Glasgow Warriors name Jonny Gray as new captain

New Glasgow Warriors captain Jonny Gray at Wednesday's European Champions Cup launch at Twickenham Stoop. Picture: David Davies/PA Wire.
New Glasgow Warriors captain Jonny Gray at Wednesday's European Champions Cup launch at Twickenham Stoop. Picture: David Davies/PA Wire.
Share this article
1
Have your say

JONNY Gray has been handed the Glasgow Warriors club captaincy after signing a new three-year contract.

Warriors have confirmed the 21-year-old will succeed Al Kellock, who retired at the end of their Guinness Pro12 title-winning campaign.

It’s a very special day for me and my family and I’m really looking forward to leading the team

Jonny Gray

The Glasgow-born lock captained the club for the first time in an away victory over Connacht in April and now gets the role on an ongoing basis.

The Scotland international told the club’s website: “I’m hugely honoured to have been named captain of Glasgow Warriors.

“I grew up supporting Glasgow and it means a lot to have been given the opportunity to captain the club, following in the footsteps of an inspirational leader like Al.

“It’s a very special day for me and my family and I’m really looking forward to leading the team.”

Warriors head coach Gregor Townsend added: “Jonny has shown leadership qualities right back to when he was in the BT Sport Scottish Rugby Academy and had his first taste of rugby as a professional.

“He is someone who seeks out information and relishes taking on challenges. He did very well when he captained the side last season away to Connacht, in a difficult environment.

“Al became the captain at a young age and grew into the role to become an outstanding leader of men.

Jonny will lead in his own way but already has the respect of the playing and coaching group by the way he conducts himself. The captain is one aspect of our leadership group and what excites me is that there are a number of leaders in our squad, setting standards, supporting and challenging their team-mates on a daily basis.

“It’s great for Jonny that he knows he’ll have the likes of Josh Strauss, Rob Harley, Peter Horne and Chris Fusaro supporting him.”

Gray was at Twickenham Stoop in London yesterday for the launch of the European Champions Cup, which gets under way next weekend with the Pro12 champions up against Racing 92 in Paris. Glasgow’s pool also contains Northampton Saints and Scarlets.

European Champions Cup bosses are weighing up whether to adopt Hawk-Eye after the technology’s use at the World Cup.Television Match Official (TMO) referrals received widespread early criticism at the World Cup, with the first half of England’s opening match against Fiji lasting almost an hour.

European Professional Club Rugby (EPCR) are now in discussions over whether to adopt the Hawk-Eye system, which allows the TMO to pool all available camera angles.

Donal Courtney, head of match officials at EPCR, praised Hawk-Eye’s accuracy, but admitted further discussion is required.

“It’s important to understand that the Hawk-Eye system that was used was a trial in the World Cup,” said Courtney. “The technology’s quite expensive.

“It’s something we’ll look at on whether we can bring it into European Rugby, but we’re not using it as things stand.

“That’s something we need to look at, and it is an expensive piece of kit.There may also be alternative products, so that’s all up for discussion now.”

Courtney defended Hawk-Eye’s impact on the World Cup, despite supporters and television viewers expressing their displeasure at delays in matches.“If you look at the World Cup the first couple of matches I think there was a little bit of difficult lining up all the angles,” said Courtney.

“So there were some logistical issues there.

“There were a few issues around delays, but the average number of TMO calls in our competition was 1.9 per game last season. And at the World Cup it was 2.9, so you got on average an extra call per game as a result of Hawk-Eye.

“Some games you may have none, some you have six or seven.But I think it’s a very good product and it allows us to get decisions right.

“There will be a review of the whole TMO process coming out of the World Cup, so what happens over the next few months, we don’t know.”