Rufus McLean backed to last the full 80 for Glasgow Warriors against Edinburgh

Rufus McLean returns to the Glasgow Warriors team for the first time in three months on Saturday and coach Danny Wilson is confident the electric winger can last the full 80 minutes against Edinburgh at BT Murrayfield.

Glasgow Warriors have missed the try-scoring threat posed by Rufus McLean. (Photo by Craig Williamson / SNS Group)
Glasgow Warriors have missed the try-scoring threat posed by Rufus McLean. (Photo by Craig Williamson / SNS Group)

McLean has been absent with a groin problem and his club have been careful not to rush him back. His return to the team comes at the expense of Cole Forbes, who drops out despite his try in Glasgow’s last match, the 35-27 defeat by Lyon in the European Challenge Cup quarter-finals.

McLean’s pace and elusiveness will pose a major threat and Wilson was understandably delighted to be able to name him in his side.

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“He’s worked really hard with the performance staff through his rehab and his conditioning to get back to fitness, and he’s raring to go,” said the coach. “He’s looking forward to it, and likewise so are we.

Rufus McLean has been out since February. (Photo by Ross MacDonald / SNS Group)

“I thought Cole Forbes played really well last week, scored a good try and so on. It was a better performance from Cole, but I think Rufus has got the nod on the fact that there is that X factor that he can bring.”

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Asked if he felt McLean could last the whole match, Wilson added: “Yes, if called upon. We have cover for that and we have plans in place, but he’s definitely ticked the boxes to be able to play 80. The way we’ve done this, we’ve actually really delayed his return to make sure he’s fully fit and has done as much conditioning as possible. So yeah, very confident in that.

“It was a groin issue, and most groin issues can be relatively complicated. It’s a case of a couple of bits and pieces that had to happen and he went through that process.

“These groin issues are always a little bit hit and miss, so you need to make sure you get them exactly right.”

McLean’s return is one of three changes to the Glasgow side from the Lyon game.

George Turner, the Scotland hooker, is promoted into the starting XV in preference to Johnny Matthews who drops to the bench. And there is also a return for Thomas Gordon who has passed return to play protocols after suffering a concussion against the Vodacom Bulls.

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