Glasgow Warriors unable to raise an ‘A’ team for Super Series clash versus Stirling Wolves

Lack of front-row players cited as reason for cancellation

Glasgow Warriors 'A' did manage to get a team out against Stirling Wolves last April. Image: © Craig Watson -
Glasgow Warriors 'A' did manage to get a team out against Stirling Wolves last April. Image: © Craig Watson -

GLASGOW WARRIORS have announced that they are unable to raise an ‘A’ team for this Friday night’s Super Series Sprint fixture against Stirling Wolves at Bridgehaugh due to insufficient front-row players being available.

“The club is currently managing an extensive injury list,” explained a statement issued by the club. “This includes key front-row players from across the squad, including from the academy, who would have been involved in Friday’s fixture.

“Also, as a matter of priority, Glasgow Warriors has a responsibility to protect players who will be travelling to South Africa for Rounds 16 and 17 of the BKT United Rugby Championship.

“The club has sought support from Premiership clubs and Scotland U20 in attempts to keep the game on. Unfortunately, not enough cover can be made available to allow the match to go ahead safely.”

Eight out of the 10 clubs in the Premiership are now in their close season, while Hawick and Currie Chieftains play for the title on Saturday afternoon.

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The statement does not give details of who all is unavailable, however Warriors listed four hookers – Fraser Brown, George Turner, Johnny Matthews and Angus Fraser – in their senior squad as injured last weekend, meanwhile loose-head props Jamie Bhatti and Oli Kebble are also currently out of action.

There are currently three props listed as stage three members of the Academy, with Tom Banatvala, Calum Norrie and Callum Smyth all involved in the ‘A’ teams defeat to Boroughmuir in round one of the Sprint. There are no hookers in the academy.

Banatvala along with senior squad members Murphy Walker and Enrique Pieretto – who have had long spells out of action this season due to injury – all played in last Thursday’s 38-0 defeat of a combined Edinburgh and Glasgow Warriors ‘A’ match against Black Lion of Georgia.

It was announced in February that Super Series is to be disbanded with an expanded ‘A’ team programme for the nation’s two pro teams being used instead as the vehicle for giving fringe and emerging pro players game time . This embarrassing cancellation will reinforce concerns that such a strategy will not be able to provide up-and-coming players with a regular schedule of meaningful, high-quality matches.

Glasgow Warriors Manging Director, Al Kellock, said: “We’re disappointed not to be able to fulfil Friday’s A-team fixture. We have done everything within our power to try to get numbers available to play this match. Yet we cannot get enough players available for it to go ahead safely.

“We are also at an extremely important time in our league season. Therefore, we must prioritise putting our best efforts into our progress in the league and maintaining our league position and bid for home play-offs.

“Thank you to Stirling Wolves for their understanding as we take this necessary decision.”

The statement said that Warriors plan to play the last of their three ‘A’ team games on Friday 24 May against Ayrshire Bulls at Millbrae in Ayr.

Scottish Rugby are unable to say at this stage whether the game will be rescheduled, whether Wolves will be handed a 28-0 walkover win or whether there will be another outcome, until the circumstances around this call-off have been fully investigated. The statement said: “The process of a non-fulfilled fixture will now be carried out as per the 2024 FOSORC Super Series Sprint Tournament Rules.”

That was the month that was: April 2024

About David Barnes 4012 Articles
David has worked as a freelance rugby journalist since 2004 covering every level of the game in Scotland for publications including The 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.


  1. A rather poor show from Warriors. The point of the A games is to give the younger Pro players and Academy youths some useful game time against good opposition. This us long overdue.
    The A team idea works fine if gaps in the team are filled by club players being called up and given a shot. Edinburgh have about two dozen U24 Pro and Academy players. They are not all available and they don’t cover all positions, so the team they fielded against Heriots had 10 Academy boys, 8 Pro players and 5 from universities and clubs. With the Academies currently having 15 players each, fielding a team will always rely on some callups from the clubs and universities. This is a good opportunity for the coaches to run an eye over promising amateur players and quite a fillip for the club players themselves.
    It is surprising and a little disappointing that Warriors couldn’t have dug a bit deeper to find a couple of club or university or loan players to fill the gaps.
    Perfectly understand that Warriors’ full focus is currently on the league and the South Africa games, but Mr Kellock needs to be able to walk and chew gum at the same time, which he has patently not knocked himself out to do regarding the A fixture.

  2. Oh if Kenny Murray hadn’t emptied out the academies to make way for his U20’s failures to milk the cow. There would be plenty of boys around to put a decent team on the pitch.

