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May 17, 2017

Warriors look to add to squad

Posted by Editor on May 17, 2017 11:15 AM | No comments | Print | E-mail author

Glasgow Warriors hope to add "another three or four new players", as their squad for next season takes shape.

Five new signings and 14 re-signings have already been announced ahead of the 2017/18 campaign and Nathan Bombrys says they are looking to add more new faces over the summer.

Speaking to Warriors TV, Glasgow's Managing Director, said: "The first thing we wanted to do was to re-sign the key players that we wanted to stay on board for next season.

"Getting Stuart Hogg's signature was a real boost to the club and also a second British & Irish Lion in Tommy Seymour was another big boost. There are 14 guys in total who have committed to staying at the club, including Scotland internationals like Henry Pyrgos, Peter Horne, Alex Dunbar and Tim Swinson.

"We've brought in guys like Huw Jones, Oli Kebble, Adam Hastings, Callum Gibbins and Lelia Masaga and then you look at the BT Sport Scottish Rugby Academy and this year we've had five players graduate, which is outstanding. Lewis Wynne and Matt Smith graduated during the season and next season we're looking forward to Jamie Bhatti, George Horne and Patrick Kelly stepping up, so the Academy is providing a really strong group of young players for us.

"We're looking to add another three or four new players and typically we look at unearthing players and bringing them into our environment and culture and then see them really grow and progress.

"We're an ambitious club and we want to win. This past season we've invested more than we've ever invested into the squad and for next season we've been supported really well by Scottish Rugby to invest more again. We've got to pay for that and part of that is looking at our existing support base. Our season tickets are still very reasonable compared to other top clubs in the UK and Ireland and we made a decision that we wanted to continue to grow and invest in the team.

Jonathan Humphreys"You also see the investment we've put in on physical infrastructure. Thanks to Scottish Rugby and Glasgow Life we've invested in a new artificial pitch, we were able to increase capacity by adding expanded stands along with a third stand and we want to continue to invest in the club so it can keep growing and progressing.

"We're aware of the huge demand for tickets and we've had a number of really positive discussions with Glasgow Life and Glasgow City Council about our ambitions as a club. They feel we are a real benefit to the city and we're looking at how we can create some improved facilities to help us meet that demand and keep the club growing."

It will be a summer of change at Scotstoun Stadium with a new coaching team coming in, along with several new players and Nathan says it's been vital having Dave Rennie's input as the New Zealander continues to shape his new-look Warriors squad.

He said: "Our plans for next season started last September when we announced the appointment of Dave Rennie as head coach and as you can see from the current Super Rugby campaign, his Chiefs side is doing really well and Dave's looking forward to joining us.

"He's been in the same room as Gregor (Townsend), Dan (McFarland), Stuart (Yule) and myself talking about recruitment and planning for the new season and it was really unique having our incoming and outgoing coaches in the same room all wanting the same thing, which is success for Glasgow Warriors.

"It's been really helpful having Dave involved in the recruitment discussions right from the start to get his opinion and views. He has a different perspective on the way he wants to play, some players he wants to attract and bring into the club, along with the type of players he's looking for and that has been a real benefit to us.

"Gregor has also been heavily involved up until his last day at the club, which shows how much the club means to him and how much he cares, that he's put in the time and effort on Glasgow's recruitment right throughout the process."

With Dave Rennie not expected in Glasgow until August the assistant coaches will oversee pre-season training, which gets underway in just over two weeks.

Although a number of players will be away with Scotland and the British & Irish Lions, a core group of players will be present on Thursday 1 June for the start of what will be a gruelling three months of skills and fitness sessions

Nathan added: "Jason O'Halloran and Jonathan Humphreys have come in from Scotland. Jason is a hugely experienced attack coach and will be leading the backs and as a player and as a coach you won't have a more experienced individual in the PRO12 than Jonathan. They are both international calibre coaches and along with Kenny Murray will be leading pre-season to get the guys ready for the new campaign.

"Dave will be over as soon as he finishes the Super Rugby season. The final is on Saturday 5 August, so for Dave's sake we hope his team is involved and then we see him about a week after that.

"The pre-season planning is pretty much finalised. We have a couple of questions unanswered about our pre-season fixtures, but we're working on get some fixtures in Scotland and news on that will be forthcoming."