Warriors await news on Fagerson as Kings match switches venue

Head coach Dave Rennie said immediately after the match that he was hopeful there had been no fracture.

Glasgow captain Callum Gibbins
Glasgow captain Callum Gibbins in action against the Cheetahs on Saturday. Image: Frikkie Kapp/Fotosport.

GLASGOW Warriors are expected to issue an update today on the lower-leg injury which led to Zander Fagerson’s being hospitalised in South Africa on Saturday night. The Scotland tighthead had to be carried off during the second half of his team’s 52-24 win over the Cheetahs in Bloemfontein after sustaining the damage, and was accompanied to hospital by a member of the Warriors’ backroom staff.

Glasgow were themselves awaiting a prognosis yesterday following a scan on the 22-year-old. Head coach Dave Rennie said immediately after the match that he was hopeful there had been no fracture.

Meanwhile, the Warriors’ game against the Southern Kings on Saturday has been moved from the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium to the smaller Nelson Mandela University Stadium, which is also in Port Elizabeth. The 46,000-capacity Bay Stadium is due to host the Rugby Championship game between the Springboks and the Wallabies at the end of this month, and more time is needed to prepare it for that match, according to a statement from the PRO14 yesterday. The university ground, known informally as Madibaz Stadium, regularly hosts athletics meetings and football fixtures as well as rugby matches, and has a capacity of 15,000.

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Having made it three wins out of three in Conference A, Glasgow will be strong favourites to make it four from four when they take on the Kings, who lost 28-7 at home yesterday to Conference B leaders Ulster. For a while in the first half in Bloemfontein Rennie’s were under some pressure from the Cheetahs, but three quick tries in the third quarter put them in control.

“We wanted to see what altitude would do to us,” DTH van der Merwe said yesterday. “There was a lot of talk during the week about playing at altitude and how tired the boys were last year. We started off really well with a try straight off the bat when everyone was fresh, but they scored a couple of tries and everyone thought ‘Is this the altitude having an effect?’.

“We went through the processes that we do back home as well – taking a few breaths, just calm the nerves and think about our role. Then getting a good game plan and sticking to it. Once we did that we scored good tries.”

The game was especially pleasing for the Warriors winger, as it was the first time he had played as a professional in South Africa, where he was born and raised. “It has always been a dream of mine to play in South africa professionally,” he added.

“I came here with Canada once on a sevens trip to George, but I was injured and didn’t get to play, which was very disappointing. But to get down here to play was a massive honour for me. My uncle, my mum’s brother, was in the stand with his family so it was great to have someone there that I haven’t seen in 10-plus years. Now I’m looking forward to a week down in Cape Town where I still have family and a few of my friends.”

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About Stuart Bathgate 1213 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.