  3. I have a couple of problems when it comes to making comment on the structure of the game from the amateur to the professional, I just don’t know precisely how the system works [sic] the other aspect is lethargy when it comes to trawling through the SRU website to work out the Nuts and Bolts: but why bother? I doubt if I know an appropriate answer, and mine basically falls short because toothpaste doesn’t go back into the Tube.
    I’ve always held the feeling that the Borders clubs in particular were never keen to embrace the Professional game in the way that the SRU at the time envisaged and from there it became a bit of ‘Us and them’.
    But to the point of the article, regarding Glasgow and Edinburgh running an A side, excuse me but what is the point if there are not regular competitive fixtures within the URC format although Anayi seems to be chucking the odd pebble in the Pond regarding Piggy Backing women’s XV’s. In many respects I can well understand that approach from the Clubs, they are at the end of a season hopeful of getting, in Glasgow’s case a couple of positive results in New Europe as the URC call South Africa, let’s be fair what’s in it for them, are they there to dig the SRU and a somewhat debatable faux competition dreamt up on the ‘we must be seen to do something, even if it’s a moving the Deck Chairs exercise.
    With monotonous regularity I keep on asking myself why didn’t they just leave the game alone and those that wanted to make money out of Rugby but a ticket to Hull or Leeds and play League, but there you go I’m just an embittered Alickadoo as some no doubt see me and my thouhts, but at least I can look back at 32 brilliant years of playing Rugby, it’s just the supporting the game today that is beginning to take the shine away and as I said at the time; ‘be careful what you wish for’.

    • Excuse the Typo’s it’s a Bank Holiday here and the Traquair has been going down a treat, the Jura awaits.

  4. Pathetic and deeply embarrassing to Glasgow Warriors. Apply the SRU sanctions.

  5. As a Hawks and passionate Club rugby fan, I’m delighted that Super 6 as expired. The real problem with Scottish rugby is there are not enough youngsters playing the game. If the SRU invested in the grass routes and introduced after school rugby into state schools instead of his super six farce, Scottish rugby would be in a far batter palace.

  6. First the fans showed they couldn’t be bothered by this phony competition and now even the players can’t be bothered. And Dodson was paid how many thousands of pounds for hoisting this on Scottish rugby?

  7. Bit of a concern for Glasgow’s run in the URC if they pick up any more front row injuries.

    • No danger Kellock and Glasgow are at it – they can’t be bothered. I sure hope he is not Mallinder’s replacement (but fear he maybe).

      Poor form. Wonder how all the Edinburgh aligned clubs feel about this as Ed A on the face turn up pretty loaded.

      • Absolutely spot on. That tell you exactly how much the value ATeam development. They are so desperate on winning something to justify the 8.1 million budget.
        They have no interest in youth development. Just look at some of the latest signings from both ED/GL. Loyalty payments to average players.
        I’m sure they wouldn’t be in any worse position if they played the youth.

  8. This is the beginning of a car crash
    Pro teams don’t have the will or the players to be organizing A games.
    We had a locked door one against a Georgia select with a 38.0 loss that wasn’t reported and now this.
    We have the Nation’s competition coming that will every two years along with 6 Nation’s take up around 20 weeks a season for international players. That will leave pro teams very underpowered with little ability to commit to an A program.
    The reason the Crb can be critised is that it’s led by individuals who did all they could to bring down s6. They got their way and now we have a potential shambles of a club game divorced from elite rugby and nothing to replace it.
    The Sprint has been left to rot on the vine as it now has no end product.
    Normally when a successful business makes a policy change its planned, the alternative is in place and fully explained to its customers and staff.
    Rugby has a finger up in the air, give clubs their way as it’s too much bother to work with them and leave us at the sru who failed to manage s6 to achieve its outcomes.
    And can’t think what to do now in place to fail again
    You couldn’t make it up

    • The agreement between the six sides and Scottish Rugby wasn’t being renewed. It’s obvious no work was done at the start of this competition on what happens when we reach year 5. It’s the current officials who are left holding the bourach created by Dodson but it’s the CRBs fault for calling time??

      How much more money would be required to continue S6? I believe a few clubs required even more financial support to stay in the competition. We have spend millions already and for what? A small number of players would have got there anyway stepping up into pro rugby. Amazing result that.

    • As a Hawks and passionate Club rugby fan, I’m delighted that Super 6 as expired. The real problem with Scottish rugby is there are not enough youngsters playing the game. If the SRU invested in the grass routes and introduced after school rugby into state schools instead of his super six farce, Scottish rugby would be in a far batter palace.

  9. It’s not a promising start for the plan to have more A team fixtures. It may have been better to fulfil the game with uncontested scrums from the start – though that wouldn’t have looked good either.

  10. Fascinating to see that this is all the fault of the CRB. Here was me thinking performance rugby was separate from the club game. How the CRB is responsible for the lack of pro players will remain a mystery.

    What it does show is the interconnected nature of rugby. Super 6 can’t stand on its own without using club players and looks like A sides can’t either.

  11. Interesting that Super 6 is being ditched for A team matches and a pro club can’t put out an A Team, so much for a vehicle for fringe and developing players.

