Pyrgos welcomes the arrival of young guns
HENRY PYRGOS’S own chance of playing in the biggest matches may be under threat, but the scrumhalf has still welcomed the emergence of a group of talented young players at both Glasgow and Edinburgh.
Pyrgos and Ali Price have been joined at Glasgow by Niko Matawalu, and with George Horne, younger brother of midfield playmaker Peter, breaking through last season, Warriors now have more options at scrum-half as they seek to be competitive in both the Pro14 and Europe this season.
“It’s what you want for Scotland,” Pyrgos said. “We’re a small country in terms of player pool so it’s great that there are a lot of good nines at Glasgow and Edinburgh as well as a couple of guys playing abroad.
“Obviously individually you want to concentrate on yourself and get better, but it’s a good place for Scottish rugby.
“It’s probably why you’re seeing an improvement in the national team over the last couple of years, because there’s improvement in a lot of positions and scrum-half’s definitely one of them.
“We’ve got a lot of talented young guys coming through who have done really well in pre-season and had a couple of opportunities in the early games and I’m sure they’ll continue to get that.
“It’s great for the squad and it’s really good to see it at Edinburgh as well with a lot of good young guys coming through pushing for places.”
It is also a situation that should allow the Scottish sides to remain competitive throughout the season, something they have struggled to do.
Pyrgos acknowledged that in Gregor Townsend’s last campaign there had been extra attention paid to Europe when they made their first appearance in a European Cup quarter-final, but missed out on the Pro12 playoffs. However, the 28-year-old believes there is no reason they cannot be competitive on both fronts.
“It is definitely something we can do,” he said.
“We put a lot of emphasis on Europe last year because it was something we hadn’t achieved. We just didn’t play well enough in the league when we needed to really.
“We lost a lot of games during the international windows and there were other times at the end of the season we didn’t perform in the league. It does test the squad, but it can be done.”
Henry Pyrgos believes Glasgow can challenge in the Pro14 and in Europe