Duncan Weir revels in his Glasgow Warriors return under lights and has say on Friday night situation

With Duncan Weir pulling the strings and fans back inside Scotstoun there was something reassuringly familiar about Glasgow Warriors’ pre-season clash with Newcastle Falcons.

The Glasgow Warriors players huddle at full time after the 12-7 defeat by Newcastle Falcons. Picture: Ross MacDonald/SNS
The Glasgow Warriors players huddle at full time after the 12-7 defeat by Newcastle Falcons. Picture: Ross MacDonald/SNS

The fact it took place on a Friday night added to the sense of occasion as the supporters ended their Covid-enforced 18-month exile.

The issue of Friday night rugby has become a bone of contention for followers of Danny Wilson’s side after the publication of the first 10 rounds of fixtures for the new United Rugby Championship saw the Warriors denied a single home game on their fans’ favoured evening.

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Al Kellock, the club’s managing director, is pursuing the matter with league organisers and Weir would like to see the situation rectified, even though it is difficult for the players get involved.

Fans were back inside Scotstoun Stadium to watch Glasgow for the first time in 18 months. Picture: Ross MacDonald/SNS
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“It’s a wee bit above our paygrade,” he acknowledged. “But there’s a rich history of Friday nights at Scotstoun and before that at Firhill,” he said. “With the Glasgow people and fans, and with club rugby [on a Saturday] and mini-rugby on a Sunday, it works perfectly here. The club is working hard behind the scenes to bring as many Friday night games to Scotstoun as we can.”

Weir, back in a Glasgow jersey for the first time in five and a half years, slotted in comfortably against Newcastle before making way for young pretender Ross Thompson early in the second half.

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The 30-year-old scored a first-half try and conversion and saw enough to encourage him ahead of the new season despite Newcastle pipping them 12-7 with a last-minute score.

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Duncan Weir is tackled by George Wacokecoke during Glasgow Warriors pre-season match against Newcastle Falcons at Scotstoun. Picture: Ross MacDonald/SNS

“I thought we played some really good stuff,” said Weir. “As a collective we’ve had maybe three 15 on 15 sessions so we’ve not had much time in the saddle to really cement things in place.

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“But we’ve got another week now to get some good sessions in and I think we can take good confidence from what we did on Friday night and try to make things click a wee bit smoother in the following weeks.

“We wanted to put on a good show. There was a little buzz about the place being back here on a Friday night underneath the lights. I know the boys took great energy from everyone turning up. It felt a lot different to the past 18 months when there’s been no fans here.

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“I’ve always had a really good reception at Scotstoun from the Glasgow fans. And it made it extra special to get over the line. As a team we’re disappointed at not winning the game as we played the better stuff in terms of possession and territory. We just didn’t get things clicking especially in the first half. We left a couple of tries out there.”

Glasgow continue their preparations with an away fixture on Friday against Worcester, the team Weir left to rejoin his hometown club.

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“It will be a good test for us as well as they’re a good side,” acknowledged the fly-half. “They’ll field their first string team with their league starting a week ahead of ours so it’s going to be a good challenge.”

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