Warriors Gray and Wilson target semi-final comebacks

That match will be on the weekend of 18-20 May, before which Glasgow have two remaining regular-season games.

Ryan Wilson in action against Cardiff.
Ryan Wilson in action against Cardiff. Image: © Craig Watson. www.craigwatson.co.uk

BOTH Jonny Gray and Ryan Wilson are on course to return from injury in Glasgow’s PRO14 semi-final next month, according to Warriors assistant coach Jason O’Halloran. Wilson missed last week’s win over Connacht because of a chest problem, while Gray damaged a shoulder in the game at Scotstoun, which saw Glasgow finally secure a home semi. 

That match will be on the weekend of 18-20 May, before which Glasgow have two remaining regular-season games, against Ulster on Saturday then at Murrayfield against Edinburgh the following Saturday. O’Halloran explained yesterday (Tuesday) that a speedy recovery could see Gray be available for the latter game, but that the team was more likely to err on the side of caution.

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“Jonny’s an A/C joint in his shoulder,” O’Halloran said. “Depending on the severity of those it can be a couple of weeks to five or six weeks. We think he’s at the lower end of that hopefully, so knowing his thirst for the game I’m sure he’ll be keen to try and get out there as soon as possible.

“There’s a possibility [of playing against Edinburgh] That would probably be pretty optimistic, but there may be a chance.

“Five or six weeks would be the worst-case scenario. We don’t believe that his is quite that bad, so there is an outside chance of Edinburgh, but thinking logically it’s the semi-finals, because if you risk guys against Edinburgh knowing you’ve got a two-week break after that it would be pretty silly. So if we’re in any doubt about guys, we’ll probably just hold them back and see how we go.”

Ryan Wilson return

The prognosis for Wilson’s return looks a little more uncertain, although O’Halloran also sees that game in mid-May as the target for the back-row forward. “We’re hopeful he’ll be back come semi-final time,” the coach added. “That’s probably a realistic goal for him. The couple of weeks after Edinburgh will be crucial for him.”

The two Scotland forwards are unlikely to be the only two first-choice players to sit out Saturday’s match in Belfast, according to the assistant coach. “The good thing is that throughout the year we’ve had to expose talent and we feel like we’ve got decent depth,” he added. “You’ll see when the team’s announced there are probably quite a few changes this time around, but it’s still a quality outfit. Regardless of who we put in the 23 we still expect them to get the job done.”

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About Stuart Bathgate 968 Articles
Stuart has been the rugby correspondent for both The Scotsman and The Herald, and was also The Scotsman’s chief sports writer for 14 years from 2000.