Glasgow are still trying to piece together a team for the New Year 1872 Cup clash with Edinburgh with four players recovering from Covid-19 infections and now captain Fraser Brown doubtful for the Six Nations with a neck injury.
Three of the four players who caught the virus after a game with Exeter earlier this month – the Premiership and European champions had over 20 cases – “had it pretty rough”, according to head coach Danny Wilson. The players are not being named under SRU policy and were never in contention for Saturday’s game.
In addition, three of the 24 Warriors players forced into isolation because of close contact after the Exeter game had a further close contact after they came out and had to undergone a further spell of isolation. They only returned to training yesterday and won’t be considered for Murrayfield.
And it never rains but it’s a deluge for Wilson, who is waiting on test results on Brown before deciding on his rehab.
‘A bit longer term than we’d hoped’
“He’s got a neck injury which I’ll be able to say more about on Friday,” said the coach. “He’s got a couple of results still to come back.
“Unfortunately he might be a bit longer term than we had hoped. We have to wait until we get a bit more clarity on how long he’s going to be out for. He got it in the Scotland game (against Ireland) and hasn’t been involved since.”
In addition, Adam Hastings, Kyle Steyn and Alex Allan remain out, while Tommy Seymour has a long-term concussion. Leone Nakarawa has restarted training and is making progress, but he’s not ready for full contact yet.
“Covid has caused us a few problems, put it that way,” said Wilson. “But there are no more positives or anybody else ill now, so we are out of the other end.
Glasgow head coach Danny Wilson.
“We’ve had a few boys quite ill after having the positive test. One had no symptoms and three were pretty rough. They then had to go through the process of being safe to return to play.
“You’ll have seen examples of footballers ended up quite ill after having Covid. Player welfare here is our top priority but the downside is they’re not available for a longer period.”
The one bright spot is Richie Gray is available to return to action, but the whole process of isolations has made training tough.
Stuck in flats for 10 days
“The guys have been stuck in flats and not even been allowed to go out for a run,” he said.
“There was a ten day period when 24 of them could not do anything at all and it means you have to slowly grade them back.
“We did a session before Christmas Eve and they had that bit of time over Christmas that they needed mentally more than anything.
“It has been graded and gradual, and certainly that high speed, full session (Tuesday) was pleasing. With the boys fit to do that, we have a big session under their belts.”
‘We go into this game to win’
Despite all these issues, the staff and squad are determined to make the best of it and to push for a result at Murrayfield.
“We have our injuries and a Covid situation, and we have responded well,” added Wilson. “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, but this is a derby and everybody is keyed in and we go into this game to win.”
‘Scott is incredibly passionate about Glasgow’
But Wilson remains committed to a forward plan, and welcomed Scott Cummings’ decision to re-sign for the club this week.
“It’s been a difficult year, but Scott sees past that, he see the big picture plans,” continued the coach.
“Scott is incredibly passionate about Glasgow and sees that we will get through this. It’s a great story and good news, and there’s more to come.
“I will be able to elaborate from next week as there’s more signings for the future. Players see what the future will be once we’re out of this rough period. And that’s what you want, you want players who want to be here for the longer term.”