Glasgow Warriors concerned disparity in Covid rules could impact Champions Cup campaign

Glasgow coach Danny Wilson is concerned that the disparity between Scotland’s Covid isolation rules and those in other countries could have an adverse impact on his team’s Champions Cup campaign.

Glasgow Warriors head coach Danny Wilson has concerns over how the different rules over covid isolation in Scotland could impact his squad compared to teams from countries with a less strict approach.  (Photo by Craig Williamson / SNS Group)
Glasgow Warriors head coach Danny Wilson has concerns over how the different rules over covid isolation in Scotland could impact his squad compared to teams from countries with a less strict approach. (Photo by Craig Williamson / SNS Group)

The Warriors are at home to Exeter on Saturday in the second round of pool matches, and as things stand members of the home squad are more likely to be ruled out of the game than are the English team’s players. As of last Saturday, if someone in a Glasgow player’s household tests positive for Covid, that player will have to self-isolate along with them. In England, by contrast, the rule remains in place allowing people to be cleared by a negative PCR test in the event of a household positive.

“The change of rules in Scotland about 10 days’ isolation for household contacts is massive for us,” Wilson said yesterday. “That means players who haven’t got it, but live with someone who has, will be out for 10 days. That’s not the same in the countries of the teams we’re going to be playing against - England, France, Wales and other nations don’t have that rule in place, I believe.”

Like all professional squads, Glasgow would still be able to put out a competitive team even if one or two of their players were sidelined by isolation rules. But, as the omicron variant spreads, Wilson is worried that the number of positive cases could prevent some games from going ahead. “I really hope not - but the threat is increasing dramatically each week,” he continued,

“A few clubs have been struggling - Munster, [Cardiff] Blues, Scarlets and Wasps, I think. You’re going to see more this week. And I think the inevitability is that we might have some threats on games. I hope that doesn’t happen, but we’ll see.”

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Medical confidentiality prevents Wilson from talking specifically about any individuals within his squad who might be unvaccinated, but he tacitly admitted that not every player has been jagged. “I think there are individual choices and individual decisions made in any environment. It’s brought to my attention if it’s going to restrict somebody from playing. It is individual choices and in every environment there are one or two who have made that decision.”

Glasgow picked up a losing bonus point at La Rochelle last Sunday, but Wilson knows they need something more than that against Exeter to stay in contention for a place in the top eight of their pool and thus qualify for the knockout stages of the competition. “I was really proud of the boys at the weekend,” he added. “To be in the lead around 60 minutes away at La Rochelle, a team that was in the European Cup final last year, was a step in the right direction.

“Ultimately we still lost the game and that was down to a couple of key moments that cost us. We will need to be right on top of our game against Exeter to get the win. If we can do that then we’ll be right in the mix.”

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