Glasgow Warriors hooker Johnny Matthews backs club to overhaul Ospreys in race for Europe

Glasgow Warriors hooker Johnny Matthews has backed the club’s shadow squad to qualify for next season’s Champions Cup while the big guns are away on Six Nations duties.

Glasgow's Johnny Matthews believes the club can qualify for next season's Champions Cup. Picture: Bill Murray/SNS
Glasgow's Johnny Matthews believes the club can qualify for next season's Champions Cup. Picture: Bill Murray/SNS

The race for European places will hot up over the next few weeks as the final rounds of Guinness Pro14 are played.

Matches will take place on the same weekends as the Six Nations, so Glasgow will have to do without their large international contingent.

They struggled without them in the autumn but Matthews is confident there is enough quality in the Scotstoun squad to book a place in European rugby’s elite club competition.

“It’s a very tight knit group and it’s been together for the bulk of the season, really,” said the Liverpool-born forward.

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“If you think back to the time around the Autumn Nations Cup, it was a similar situation with a lot of the boys away. So we really bonded during those six to eight weeks, and we’re just moving forward with that same group of players. Everyone’s in it together.”

The Warriors, who host Ulster on Friday night before travelling to Leinster the following weekend, lie fourth in Conference A of the Pro14. They are 12 points behind third-placed Ospreys who they will likely need to overhaul to book a place in next season’s Champions Cup.

“We’ve got a couple of really big games coming up [Ulster & Leinster] and Ospreys have still got to come here as well which will be a great opportunity to claw back some of those points,” said Matthews. “We’re very confident as a group of achieving qualification for the European Champions Cup next season.”

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