Ryan Wilson has lost the Glasgow Warriors captaincy but he's still a leader and not ready for a backseat yet

Ryan Wilson may not be Glasgow Warriors captain any more but it won’t stop him encouraging and pushing the young players at the club.

Having said that, the 33-year-old isn’t ready to step aside and allow the up-and-comers to oust him just yet.

Wilson was on the bench in Swansea on Saturday when Glasgow took on the Ospreys, with young Gregor Brown picked at blindside flanker. As it turned out, an early injury to Jack Dempsey meant Wilson came on after 12 minutes and although he couldn’t prevent the Welsh side winning, he was pleased to get his first outing of the campaign.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

It’s all change at Warriors this season. Danny Wilson has gone and Franco Smith’s new regime has brought an increased emphasis on fitness and a new skipper.

Gregor Brown started in the back row for Glasgow Warriors against Ospreys. (Photo by Ross MacDonald / SNS Group)

Ryan Wilson and Fraser Brown had shared the role but Smith has opted for a single club captain in Kyle Steyn. Unfortunately, a hamstring injury has sidelined the winger and Ali Price led the team in Swansea, but Wilson will continue to do his bit.

He says life under Smith is “certainly different” but believes he still has a key role to play.

“Over the past five years I’ve always been skipper,” said the back-rower. “Dave [Rennie] came in and made me captain, and then it was co-captains with Callum [Gibbins] and also under Danny [alongside Brown].

Read More
Duhan van der Merwe rejoins Edinburgh Rugby after Worcester Warriors collapse
Ryan Wilson still has a leadership role at Glasgow Warriors. (Photo by Rob Casey / SNS Group)

“So after all those years as captain in some form this has been very different for me. But, again, the way that I approach it is the same way as I did when I was captain.

“As you go on you develop different roles. And one of those that we’ve chatted about is me pushing and helping the younger guys. But that’s something that I’ve already naturally developed into, a leader that tries to help people grow.

“In terms of the way I led as captain, it wasn’t so much the rugby. I left that more to Fraz. It was more stuff off-field and I can carry on doing that. And helping Steyno.

“It’s tough for him as he got injured early on which is frustrating and it’s so important just to let him be and not have an effect on how he leads for the first three or four months. He needs to find out for himself what works and what doesn’t. It’s leaving him to see what his style is and then giving him some advice as we go along.”

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Wilson missed the opening games of the season because he was best man at his best friend’s wedding in New York but he’s back in harness and ready to go when Warriors host the Bulls on Saturday night.

“I realise the transition we’re in and Franco needs to see players play,” said Wilson. “Gregor hasn’t played a huge amount of games at this level but I know what he can do. I’ve seen him and I think he’s going to be a fantastic player. But I’m not ready to step back yet.

“I always joke that I’ll go for another four years, easy. There’s four years in this old body yet. I can keep going. I’ll be pushing and trying to be in the team as much as possible this season. And when I get my opportunity hopefully I take it.”



Want to join the conversation? Please or to comment on this article.