URC: Glasgow v Zebre: postive prognoses for Kyle Steyn and Stafford McDowall

Influential pair have a good chance of recovering from infections in time for next weekend's play-off quarter-finals

Stafford McDowall and Kyle Steyn are hopeful of being back in the Glasgow Warriors selection mix for next weekend's URC play-offs. Image: © Craig Watson - www.craigwatson.co.uk
Stafford McDowall and Kyle Steyn are hopeful of being back in the Glasgow Warriors selection mix for next weekend's URC play-offs. Image: © Craig Watson - www.craigwatson.co.uk

GLASGOW WARRIORS head coach Franco Smith hopes to have key men Kyle Steyn, the club captain, and Stafford McDowall back in the selection mix for next weekend’s URC play-off quarter-finals.

The influential pair were listed as injured when the Warriors team to face Zebre in the final game of the regular URC season against Zebre at Scotstoun tomorrow [Friday] night was announced at lunch-time today, but Smith stressed that neither player is expected to be missing for long.

“Kyle has an infection. Some of the crumb [from the artificial playing surface at Scotstoun] seems to have got into the open wound and created an infection. His knee swelled up and he had to get some antibiotics from the hospital on Wednesday. The smart choice was not to use him this week with other guys being fully fit,” explained Smith.


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Turning his attention to McDowall, Smith added:  “We are very cautious about infection. He’s been washed out surgically twice, his [cut] is closing now and we’ll see how it heals.

“Obviously because it’s his hand there is a lot of blood going to it, so the healing process is quick. We’ll assess that next week and see how far the recovery process has come.”

It is unusual to have two players unavailable due to infected cuts at the same time, but Smith indicated that he did not think the cases were linked.

“It was a strange thing with Stafford’s hand because we originally thought he fell on a stud [against Lions in Johannesburg during Warriors last game a fortnight ago], but after reviewing it, no stud can do that,” he explained. “So, I don’t now if there was maybe a nail or something sharp like a sprinkler head which was left out on the field by accident, because it was after a maul went down and he fell on the floor that the cut happened.

“I think Steyno picked up his infection here in Scotland because he was fine and it was something that came up on Tuesday. It might have been a bit of the crumb off the pitch which might have gone into the open wound. It is a small tear in the skin and it doesn’t look significant but the swelling is more worrying.”

 

 

Meanwhile, Smith said the decision to hand veteran stand-off Duncan Weir a two-year contract extension earlier this week was a no-brainer, because of the value he adds to the squad both on and off the field.

“We can’t discard experience. You play your whole life to get experience. He’s got a role to play here. I see him being an integral part of what we do on the field but also he’s a big influence on the young guys in the squad,” explained the South African.

“I think he’s got a good coaching career ahead of him, as do guys like Sean Kennedy and Fraser Brown – all of those guys played a role this year in helping us to give some of those younger players to grow and learn first hand from the best.

“So, there’s a lot of reasons why he’s important for us, and I think definitely his progression next season as a player can help Scottish Rugby in the big picture going forward as well, seeing as that he’s a clever guy who is a very distinguished and respected player and person. It was an easy choice [to offer him a new contract] from that perspective.”

Fourth in the table Warriors are targeting, and should achieve, a bonus-point home win from this final match of the regular season against bottom in the league Zebre (who have managed just one win and one draw in the 17 league matches played so far in this campaign). Then they are relying on results elsewhere to go their way as they seek to push their way back into the top two, which would mean a home semi-final draw if they make it that far (on top of the home quarter-final draw they have already secured) in the play-offs.

Third-placed Leinster are at home to Connacht (kicking off at the same time as Warriors), second-placed Bulls visit the Sharks on Saturday afternoon, and Munster are at home to Ulster on Saturday evening.


URC: Glasgow v Zebre: Scotland duo return from injury for final outing of regular season

About David Barnes 3989 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.

2 Comments

  1. Glasgow have little hope in the playoffs. Their capitulation to Lions demonstrates underlying weakness in the mindset. If Edinburgh can beat Benetton, then they have the squad to upset the favourites.

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