Why Ross Thompson and Rory Darge are making Glasgow Warriors coach Danny Wilson’s job harder

Danny Wilson has backed the young Scottish talent at Glasgow Warriors to give the club’s international signings a run for their money when it comes to team selection this season.

Ross Thompson will start at stand-off for Glasgow Warriors against Worcester. Picture: Alan Harvey/SNS

The Scotstoun club round off their preparations for the new campaign with a friendly against Worcester Warriors on Friday.

Wilson, the Glasgow coach, has rung the changes, giving stand-off Ross Thompson a start, with Duncan Weir on the bench. It’s a reversal of roles from last week when Weir began the game against Newcastle before being replaced by Thompson in the second half.

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As well as Weir, the Warriors recruited Domingo Miotti over the summer, giving them three quality stand-offs. Miotti is away on international duty with Argentina but Wilson sees No 10 as an area of strength.

Rory Darge has impressed for Glasgow Warriors following his move from Edinburgh last season. Picture: Ross MacDonald/SNS

The experienced Weir rejoined Glasgow from Worcester and impressed against Newcastle but Wilson has warned that Thompson has laid a strong claim to the jersey.

“Duncan comes in knowing Ross was the performing ten at the end of last season,” said the coach. “We had a good run of games, good wins, including the Leinster win where Ross played a massive part in the game.

“He has kicked on from a young academy ten to showing he can start week in, week out at that standard. If you think Duncy Weir, Ross Thompson and Domingo Miotti when he comes back from Argentina – all of a sudden we have that competition that we need here.

“That will make my job a lot harder, and the selection meetings a lot harder but that is what we want.”

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Wilson hopes for much the same at openside flanker where Rory Darge made a striking impression towards the end of last season following his move from Edinburgh.

The coach has challenged the North Berwick youngster to stake his claim to start for Glasgow in their league opener against Ulster on September 24.

“I am excited about Rory,” said Wilson. “He hit the ground running in the derby for us against Edinburgh and was outstanding and has been ever since but so are Tom Gordon and Jack Dempsey and other people who can play seven.

“What is up for grabs over these two games is who wants to play against Ulster? I will see from this game and the last game.”

Dempsey, the Australian international, has recovered from a niggle and is expected to make his Glasgow debut off the bench against Worcester.

Stafford McDowall moves from centre to full-back for the game at Sixways as Wilson juggles his back three resources. Ratu Tagive is out for six weeks, Logan Trotter dislocated his finger in training and new recruits Josh McKay and Seb Cancelliere have not yet joined up with the squad.

“Last year we experimented with Huw Jones [at full-back] and that paid off, and now we’ll experiment with Stafford,” said Wilson. “His kicking game is excellent, he’s a good leader, can step up as a second receiver, can beat people, good hands, his defensive work is good as well. And if I’m brutally honest we are very light in that position.”

Glasgow are also light at loosehead, and have signed Brad Thyer from Cardiff Blues on a short-term loan deal. With Oli Kebble, Jamie Bhatti and George Thornton all out injured, Thyer will be on the bench against Worcester.

Glasgow Warriors (v Worcester Warriors, Sixways, Friday, 7.30pm)

Stafford McDowall; Rufus McLean, Sione Tuipulotu, Sam Johnson, Cole Forbes; Ross Thompson, George Horne; Tom Lambert, Johnny Matthews, Simon Berghan, Lewis Bean, Richie Gray, Scott Cummings, Rory Darge, Ryan Wilson.

Subs: Grant Stewart, Brad Thyer, Murray McCallum, Murphy Walker, Max Williamson, Rob Harley, Rory Jackson, Tom Gordon, Jack Dempsey, Jamie Dobie, Duncan Weir, Finlay Callaghan, Peter Horne, Nick Grigg, Ollie Smith.

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