Duncan Weir hails class of 2024 as he makes Warriors history as two-times champion

He also spoke about Franco Smith's suitability as a future Scotland head coach

Duncan Weir celebrates winning his second title with Glasgow Warriors © Craig Watson - www.craigwatson.co.uk
Duncan Weir celebrates winning his second title with Glasgow Warriors Image: © Craig Watson - www.craigwatson.co.uk

DUNCAN WEIR had been saying for some time that the current Glasgow squad reminded him of the 2015 PRO12 winners and had what it took to also become champions.

The fly-half, then, was pleased, as well as a touch relieved, to see his prognostication become a reality on Saturday night as Warriors rallied from 13-0 down to stun the Bulls at Loftus to become this year’s URC title winners.

In doing so, they upgraded Weir from being the only surviving playing member of that 2015 side to his new status as the only player to have won two honours with the club.


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The 33-year-old, who rejoined Glasgow in 2021 after spells with Edinburgh and Worcester Warriors, has been often asked about that success nine years ago and so was delighted that Franco Smith’s 2023/24 squad now got to savour it for themselves.

“I’m glad we backed up what I was saying,” he admitted. “I think it was around February-March time that I said I could feel that same squad energy, the same vibe around the place.

“It was the manner in which we did it – going away to Thomond [to beat Munster in the semi-final] and then having 50,000 people against you [at Loftus] in a pretty hostile environment at altitude, with the short turnaround with the travel.

“All the little bits of the jigsaw were a funny shape and it looked as if they might struggle to fit into the perfect picture but we managed to squeeze it together.

“When I came back to the club, boys were asking me how that 2015 win felt and I’m so happy that they’re getting to experience that.

“I think the manner of the 2015 win was a wee bit different. After [Leone Nakawara] set up the opening try we were pretty much in complete control of that Munster final at the Kingspan. But the nature of grinding out such a physical and brutal encounter at Pretoria was a different feeling.

“I thought the boys were outstanding. The physicality of that forward pack… and I thought the backs were outstanding as well. Josh McKay at the back, Sione [Tuipulotu], all of them had great games. George [Horne]’s game management at nine throughout the whole play-offs has been outstanding as well, and I’m just so happy that after all that effort we’ve come away at the right side of it

“I thought we deserved it in the end. We were unlucky not to get a fourth try and really cement the win when Demo [Jack Dempsey] went on the breakaway.

“But I’m so happy for those guys that they get to experience that. I’ve often thought I’ve not celebrated the little wins earlier in my career. It was a case of on to the next job and going again and achieving another milestone. But this time I’m going to take the time to celebrate this one properly and I’m sure everyone else is because it’s been a long season.”

 

 

Weir certainly seemed to be getting into the spirit of things judging by the celebration videos on his Instagram feed, while a message from his boyhood hero was another special moment.

“Every photographer just seemed to be watching me being a lunatic, and not catching anyone else being a lunatic,” he added. “But it was brilliant see all those pictures and the kids have seen them and found it really funny. It’s an unbelievable feeling and one that’s probably going to take a while to properly sink in.

“[Ally McCoist] gave us a little message and I was telling the boys when we were having a beer. He was my hero growing up as a Rangers fan in Glasgow and it’s special when an achievement goes outside the rugby circle. They were some nice words and it feels good.”

Tom Jordan’s late yellow card may have denied the 33-year-out a run-out off the bench in the grand final but it evidently did little to dilute his joy as he sprinted across the pitch at full-time to join his team-mates and get the party started.

“There were three of us stripped and ready to go on but the ball didn’t seem to go out. Then they did the review and Tom got a yellow card and that was my hopes done, unless they were going to rejiggle the pack!

“Obviously, the icing on the cake is getting on but I understand how much graft has gone into this season to get us to where we are so there was no sadness at the full-time whistle as you could probably tell with the social media posts.”

There will be heightened interest in Smith now after this success in just his second season as head coach at Scotstoun, with some already tipping him to succeed Gregor Townsend in the Scotland job.

Asked if he could see the merits in Smith taking charge of the national team one day, Weir replied: “Yeah, I do.

“I think with Franco, you need to get used to the way he trains and then you can see how it reflects on the pitch. In a short window, going into an international [job], I’m sure he’d be able to do it. He’s a very smart, intelligent coach and he thinks of different ways to play the game.

“You’ve seen how successful it’s been at Glasgow over the last couple of seasons and hopefully he stays at Glasgow for a few more years and we can get some more days like this.

“We’ve won [the league] twice now and we’ve got the foundations at the club to really push forward and go and achieve more, I believe.”

 


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About Graeme Macpherson 44 Articles
Graeme Macpherson is a freelance sports writer who covers rugby for a number of outlets.

5 Comments

  1. One of my favourite players for many reasons…a decent lad with a lot of contribution to Scottish Rugby despite his detractors. I think he would make a good coach.

    I am delighted for him having such a flourish in the latter part of his career.

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  2. For the calls for Smith to be Scotland coach – keep him working at Glasgow.

    The SRU made a big mistake when Andy Robinson was doing well with Edinburgh (they ended up 2nd in the league) and moved him to the Scotland job. Edinburgh were building something and he should have been left to cement the great work he did. He then failed at the Scotland job.

    12
  3. Go on Dunc – what an asset hes been for warriors – i remember him as a youngster at Firhill

    Loving seeing the boys enjoying themselves after a brutal season starting with a WC and finishing with a URC title – everyone who supports Scottish Rugby should be loving this!

    Feel for the blokes heading out on the Americas tour who were involved in the WC, URC final and now getting sent on tour – im nackered just watching them play so many games!

    11

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