mr Kellock? Or Anonymous Al as he is known !

    9
    1
  11. The problem now is having someone in post quickly to deal with the players and the 3 R’s – who do we remove, who do we retain and who do we recruit. We also clearly need, not just a good coach but a really good manager. Someone who can quickly pick up the pieces and build a real ethos and positivity in the Club. I hope the SRU have someone in mind and not from the Scotland set up – they are almost as bad as Glasgow. Vern Cotter? There’s a thought!

    12
    1
    • There’s know doubting DW is genuinely all round good man,unfortunately results matter & it’s time for him to move on. Since Dobson might in the sacking mood Townsend next?.Lancaster would be a good choice for glasgow.

      9
      1
    • Must not and can not be from the SRU merry go round. Plus need to look at the entire back room team plus AK as MD as he has to take some responsibility.

  12. There is a lot more wrong at Scotstoun than just a poor management appointment in DW. The whole supporter experience needs significantly upgraded. Where do you start ? Well if I was AK I wouldn’t be holding cosy tet a tets with a small number of fans from social media. I would take a break from the corporate seating and bars and go out into the ground over a number of matches and speak to real fans. He would then realise that we do not all live in the west end of Glasgow and maybe understand why his stadium is 60% capacity for an 8pm kickoff on a Saturday night. I doubt any of the management team will have experienced a queue for inadequate portaloo toilet facilities behind the west stand which have no lighting or queued for an overpriced beer/burger either. The gymnasium bar is a total joke. Go to a Gallagher Premiership ground and the difference is night and day for supporters. Quins ground is superb, plenty staff bars/toilets a free band and disco every week. This has nothing to do with having Glasgow Council as landlord. No it is a certain attitude by SRU and management to the vast bulk of ordinary fans. Our season ticket group consists 7, 5 are not renewing, 2 of us are undecided. Says it all.

    23
    • Sack Ryan Wilson, Richie Gray and Fraser Brown as a minimum. We need to clear out the players who didn’t lead as senior players must. All this talk of a Warrior culture is just noise unless standards are set through action – painful, but essential.

      We all know the limitations of Scottish rugby (player base must expand, more fans etc) but look at the achievements of La Rochelle and take note. Glasgow were so close to beating Leinster in the Pro14 final and are now little better than a training run?

      Poor management and bad on field leadership got us here but the opposite can be the way back out if difficult decisions can be made again.

      • Don’t know about Brown but definitely Gray and Wilson. They have been essentially passengers of late. If you want a good chuckle, go to YouTube, select a recent Glasgow Warriors game then do an ISO on Gray throughout the match. Watch just how uninvolved he is during most of the game.

    • Ok decent facilities Beer and Bogs are one thing KB but Free Band and Disco! Not for me thank you very much, academic as it is as I am not even in the UK it’s the Rugby and the chat with fellow supporters that would be my priority.
      Other views are available obviously.

  13. There is a lot more wrong at Scotstoun than just a poor management appointment and subsequent demise. The whole supporter experience needs significantly upgraded. Where do you start ? Well if I was AK I wouldn’t be holding cosy tet a tets with a small number of fans from social media. I would take a break from the corporate seating and bars and go out into the ground over a number of matches and speak to real fans. He would then realise that we do not all live in the west end of Glasgow and maybe understand why his stadium is 60% capacity for an 8pm kickoff on a Saturday night. I doubt he will have experienced a queue for inadequate portaloo toilet facilities behind the west stand which have no lighting or queued for an overpriced beer/burger either. The gymnasium bar is a total joke. Go to a Gallagher Premiership ground and the difference is night and day for supporters. Quins ground is superb, plenty staff bars/toilets a free band and disco every week. This has nothing to do with having Glasgow Council as landlord. No it is a certain attitude to the vast bulk of ordinary fans. Our season ticket group consists 7, 5 are not renewing, 2 of us are undecided.

    • Scotstoun stadium was built for athletics not rugby. Spectators in side stands to far away from pitch. Find/build a new venue or back to Firhill.

      3
      3
  14. I have been very vocal about the need for change, and this is the first very necessary step – on a journey though as it will not be a quick turnaround – expect to see some big names living in reputations go next as they have been equally culpable in the lack of leadership in recent times.

    Like a lot in life, it is just sometimes about timing and DW was just the wrong guy at the wrong time. By all accounts a decent bloke so wish him all the best for the future.

  15. He probably had to go but he is far from the only issue. The recruitment at Glasgow has been pretty substandard for the last 4 or 5 years.

    10
  16. I still think a squad with McKay, Tuipulotu, Steyn, Johnson, Thompson, Price, Dempsey, Darge, Gray, McDonald Cummings, Z & M Fagerson, Turner, Matthews, Bhatti, Kebble should perform better on a regular basis. There was clearly something wrong at Glasgow.
    Very interesting to see the successor

  17. Clearly recent results dictated that Wilson had to be replaced. The Warriors played some excellent attacking rugby under Wilson usually for the first 55 – 60 minutes and then lost momentum and then often the match. I hope whoever replaces Wilson can build on the positives with this young squad and help the team fulfil its potential. Good luck to Wilson wherever he finds his next challenge.

  18. Well that surprises me, there obviously was substantial disquiet with the SRU heads of state and the Glasgow hierarchy for them to act so quickly. To me they are a year late but I don’t think it could have gone on any longer, Leinster mocking us will live long in the mind. It’s going to be a tough job to put Glasgow back together again lets hope they get some one worthwhile for the job.

    17
  19. I am sorry but I have no sympathy. I am aware that his coaching methods had forced some players to leave whilst continually playing the same stale players week in week out. Players require time to recover which doesn’t appear to have been given to the detriment of the team. He is not the only one that needs to go. Look at the Irish teams and their coaching methods, perhaps they require to employ a coach with some player management skills. Saturday was an embarrassment to Scottish rugby against Leinster’s 1st/2nd 15. I will not return to Scotstoun in the near future and they have certainly lost a season ticket next year even with him being sacked.

    7
    1
  20. It was the right decision to can him after that, but the players need to take a long, hard look at themselves. Far too many of them just gave up. Whoever comes in needs to stir things up and get rid of the complacency.

    It’s time for Cockers.

    2
    8
    • Richard Cockerel is as good a fit for Glasgow Warriors as Mother Theresa would be for Ron Jeremy.

  21. Correct decision, his position was untenable. I think SRU would probably be keeping tabs on a few interested parties but wouldn’t make any of them public unless they were sure of recruiting them successfully. On the other hand I’m sure this is a headache they’d have preferred not to have as it isn’t ideal time to get a new coach. Fingers crossed SRU can be as ambitious in its recruitment as it has been in recent past as I think benefits of having top-class coaches is pretty obvious.

  22. I have been critical of Danny Wilson as results overall have shown him to have been the cost effective appointment that many of us feared from the off. Danny himself seems to be a decent guy and never hid away from difficult interviews. His legacy would appear to be a decent young squad that now needs some direction, discipline and the injection of some Warriors DNA. I hope that standing in the North Stand at Scotstoun will again be fun and exciting rather than the mainly joyless experience it has been of late. Similarly to others I wish Danny well and I’m sure the experience he has gained over the last 2 years will stand him in good stead in the future.

    9
    1
  23. Never the best to hear that someone has lost their job but I think the minimum threshold for results this year wasn’t achieved and therefore it was inevitable. It will be interesting to see if he is the only casualty. Slightly disappointed to hear that they are just starting to search now for a replacement as you would hope the SRU had some irons in the fire.

    10

Comments are closed.