Glasgow Warriors players emerge from isolation - but conditioning big issue as Ospreys match looms

These have been testing times for Danny Wilson in more ways than one.

Glasgow Warriors return to action against Ospreys at Scotstoun on Saturday. (Photo by Ross MacDonald / SNS Group)
Glasgow Warriors return to action against Ospreys at Scotstoun on Saturday. (Photo by Ross MacDonald / SNS Group)

While the Glasgow Warriors coach is delighted to have his players back in training following a number of Covid positive cases in the squad, he is now assessing the fitness of those forced to isolate for ten days.

With a home game on Saturday against Ospreys in the United Rugby Championship, Wilson needs to ensure his charges are up to speed.

Glasgow last played on December 18 when they defeated Exeter Chiefs at a misty Scotstoun in the Heineken Champions Cup. Wilson would have liked to have been able to build on that impressive result but has found himself stymied by Covid-related issues. It’s particularly vexing for those who have had to isolate as close contacts.

Glasgow have not played since the win over Exeter Chiefs at Scotstoun on December 18. (Photo by Ross Parker / SNS Group)

“These things take players out of action for ten days and that is not a good thing at all,” said the Glasgow coach. “From that point of view, the ones that are unable to train or do things is a challenge.

“The remaining group are freshened up after having a bit of a break and have managed to do some training when they can. That might end up having a positive influence later on down the track.

“The ideal situation would have been to keep going as we were hitting some form and we had some games together but I am confident we will pick it up straight away again.”

Scotstoun was frozen on Tuesday so the Warriors decanted to Toryglen for an indoor session. Not everyone has returned but Wilson confirmed that co-captain Ryan Wilson was out of isolation. “He’s back fully training and back available,” said the coach.

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“There are some boys coming out of isolation in the next 24-48 hours and there are one or two who went in a bit later.

“The problem we’re finding is that with 10 days of not doing anything, we’ve got to make sure they’re conditioned and ready to go again.

“If they come out the day of the game or the day before it, they’re not going to be available for that game even though they’re probably medically fit to play.

“There’s a whole balancing act that goes with it and it’s a much bigger challenge than anything I’ve ever experienced in coaching.

“You’re not just trying to manage your squad and injuries; you’re now trying to manage Covid and isolation periods and how we return people after 10 days sat in their flat not being able to do anything.

“Some of them will come out of isolation and be in a condition where they’re ready to go. Some of them might not have been able to do anything, might not have had any equipment, so we’ve got to make sure they’re OK to go.”

The positive cases in the Warriors squad forced the postponement of both 1872 Cup matches against Edinburgh but Glasgow remain on course to face the Ospreys.

“We are testing regularly,” added Wilson. “We are lat flowing every day and we are PCR-ing a couple of times a week as a minimum depending on the situation in the lead up to the game. That is pretty standard now to be honest but I don’t think we can test much more than we are testing.”

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