“Five or six” Warriors affected by Covid – Danny Wilson

Head coach confident there is no outbreak at Scotstoun but will be denied services of some players in Friday evening's friendly against Newcastle Falcons

Danny Wilson has a moment to reflect during training at Scotstoun. Image: © Craig Watson - www.craigwatson.co.uk
Danny Wilson has a moment to reflect during training at Scotstoun. Image: © Craig Watson - www.craigwatson.co.uk

DANNY WILSON has revealed that several members of his Glasgow squad are currently out of action for Covid-related issues. But the head coach insisted there was not an outbreak of the virus within the camp, and insisted that the Warriors were simply dealing with an issue that was widespread following the loosening of rules and the return to school.

Speaking after naming his squad of 29 for tonight’s pre-season friendly against Newcastle, Wilson said other players had missed out because of injury, and declined to say who was out for what reason. Co-captain Fraser Brown and scrum-half George Horne are among the leading names to be omitted from this first outing of the season, although the coach is confident that some of those who are unable to play this evening will be back for next Friday’s friendly at Worcester.

“Sorry, I can’t go into too much detail because of the privacy of people’s medical situation,” Wilson said yesterday. “A couple of boys have returned today, we have a couple of boys who are still in isolation, and there are a couple of others who are at the start of isolation. I’ve got to be careful, but it’s around five or six who are currently affected by it.

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“We don’t have many and we certainly don’t have an outbreak. Nothing too major, to be honest with you. A lot of it is close contacts, but we have to stick by the rules and make sure we return everyone safely and properly from that.

“It’s the same as any walk of life at the moment: there’s more contacts, especially with that younger generation. They’re still making sacrifices, but they have wives, kids at school who are likely to bring situations back. We’re just dealing with that.”

The game is the first in front of a crowd at Scotstoun since February 2020, and also the first for Duncan Weir since returning to the team from Worcester. “His experience and leadership, his understanding of the game, bringing that experience into team meetings, our younger players, tactical things – he’s been excellent,” Wilson continued when asked to sum up Weir’s contribution thus far. “On the field as well, he’s trained well and seems to be in a good place, so it will be great to get him out there. 

“We know all his strengths – his goal-kicking, his game-management, he’s brave. All those things I’m sure we’ll see on show tomorrow night.”

Former Warriors prop George Thornton is included among the substitutes, having been drafted back from the Ayrshire Bulls, while another call-up from Super6 is Stirling County winger Logan Trotter. “We needed to bring in another back-three player,” Wilson said of Trotter. “We’ve got no Seb Cancelliere or Josh McKay at the moment so we’re a little bit down for the early part of the season in the back three.

“The first port of call for us now they’re back playing is the Super6. Logan’s name had popped up as somebody who has been playing well from guys who we’ve got watching, so I went to watch him play for Stirling against Ayr. I thought he played well in that game, plus the footage I’d seen from before, so it was the right person to give an opportunity to, to come in and train with us.

“He had to do a week’s isolated training. They can’t just come in – they have to go out of that bubble and do a week before they come into our bubble. So that makes it difficult if we get last-minute injuries – you can’t just go and pluck them from that league.

“So he’s come into training this week and he’ll play some rugby at the weekend. I was impressed with him and that’s great – that’s what we want from our Super6. If we’ve got the standard of player there, that’s where we should go first. If there isn’t the standard there, maybe other options come into play, loans and stuff like that.”

The vast majority if not the entirety of the squad are expected to get some game time tonight, with the bulk of the changes due to be made around the 50-minute mark. 

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About Stuart Bathgate 1392 Articles
Stuart has been the rugby correspondent for both The Scotsman and The Herald, and was also The Scotsman’s chief sports writer for 14 years from 2000.