Glasgow’s South African trip good for team bonding says Ryan Wilson

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Glasgow Warriors co-captain Ryan Wilson has declared himself fit and raring to go for the second leg of the South African double-header after shaking off injury and illness.

The Scotland back-rower travelled carrying a few knocks from the 25-10 home win over Munster on 7 September and then was struck down with a sickness bug ahead of the thumping win over Cheetahs in Bloemfontein.

From their base in Cape Town, Wilson reported himself fit for action when they travel to Port Elizabeth and face Southern Kings in the Guinness Pro14 on Saturday.

“I had a bit of illness but I’m good now. I’ve had a week to get over it. I maybe could have pushed it last weekend, but I’m all good to go now,” said the 29-year-old.

Wilson may not have been part of the matchday squad last weekend but, illness containment concerns aside, he has played his part on the mini tour and said it was already proving a useful exercise in terms of gelling the squad ahead of the Heineken Champions Cup and what is hoped will be a Guinness Pro14 campaign which ends in the final at Celtic Park on 25 May.

“It’s been really good,” said Wilson. “We got away a little bit in the pre-season, but to get a two-week trip away over in South Africa with the whole squad is definitely something we can use. We are a pretty close group already but it’s important to try and get the boys away.

“We’ve got plenty of things off-field that we’ve got planned with the boys. We’ve all gone out for dinners and stuff. We are in Cape Town at the moment, which is a brilliant city to be in.

“It is definitely beneficial to get the boys away together. Because the coaches are there you can sometimes overdo it with meetings and things like that, but we’ve had a pretty good balance.”

While enjoying the trip away, Wilson was adamant that making it four Pro14 wins out of four this weekend was the overriding priority.

“We want to make sure we get to work and do our jobs because we’ve got Kings, which will be a tough game,” he said. “

“Our minds are focused on rugby when we are on the field but when we are off it we have a big emphasis on bonding as a squad. We will move down to Port Elizabeth on Friday I believe and get ready for the game down there.

“At home, when you finish training, you go off with family or friends or with the boys outside of rugby. It’s important to replicate that when you’re away. You can’t just solely focus on rugby for two weeks because it would drive you crazy.”

Meanwhile, Glasgow assistant coach Kenny Murray is looking for improvement on last weekend’s 52-24 win over the Cheetahs. “Defensively we’ve not started as well as we did last year,” he said. “ I think some of the tries at the weekend were a bit soft but when we keep hold of the ball and we’re really hard to break down. We just need to tighten up on turnover defence.”