  12. Last week Stirling Wolves started a front row of Quarm, Roberts and Tamosaistis, with Cullen, Robertson and Norrie on the bench. Ali Rogers was around but unused.
    Why couldn’t Rogers and Norrie begin as starting props for Glasgow A? Lewis Skinner could be drafted on to bench for Stirling. Smyth, Banatvala, Murphy Walker, Craig Miller (Ayr) all possible Glasgow A subs
    Admittedly hooker may be more difficult to cover. 2 weeks ago Fraser Allan of Howe of Fife covered. What about Paul Cairncross of Hawks? Or borrow one of Heriots hookers – Fenton, Liness or Hood. Or ask Corey Tait of Bears to play with Allen & Griffiths in the Bears squad. Seems a pity to deprive 40 other players a game for the want of a front row or two?

    • Lewis Skinner will be playing for his club side on Sat so would not be available. Let’s be real here the last S6 series only fulfilled fixtures by borrowing players from all the way down to tier 3 of the club game. It’s been a farce from the beginning and in all honesty they shouldn’t have tried to complete this pointless sprint series. It’s only being done to honour the contracts of the few mercenaries that hadn’t already bailed. Hilarious that the revisionists are blaming CRB as if S6 was some successful event that they had vandalized. It was a financial disaster that putting playing standards back years. The scudding off the Georgians showed that with many if the S6 graduates there totally out of their depth. Turns out watching 35 year olds from SA n NZ for 5 years isn’t that good for player development. It failed, miserably get over it. Time to move on. Glasgow n Edinburgh never liked their players being involved and many barely went through the motions. They had to do it to get paid but most hated playing glorified friendlies especially when not even allocated to a single team. I know a 37 year old who was asked to play for the Futures side in the last farce so let’s not kid ourselves that this was ever a good idea that helped produce people standard players.

  13. How rediculous is this? It’s like saying sorry England Scotland cannot play you – we have not got enough players. What rubbish – get it sorted and get a team out. You are the elite in the country. Sort it out.

  14. Back to the future. There’s no chance of regular A games being played. This 10 yr plan falls before it starts. In a couple of years we will discover we need something between clubs who have been divorced from the pathway and the pro game.
    We could call it Super rugby.
    Those on the CRB are yesterday’s men with no idea what tomorrow will bring

    • Why blame the CRB for something that falls within the remit of the performance rugby side of the house – this is a pro rugby issue, not an amateur rugby issue.

    • Aye S6 did some job of producing pro standard players !!! The u20 results say it was a total disaster and an expensive one at that. Our 2 pro sides have never had fewer Scots in their squads so it’s failed appallingly in every possible metric. Killing it was the only option and it should have been done much sooner so the funds could be directed to actual player development rather than vanity projects which have put bs k playing standards by years. Prior to S6 we were 5th in RWC….now we are hoping we can slip by the might if Hong Kong to just play the big boys. Some pathway!!

  15. I didn’t think that the games against the A sides counted as there were only 3 games for Glasgow A and Edinburgh A. i’m sure there are prem clubs and Nat clubs that could have front row.

    • They already bailed out the last S6. Perhaps most figure that they’ve had a long enough season.

  16. I cannot believe this nonsense. They suggest they have sought help from Premiership clubs and U20’s..
    Baring in mind that the Super 6 series has U18’s , players that are regularly playing Nat 1 , Nat 2 and even 2XV rugby involved in the current series – out of this they could surely have found sufficient front row cover to facilitate the fixture going ahead. The standard is definitely not that high that they should only be seeking help from Prem clubs …
    A truly abject example of the state of Scottish rugby that Glasgow could neither find or attract 2/3 front rowers from club rugby in Scotland willing to help out for a week or two.
    The Scottish rugby heirarchy should hang their heads in shame that it has got to this stage. Just another example of the disastrous system and processes that the SRU have in place. They could maybe ask some of the hundreds of very average coaches and hingers on that are currently employed without fulfilling any sort of KPI’s.
    Actually makes me angry at the disgrace the game has become . I thought I had heard it all and that it could not get any worse but this is disgraceful. I am sure even putting out a plea on TOL would have generated a few front rowers willing to step up. So bad …..Mr Kellock , I sincerely doubt you have done “everything in your power “ to correct this situation… the suggestion you have is laughable ..
    Vote of no confidence in SRU , they are actually worse than Scottish Government….

    • That’s a very fair suggestion , why have they not put out a plea for players on social media. I am sure there would be some aspiring front rowers willing to take the opportunity. I appreciate they must be a certain standard but let’s be honest the Super 6 series standard in this series is not that high and from a front row perspective you could easily look at Prem / Nat 1 and probably even Nat 2. Why not even ask players from Northumberland / Newcastle way ? All the Borders clubs front rowers will not be playing sevens so I don’t believe that there are not a few players that could fill the void in this case…

    • You cannot be serious .
      It’s laughable .
      What next to happen in this waste of time competition

    • Well put together piece,and so true and typical of everything the SRU try to control, GRob.

  17. Points deduction for non-fulfilment of fixture and forced to replay the tie at a later date.

    • Who cares about points in a league that’s basically just a series of pointless friendlies??

      • Clubs sides have faced the ignominy of a minus points total, so why not Glasgow Warriors when they are unable to fulfil their commitments to the game

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