EDINBURGH head coach Mike Blair will not be at Scotstoun tonight for his team’s 1872 Cup clash against Glasgow Warriors after being identified as a Covid close-contact “outside the club” last week.
A statement from the club said: “Blair has been self-isolating as per current Scottish Government guidelines and will resume training next week.”
The capital squad will be led this evening by assistant coaches Calum MacRae, Stevie Lawrie and Gareth Baber.
Both squads for this crucial clash, which is one of only two matches in this United Rigby Championship round to go ahead, are significantly depleted, with Covid having been a major factor in that. Edinburgh have listed 17 players as unavailable for unspecified reasons, while Glasgow have 11 squad members missing.
“The picture has changed throughout the week in terms of the team we initially selected and what the team ended up looking like by 12noon on Boxing Day, so we’ve had some challenges in and around injuries and what have you, and we just need to adapt,” said Blair during yesterday’s team announcement, when the fact he was a isolating wasn’t revealed..
“Some [of the absentees] are injury and some are Covid, but we’re expecting the vast majority of that list – taking out Viliame [Mata] and Damien [Hoyland], who are longer term – to be around in the next couple of weeks,” he added.
Meanwhile, Glasgow Warriors head coach Danny Wilson explained that medical confidentiality prohibited him from revealing any Covid-related absentees. When asked about the unavailability of outside-centre Sione Tuipulotu, the one change to his side for this match from the starting XV which took on Exeter Chiefs last week, he replied: “I’ll let you read between the lines there.”