DANNY Wilson hopes to announce the signing of at least one and possibly two stand-offs in the next few days. With Adam Hastings out for the rest of the season because of injury, and Pete Horne currently sidelined by concussion, Glasgow need reinforcements in the position as quickly as possible.
The priority for the Warriors head coach is therefore to recruit one 10 who can join immediately. He then aims to sign up another in time for next season.
It still looks likely that Duncan Weir will return to Scotstoun from Worcester, although it is uncertain if he could be freed from his contract with the English club before the summer. The interest in Munster’s Scottish-qualified 10 Ben Healy, however, seems to have been rebuffed. Benetton’s decision on Monday to release another Irishman, Ian Keatley, prompted speculation that he could be Glasgow-bound, but given his recent form was deemed “inadequate” by the Italian club, signing him might not be viewed as the most inspired or inspiring of decisions.
Asked earlier today (Tuesday) about the search for a stand-off, Wilson declined to mention any names, but did suggest he was closing in on at least one target. “There are two things we need to do,” he said. “Short term we need a 10 – short term being the next four, five, six months.
“We have Adam Hastings out long term. Pete Horne is struggling with concussive symptoms and there comes a point where a player needs a longer period of time – a bit like the Richie Gray situation where Richie’s concussion went on and on. Although Pete’s making great strides, he’s struggled and he’s not been available.
“We were due to sign a 10 [last summer], which never happened because of the Covid budget situation. So Pete stepped in and did a good job, but really Pete’s a 12.
“We’ve got Brandon Thomson and Ross Thompson, and Ross is an academy player who’s getting some exposure now, but we need something to tide us over – somebody to come in at 10. That’s something we’re still working on now for the remainder of this season.
“And then in the longer term we wanted to recruit at least one if not two 10s. I can’t give you any news on that today, but in the very short term I should be able to give you some news on that in terms of probably both those situations.”
If Wilson does complete a signing in the next couple of days, the new man could even come into contention for a debut in Saturday’s 1872 Cup match against Edinburgh. Having been frustrated by the postponement of the game last Friday because the Scotstoun pitch was frozen, the coach was relieved to learn that agreement had been reached to play the fixture this weekend, which has become free because of the postponement of the planned Champions Cup pool games.
“It’s a short window for us when we have everyone in the building,” he added. “There was meant to be six or seven games in that period and it’s ended up being two games so far. As that window goes on and more games get called off, it just means more matches where your internationals aren’t available to you. They will soon go back to Six Nations.
“So we’re desperate for these games to go on when we have one big squad here. To have the game this weekend is an opportunity for all the guys to be involved which is really important. And then we’ll see what the coming weeks bring before the Six Nations starts again.”
Asked if a PRO14 fixture could be brought forward to next weekend, meaning his team would enjoy the rarity of two matches in quick succession, Wilson continued: “That conversation is going on in the background. I think the PRO14 are looking at what comes next. You either don’t have a game or you try to bring things forward.
“People jumping on flights and having to travel here, there and everywhere, even in the PRO14, has its risks. We just have to wait and see and respond to whatever plan is put in front of us.
“I want to play every week so we can get rolling. While we have these players available to us we want to get them on the field and give me the chance to run that squad for a few weeks. If we can play next week, brilliant. And the week after. But we will wait and see.”
Leone Nakarawa is still on course to make his comeback against Edinburgh, although after so long without his star player Wilson is understandably loath to make rash predictions.
“He trained again today in what we call a red session – a high-intensity session. He seems to have got through that up till now. Obviously wake up tomorrow morning, another day off and hopefully no flare-up with his knee, and if that’s the case we should get him to a place where he’ll have some involvement this weekend.
“If there’s any last-minute issues that might knock it on a week, which it has done before with Leone. But hopefully he’ll be involved this week.”