IAN Keatley is likely to leave Glasgow at the end of the season, despite impressing Warriors coach Danny Wilson with the work he has done on and off the field since arriving at Scotstoun in January.
The 33-year-old stand-off was signed until the end of the season by Wilson after being allowed to leave Benetton, and made a belated debut off the bench in last week’s win against Zebre. With Adam Hastings suspended for tomorrow night’s game against the Ospreys, Keatley will again be back-up to 21-year-old Ross Thompson, with whom he was worked particularly well since joining.
But, with Argentine international Domingo Miotti now having signed for next season, and Duncan Weir due to return to Scotstoun in the summer, Wilson thinks that those two plus Thompson could be as many stand-offs as he will be able to afford.
“Our current budget situation would make it difficult to sign another 10,” the coach admitted earlier today. “But never say never, because you don’t know what’s going to happen.
“But first and foremost I’ve got to say Ian Keatley has been outstanding. He’s been brilliant for our younger guys and one day I think he’ll make a really good coach. He’s been out there working with Ross Thompson and the younger boys, helping with kicking skills and stuff. On top of that, he came on and showed his maturity at the weekend.
“We want to invest in Ross and give him every opportunity as long as he’s playing well enough to deserve it. Keats is quite happy in the role he’s playing and credit to him – he’s a good pro and still has plenty to offer on the field.
“The other thing to note is age profile – there’s quite a spread between the three 10s we’ve signed. Duncan Weir  is at the experienced end of that spectrum, Domingo Miotti  is in the middle and Ross is at the younger end.
“Never say never, but I think budget restraints will make it difficult to do any more.”
While Irish international Keatley may have to look for a new club shortly, the good news for some of the other players yet to secure a new contract is that there could still be a few places available in Wilson’s squad for next season.
“A lot of people know their future, whether it’s positive or negative,” the coach explained. “There are a few boys we have released, a few we haven’t offered new contracts to. There’s a load we have [offered contracts to] and a couple in between that still have an opportunity to do something.
“A fair amount of our business is close to being done. But there are a few slots left for people to impress.
“Because of the season we’ve had, some young players have not played any rugby, and to make decisions on the academy players is well nigh impossible. There’s nothing to go on, because they just haven’t played.
“But it has provided an opportunity for some. We’ve only had our internationals available for about five games, so it has given us an opportunity to make decisions on some.”