Glas­gow’s trip to Wasps is cer­tain to have a sting in the tale

The Scotsman - - Sfl In Focus - WaSPS v gLaS­gOW daVId FEr­gu­SON

TEAMS ar­range pre-sea­son friendlies some time be­fore the new sea­son’s shape emerges but, af­ter the sides were drawn in the same Heineken Cup pool, Glas­gow’s match with Wasps at Adams Park this af­ter­noon now has an ex­tra sig­nif­i­cance.

Sean Li­neen, the Glas­gow coach, can­not yet be happy with the strength of his squad as Al Kel­lock, Chris Cusiter, Colin Gre­gor and John­nie Beat­tie con­tinue their roles within a pretty com­pet­i­tive ‘med­i­cal room XV’. But with a hand­ful of loan deals se­cured, the crafty Kiwi is be­gin­ning to look ahead with some op­ti­mism.

Glas­gow may be short of full­strength, though there is ex­cite­ment around young half-backs Dun­can Weir (19) and Henry Pyr­gos (21) thrust into the spot­light.

The re­al­ity is that the Mag­n­ers League kicks off next week­end with the line-up that faces Le­in­ster now de­ter­mined by what oc­curs in leafy Buck­ing­hamshire. Glas­gow en­joyed a 16-15 win over Wasps in Glas­gow in pre-sea­son last year, but Wasps have opened sharply this term by de­feat­ing a near sec­ond-string Le­in­ster 41-6 last Fri­day night. In short, they look strong.

Li­neen has strong ideas on who should make-up his most po­tent XV, but is keen to see how the play­ers pen­cilled in and oth­ers stand up to the test of a side with Premier­ship ti­tle am­bi­tions.

“This is the kind of game we need at this stage of the sea­son,” he said. “It’s go­ing to be tough, of course it is, but it’s much more ben­e­fi­cial to our squad go­ing in to a test like this the week be­fore we start the sea­son than play­ing a runaround game that we win com­fort­ably.

“We know how phys­i­cal they are and we have to deal with that, but Le­in­ster are one of the most phys­i­cal teams in Europe so we need this test now.

“Wasps beat Le­in­ster pretty com­fort­ably last week, and we know they have qual­ity play­ers right across the team so there is no hid­ing from this chal­lenge. We will have to work as hard as we can and with con­fi­dence to im­pose our own game on them.

“We have had to work very hard be­hind the scenes to get a squad to­gether, but I’ve al­ways been im­pressed by the play­ers’ at­ti­tude. The be­lief is there, the con­fi­dence we built up last sea­son is still there and is grow­ing and ev­ery mem­ber of the squad knows that we have to build on what we achieved last sea­son.”

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