OLLIE SMITH had an assessment earlier today [Monday] on the knee injury which forced him off just before half-time in Glasgow’s Champions Cup victory over Bayonne on Friday night. The results may not be known until next week, but Warriors coach Pete Murchie admitted that the 23-year-old back-three player could be sidelined for some time.
“Ollie’s a little bit of a concern at the moment,” Murchie said. “That’s potentially going to be longer term than shorter term.
“He’s being assessed at the moment. It was a problem with his knee unfortunately, so, yeah, it’s definitely a concern.
“He’s having scans done to try and determine the full extent of it. Those can normally take a few days. So we imagine it’ll be next week before we really know the full situation with it.”
Although Smith is primarily a full-back and has emerged as Blair Kinghorn‘s main challenger for the Scotland No 15 jersey since Stuart Hogg‘s retirement, he was playing on the wing in the game against Bayonne in France. Josh McKay started at 15 in that game and could do so again in Friday night’s 1872 Cup match against Edinburgh, although it appears more likely that the New Zealander will move to the wing as cover for Smith.
“We still have plenty of options in the back three,” Murchie continued. “Josh McKay, for example, Tom Jordan can easily slot in there, and Huw Jones has played 15 in the past. There’s plenty of guys who have good experience of playing high-level rugby at 15.”
Meanwhile, although his own team finished eight places and 25 points above Edinburgh in last season’s URC, Murchie expects the visitors to offer a stern challenge to his own team this time round. “When you look at Edinburgh, obviously they didn’t finish in a good place last season. But when we played them in the derbies last season, they were still in and around it.
“It wasn’t like they had a shocking season for the full year. They fell away at the end and didn’t win many games over the last couple of months of the season.
“But they’re still a good team with good players. They’ve got better as this season has gone on. They’ll be confident and they’ve been in good form, but we’ve been going alright ourselves.
“We’re both in a good position in the league at the moment. We know they are both big games.
“If you can pick up results in these games, it can be a real swing in your season with the momentum it gives you, but they are two standalone games where you know you need to apply yourself properly to get the win. Edinburgh are playing well, as are we, so it should be a cracking game.”