Re­turn of War­riors co-cap­tains for derby could prove timely

Evening Times - - RUGBY -

BOTH Glas­gow War­riors co-cap­tains are in line for re­calls for this weekend’s third and po­ten­tially most important derby match of the sea­son as they bid to se­cure top spot in their PRO14 con­fer­ence and a guar­an­teed place in the play­off semi-fi­nals with home ad­van­tage,

The re­turn of Cal­lum Gib­bins and Ryan Wil­son could hardly be more timely since Chris Fusaro, their fel­low se­nior back-row for­ward who has been cap­tain­ing the side in their ab­sence, suf­fered a ham­string in­jury that al­most ended his sea­son early in their last match against Le­in­ster.

Gib­bins looks the like­lier to lead the team against Ed­in­burgh as they bid to regis­ter a first In­ter-City vic­tory of the sea­son and just a third in 11 matches, having played twice since re­cov­er­ing from an­kle surgery, against the Chee­tahs in the PRO14 and then against Sara­cens in the Cham­pi­ons Cup quar­ter-fi­nal in March, dur­ing which he suf­fered a con­cus­sion that has side­lined him since.

Wil­son is mean­while hop­ing to get onto the pitch for the first time since suf­fer­ing a knee in­jury dur­ing Scot­land’s de­feat by Ire­land in Fe­bru­ary.

“We are hope­fully both these play­ers will be right to play,” said Glas­gow’s as­sis­tant coach Jason O’Hal­lo­ran. “We just have to tick a few boxes to make sure they are okay from a phys­i­cal point of view. We should have a much clearer pic­ture by end of play on Thurs­day train­ing but it is look­ing pretty pos­i­tive.”

Wil­son has par­tic­u­lar rea­son to want to show he is back to full fit­ness with com­pe­ti­tion for places in Scot­land’s squad having in­ten­si­fied ahead of this year’s World Cup and he may find him­self up against as many as four ri­vals for the trip to Ja­pan, John Bar­clay, Mag­nus Brad­bury, Jamie Ritchie and Hamish Wat­son.

How­ever in the shorter term he need only look back to De­cem­ber when he was left out of the Glas­gow side for the first of this sea­son’s der­bies in De­cem­ber, to be re­minded that there are no guar­an­tees at club level ei­ther, as O’Hal­lo­ran ac­knowl­edged seemed to ac­knowl­edge.

“I would im­age Ryan will be very keen to get on the field,” he said. “From his and all the other play­ers’ point of view if we get this right there is a three week gap un­til the semi-fi­nal. If you want to be part of the pic­ture se­lec­tion wise for the semi you re­ally need to get out there this weekend and play re­ally well.”

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