Glasgow Warriors will use Lions Ali Price and Zander Fagerson sparingly in final Rainbow Cup games
Ali Price and Zander Fagerson were both named last week in Warren Gatland’s 37-man squad for South Africa this summer.
With only three games remaining of the Rainbow Cup, Wilson will manage each player’s gametime to ensure they are in optimum condition for the rigours of a six-week tour.
Glasgow will play Edinburgh at BT Murrayfield on Saturday night then face Dragons in Wales on June 29 and Leinster at Scotstoun on June 4.
“I've had a conversation with each individual. They have a view on what they want to play and need to play to go into such a thing,” said Wilson of his Lions pair.
“Both players have earned the right to manage the games going forward. I would go into any more detail of what has been said about that, but they are heavily involved in making decisions in what they want to do for the last three games.
“It is a conversation and a meeting in the middle. It is not the conversation you would have with other players. They have earned the right.”
Both Price and Fagerson played key roles in Glasgow’s impressive 29-19 win over Edinburgh last Friday which secured the 1872 Cup for the Scotstoun club for the first time since 2017. It was a much-needed win for Wilson and the Warriors after the desperately disappointing defeat by Benetton in Treviso last month.
The manner of the victory was particularly pleasing for the coach and adds shine to a season which, although challenging, looks to have ended with silverware and a place in next season’s Heineken Champions Cup, although the latter has yet to be ratified.
The remainder of the campaign feels anticlimactic and Wilson is likely to use the fixtures to play some of the younger members of his squad.
“We have three games which, to be brutally honest, don't have a lot on them,” said the coach.
“For the 1872 cup they both [Price and Fagerson] had to be selected and had to empty themselves out in it. It was a massive game and they both did that. No, I'm very sympathetic and understanding about sitting down and planning their next three games and making agreements, so that's what we've done.”
If the 1872 Cup was a “must win” for Wilson, Saturday’s night return match with their inter-city rivals affords the coach a little more leeway in terms of his team selection.
“We will definitely make a few changes but not wholesale,” he said.
It’s been a long, unusual season and the Rainbow Cup finale merely adds the strangeness but a big plus for Glasgow has been the way some of their younger players have stepped up. Stafford McDowall and Cole Forbes both looked sharp and dangerous against Edinburgh at Scotstoun and are likely to retain their places on Saturday evening, fitness permitting.
Forbes, the former New Zealand Under-20 international who is Scottish qualified, scored a fine try against the capital side but also took a knock.
“He has been outstanding. He is quite a find for us,” said Wilson. “He took a bit of a bang in that game but he is definitely one for the future.”