In-form Glasgow winger Tommy Seymour admits the pain of losing last year’s European Champions Cup opener at home to Northampton Saints has brought an added intensity to the squad this week ahead of tomorrow’s visit by Leicester.
The Warriors’ Pool 1 campaign gets under way with a blockbuster against the English Premiership side at Scotstoun and Seymour is under no illusions about the importance of setting a winning tone.
“It’s a standard answer but it’s always said for a reason – the home games are so important. Being the first game too, it’s vital to get off to a good start because momentum is key in this competition.
“You can ill afford to get off to a slow start and playing the first game at home in front of a packed crowd it’s important that we go out and put our full weight behind it.”
Glasgow were boosted yesterday by the news that talismanic full-back Stuart Hogg has extended his contract with the club to May 2019.
The Scotstoun fans will be hoping Seymour does the same before the end of the season, when his current deal expires, after voting him their McCrea Financial Services Warrior of the Month following an explosive start to the season which has seen the Nashville-born flier run in seven tries. “The guys would often say that Josh [Strauss] and Leone [Nakarawa] took turns to win it the past couple of years so obviously I’m delighted to get the award,” said Seymour. “It’s a huge honour to be gifted this by the fans and, hopefully, I can win a few more.
“When you get a response from the fans and they react well to what you do it means a lot. They come out, especially at home, and give us such a great boost and lift, especially in tight games. I’m usually quite close to the touchline and hearing that noise is a great feeling.”
Seymour is naturally delighted with his free-scoring start to the season. “As a winger you’re going out there and trying to make big contributions to the games,” he said. “Tries are a key part of that. It’s been a great start . This is the best try-scoring form of my career and I need to thank the boys outside of me for making it easy by giving me such great service.”
Glasgow’s other wide men have been filling their boots too, with veteran Sean Lamont bagging a brace at Zebre last weekend as the well-honed attacking game continues to reap dividends.
“I don’t think anyone would question our attacking game over the last few years under Gregor. It’s always been high quality,” said Seymour. “But yes from the wingers’ perspectives it’s been good. Sean has three tries already, Leo [Sarto] is settling well. Rory [Hughes] and Jonesy [Lee Jones] are firing on all cylinders too so, as a back three unit with Hoggy and Pete [Murchie], we are functioning well and hopefully can carry that on.”
This is the time of year when it feels like the rugby season really hits the lift-off button as the start of the European tournaments leads into the autumn Tests, with the Pro12 also bubbling away.
“It absolutely is an exciting period but you have to give the candid answer about taking one game at time,” said the man with 13 tries from his 29 Scotland caps. “Nothing has been decided in terms of selection for the autumn internationals and with the strength we have at Glasgow in the back three there is no guarantees of a starting spot. You just have to keep plugging away and making contributions.”
Meanwhile, Leicester have responded to Mike Williams’ arm break by signing former Edinburgh flanker Tomas Leonardi from the Japanese Sunwolves and will register the Argentine to be eligible for tomorrow’s game.