Throw in a lengthy injury list and a couple of concussion issues and it’s no surprise to hear Danny Wilson describe his squad as “a little bit skinny” in certain positions.
But the Warriors coach remains refreshingly upbeat and knows that the 1872 Cup clash at BT Murrayfield offers his side a chance to kick-start their season.
“We have had a reasonable week so far,” reported Wilson. “It is difficult when you come off a long period when the players have been stuck in flats and not been allowed to go out for a run, not allowed to go out to do any weights. There was a ten day period when 24 of them or whatever it was could not do anything at all.
“It means you have to slowly bring them back in. It has been graded and gradual which is for the safety of the players coming off the back of a period of not doing anything. They had a high speed full session yesterday which was pleasing.”
The first leg of the 1872 Cup was called off after four Glasgow players tested positive for coronavirus. This came after 20 members of their squad were forced to self-isolate due to being close contacts of their Champions Cup opponents Exeter, who have had their own Covid outbreak at Sandy Park.
Wilson revealed that another three Glasgow players were judged to have been in close contact and had to isolate right up until yesterday.
Asked if he has had to temper expectations, Wilson replied emphatically. “Because of the Covid stuff? No. We have our injuries and concussions and a Covid situation and we have had to respond to it and we have responded well.
“Things went well yesterday and the boys trained well and in most positions we have got some really good boys available to us. There are a couple of positions we are a little bit skinny on. This is a derby and everybody is keyed in, and we’ve trained well this week and we go into this game to win.”
The Glasgow casualty list for Saturday includes three of the four unnamed Covid cases – “they were feeling pretty rough,” said Wilson – and long-term injury victims Adam Hastings, Leone Nakarawa, Alex Allan and Kyle Steyn. Wilson reported that Fraser Brown’s neck problem is worse than originally thought and the hooker is also ruled out along with winger Tommy Seymour who is suffering from a long term concussion.
One ray of light is the return of Richie Gray who has been out since being concussed against Ospreys on 24 October.
“He has passed everything which is the one good news story,” said Wilson of the lock forward. “He should be available this weekend which is great news. Richie is a man of experience and you can see the confidence rising a bit within the group when he’s back on the training field.”