Richie Gray: Everyone at Glasgow Warriors was flattened by Edinburgh result but we need to re-energise for Leinster

A despondency has settled around Glasgow Warriors following their heavy defeat by Edinburgh and Richie Gray knows the squad must lift itself for next week’s URC quarter-final against Leinster.

Richie Gray wins a lineout against Edinburgh.  (Photo by Ross MacDonald / SNS Group)
Richie Gray wins a lineout against Edinburgh. (Photo by Ross MacDonald / SNS Group)

It’s a daunting test and few would back Glasgow to go over to Dublin and pull off an upset. There was little in their performance at Murrayfield to suggest they are capable of defeating the European finalists but they have beaten Leinster before and Gray believes there is a determination within the group to salvage something from a campaign in which they have flirted with the top end of the table.

The second-row has been a solid, dependable presence this season, an 80-minute performer who has brought his experience to bear in his second spell at Glasgow.

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Having scaled the heights in French rugby, clinching the Top 14 with Toulouse, Gray would love to win silverware with his hometown club. He had already left when Glasgow reached the Pro12 final in 2014 and went one better the following year by beating Munster in the final.

Richie Gray won a leadership award from Glasgow Warriors. (Photo by Ross MacDonald / SNS Group)

“Those were great years and a period of a lot of success for Glasgow,” he said. “Watching from afar I was hugely proud and wanted to be a part of that. It is a huge driver for me and for everyone in the club to continue that success and win for Glasgow.

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“After the weekend against Edinburgh myself and everybody were absolutely gutted, absolutely flattened. Again, it is about picking the energy up and trying to get something out of this season.

“If we look at it on the whole, from September to March we were sitting in the top four, sometimes top two. This last run of games has been disappointing, but we can't forget all the good work we did at the start of the season. To get a trophy out of this would mean a lot to me.”

Richie Gray has been a dependable presence for Glasgow Warriors this season. (Photo by Ross MacDonald / SNS Group)

Gray turns 33 in August and as he approaches the autumn of his career he has modified his game accordingly. Less dynamic in the loose, he has been a commanding presence in the lineout and his influence on and off the pitch was recognised earlier this week with a leadership award.

Overlooked by Scotland this season, he has put all his efforts into helping Glasgow reach the play-offs and feels like he has been able to contribute more in this campaign than last, which was his first one back at the club after eight years away.

“I had a tough season last year, joining the club in the middle of Covid. At the start of this season I had a good pre-season. I worked really well with the boys and worked really well with the management. I tried to develop leadership around lineout a bit more and add that to my game.

“I think it is just about getting a run, getting a bit of gametime and getting confidence back.

Richie Gray in action for Glasgow Warriors against Edinburgh during the 28-11 defeat at BT Murrayfield. (Photo by Ross Parker / SNS Group)

“As an athlete who is getting on a little bit, running around at 100 miles an hour is a little bit harder. It is about constantly developing how I can help the team, help the players around me and be the best that I can be. I’m finding new ways to do that.”

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