New Glasgow Warriors coach Danny Wilson on finding a solution for the rugby players robbed of a game by Covid
Danny Wilson makes his home bow as Glasgow Warriors coach on Sunday but will do so in an eerily empty Scotstoun Stadium.
As the fan ban continues for Scottish sport, Wilson will have to rely on his own motivational skills and those of his players as his side take on Scarlets.
But deserted stadiums are just one consequence of the coronavirus pandemic for Scottish rugby. It was announced on Friday that the game below international and professional level has been postponed until next year. That includes the semi-pro Super6 which won’t resume until spring 2021 at the earliest.
With no tier of rugby beneath the pro sides it becomes incumbent upon Glasgow and Edinburgh to find a way for their academy and fringe players to have experience of competitive action should they need to be called up to the senior sides.
It’s particularly important given the imminent loss of players in the forthcoming international window and the continuing threat of Covid-19.
It is a conundrum Wilson says Glasgow are trying to resolve.
“We’re talking about a solution in-camp around something; how we can create a second tier of players,” the Warriors coach explained.
“I don’t know any time during my coaching career when we haven’t had the second tier to go to.
“The big concern is that there will be a lot of players who haven’t really done proper training - that is not making a tackle for seven months. That’s a huge, huge thing and a strange uncharted territory.
“We have to be aware if we do bring a player in, he hasn’t done anything for seven months apart from running and weights. Scrums lineouts, contact – they need to be battle-hardened and that takes at least a couple of weeks.
“So we have to take a look and see if this one or that one fell over due to Covid, who do we go to next and how do we make sure they’re ready to go or at least fit for purpose to be safe to go into a game of rugby?
“So it’s going to be a year unlike any other because of Covid instances. We’re working on putting a plan in place and I’ll hopefully be able to inform you more as and when we get there.”
The more pressing matter for Wilson is marking his home debut with a win. During last weekend’s 28-24 defeat by Connacht the coach saw his side score three fine tries but still end up on the losing side.
“Our tries were three very good and well worked scores,” he said. “Looking back, we had some very good defensive sets; are defensive stats and numbers were really high in comparison to other games. What we conceded was on the basis of poor decisions in key areas and maybe a bit of poor management of chaos opportunities for them.
“When you scored 24 points away from home you have to be winning. We have to look back at what we conceded and put that right.”
Zander Fagerson and Tom Gordon will start against Scarlets after Covid-19 issues forced them to self-isolate and miss the opener.
Winger Ratu Tagive also returns while Niko Matawalu could make his first appearance of the season off the bench.
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