Glasgow Warriors players urged to generate their own atmosphere following fan ban

Danny Wilson has backed his Glasgow Warriors players to create their own atmosphere after Scottish Government restrictions denied fans the chance to attend the 1872 Cup clashes with Edinburgh.

Glasgow Warriors' Kyle Steyn scores a try during the Rainbow Cup win against Leinster in June which was played at an empty Scotstoun Stadium. (Photo by Alan Harvey / SNS Group)
Glasgow Warriors' Kyle Steyn scores a try during the Rainbow Cup win against Leinster in June which was played at an empty Scotstoun Stadium. (Photo by Alan Harvey / SNS Group)

The first leg of the inter-city derby takes place at Scotstoun on December 27 and Wilson hopes his side will adapt to the absence of spectators in the same way they did towards the end of last season, most notably in the victory over Leinster.

While disappointed for his club’s supporters, the Glasgow coach believes there is more than enough at stake to rouse his players on Monday and in the return leg on January 2.

“We’re disappointed but we understand it’s the world we live in just now,” said Wilson following the news that live outdoor events in Scotland will be restricted to 500 spectators from Boxing Day onwards.

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“The derby is hugely motivating anyway, to play against your rivals and the head to heads for Scottish selection,” added the coach. “But we all know that the Scotstoun crowd, the atmosphere we had in that big European game at the weekend, does make a difference.

“I can only revert to where we were at the end of last season. We won some big games here, Leinster at the end of the season, with no crowds. We created our own atmosphere and that was commented on at the time. That’ll be our aim again. And we have the experience, It’s not going to a shock to the system. And we are at home, and we’ll make an atmosphere here.

“As a head coach I’d want some people in if we are allowed, but I understand there’s a business side of this to be settled. There’s a cost to putting on games and that cost is met by full houses.”

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Glasgow head coach Danny Wilson wants his side to build on the impressive European Champions Cup win over Exeter Chiefs. (Photo by Craig Williamson / SNS Group)

Unfortunately for Wilson, Glasgow look set to exclude even a few hundred fans because of the high costs of stewarding. It’s particularly disappointing for supporters who watched their side defeat European heavyweights Exeter last Saturday and always eagerly anticipate the derby clashes with Edinburgh.

“I’ve massive sympathy for supporters, especially after the big win on the weekend,” said Wilson.” They’d want to come out here and watch us again in a derby and support the boys to roll out on to another week. I understand it’s frustrating for them as it is for us, but we understand the world we live in and with the Covid situation as it is I suppose it was inevitable something would happen.”

Wilson said hooker Fraser Brown was close to returning following his knee injury and also made encouraging noises about Rufus McLean and Ryan Wilson who both missed the Exeter game after isolating.

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“Fraser’s still got a couple of boxes to tick in terms of his rehab, but he’s certainly a lot closer. So hopefully you’ll see him in the next couple of games,” said the coach.

“Rufus is out of isolation now but we need him to go through the relevant return from Covid and the illness. Ryan is still isolating but is not a million miles off being able to return.”

George Turner is also “training well” after having to come off against Exeter.

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