Sheer weight of numbers testing positive for Covid-19 over a two-week period forced Glasgow Warriors to lockdown and the postponement of both legs of the 1872 Cup.
The Warriors hope to return to training in full on Monday (January 3) and play their next United Rugby Championship fixture at home to Ospreys on January 8.
The two festive games against Edinburgh, scheduled for December 27 and January 2, were both postponed due to Covid cases. New dates have yet to be announced.
The club effectively went back into 2020 lockdown, training solo and closing Scotstoun. Positives of the Omicron variant running into double figures swept through the squad and staff, explained head coach Danny Wilson.
‘We simply needed to stop coming in’
“It was just based on numbers,” he said. “They were high enough that we simply needed to stop coming in and spending training time and day time together.
We had enough in our environment that we needed to try and stem any more positive tests, basically.
“As you know, Omicron spreads far more quickly than other variants and we had to find a way of stopping that. We had enough players and staff testing positive that we needed to prevent that going any further.
“The follow-on from that would still be that in certain positions we would have been extremely stressed – if not incapable – of filling those positions.”
The problem was not a “cluster” of cases but spread over a two to three week period, he added.
“You literally had some coming out of isolation as others were going in,” he said. “It was too spread to be able to nail down exact numbers. It was into double figures over the whole period, but just not in one fell swoop.”
‘We’re not going to be clear of it’
🚨 Postponement 🚨
— United Rugby Championship (URC) (@URCOfficial) December 29, 2021
Wilson is now hopeful that the situation will alleviate enough for full training to restart ahead of the Ospreys game
“I think what we’re doing now, and the reactions we’ve had to take during this period, will allow us to be in a much better place come Monday to go into the Ospreys game,” he said.
“Like anything at the moment there’s a risk attached to it. We’re testing very, very regularly, and therefore who knows what will come from the next round of tests.
“As we stand, I’m confident and hopeful that we can get back to a far more level playing field.
“We’re not going to be clear of it – no-one’s going to be at the moment. But we’ll certainly be in a better position than we are now.”