Grigg good to go as natural stand-in for Jones in the centre

Nick Grigg showed he is ready to step into the boots of injured Huw Jones when Scotland travel to Paris, after this “insanely” fast victory over Cardiff.

Glasgow Warriors celebrate at the final whistle after victory over Cardiff Blues. Photo: REX/Shutterstock
Glasgow Warriors celebrate at the final whistle after victory over Cardiff Blues. Photo: REX/Shutterstock

France are likely to want to play at a substantially slower pace, but Grigg, pictured below right, showed he could counter the bulk of the likes of Mathieu Bastareaud by flying up in defence to cut down space.

There was more good news for Scotland with prop Zander Fagerson and Adam Ashe coming through their returns from injury unscathed should they be required in France.

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It was a crucial win for Glasgow too, putting them just two points behind Conference A leaders Munster, but with a nine-point cushion to third placed Connacht who visit Scotstoun this weekend.

Grigg certainly laid down a marker with his first-half performance in particular. “If called upon I would be up for it, that’s for sure,” he said afterwards.

“Defensively and offensively I have been trying my hardest each week to get into that starting spot I guess. It is tough with all the competition, but all you can do is put your best foot 
forward and hope you get a shot.

“There were a couple of mistakes but overall I thought my defensive performance was really good.

“The game was insane. We’ve had a couple of weeks off so the body wasn’t quite ready for that sort of pace.

“We knew leading up to the game it was a beautiful night, not much wind, the ground was dry and we knew Cardiff like to play with a bit of width the same as us.

“We knew we were in for a tough battle and right from the get-go in the first 20 minutes, I was blowing so hard just width to width, length to length, try after try and whenever a scrum happened, we said ‘Thank the Lord I am getting a bit of a break here’.”

He was not the only one to lay down a marker in terms of Scotland. Glasgow coach Dave Rennie said: “It was great to have George Turner back, first game since December, and Zander’s first game for five months. I thought George was phenomenal, throwing was excellent and he was great with ball in hand.

“It was nice to have those guys back and we will see what Gregor’s plans are. We have a fair chunk of guys going into camp to start preparing for France. With Adam [Ashe] too, it is good to have all these guys back in. With the amount of injuries Scotland have got at the moment he must be reasonably close and he put in a good shift tonight.

“Having Ali [Price] with us tonight too, so Nick [Grigg] had a really big game, really strong defensively, got a lot of ball in his hand early in the game in particular and played a big part in our first two or three tries in particular.”

The result also sets up the clash with Connacht which could go a long way towards turning Conference A into a two-horse race at the top.

“It is a big game for us against Connacht next week, they are nine behind us so if we can do a job next week, we will keep a little more breathing space,” said Rennie. “We know the next few games are important, but we are just going to take them one at a time. Then we travel to Zebre, then Cheetahs after that – all teams in our conference – so if we can get a good amount of points in them we will be in a good spot.”