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August 18, 2020

Warriors unavailable for inter-city meeting

Posted by Editor on August 18, 2020 09:17 AM | No comments | Print | E-mail author

Leone Nakarawa is unavailable for the inter-city double-header
Aki Seuli, Kyle Steyn and Leone Nakarawa won't be available for Glasgow's return to action against Edinburgh at Murrayfield on Saturday.

Nakarawa has not yet returned to Scotland after spending lockdown in his native Fiji and he'll also be unavailable for Glasgow's final league game of the regular season against the same opposition six days' later.

New Warriors head coach Danny Wilson told The Herald: "Leone is not available. Basically, what happened with him was his wife was due (to give birth to their first baby at the) end of July, so he's been in Fiji and we gave him that grace to spend a little bit of extra time with his wife and family.

"On top of that, the first flight out of Fiji was this week, because flights have been locked down, so we're in the process of getting him back, put it that way.

"With all these boys they've got to have the relevant time to return to training, return to rugby, to be safe.

"I am confident he'll come back but I'm new into the club. Hopefully there won't be any issues, I'm not foreseeing any issues, but you have to wait and see, don't you! There are flights to get people on and they need to be on those flights. So far up to now, for the very right reasons, we've given that grace, as you would do with anyone who needs to spend time with family when they're needed for milestone events. Hopefully that gets returned and we welcome him back soon."

Wilson also confirmed Kyle Steyn and Aki Seiuli are out of contention for this weekend.

"Kyle has a hamstring injury which will delay when he will be available, until we get a full assessment of that injury. Aki broke his thumb a couple of weeks ago and is in a cast, a short-term one, he'll be out of that pretty quickly, but will probably miss both games," explained Wilson.

Wilson alsso indicated that there may be a surprise selection at full-back. Warriors are pretty low on options after the retirement of Ruaridh Jackson this summer and the departure of Stuart Hogg to Exeter Chiefs the summer before,

"It was never the plan to not have an out-and-out full-back, if I'm putting it bluntly," conceded Wilson. "Post-Covid, we were hit with the problems and restrictions that we had. We were looking to sign a full-back and, unfortunately, that didn't happen. So, we've looked at that in a slightly different way.

"Without giving too much away, you might see a little bit of a surprise at full-back, something that we've been training and working on."

Tommy Seymour has turned out at 15 on several occasions and Glenn Bryce is currently training with the squad "in the short term", and rookie pro Rufus McLean could also be in the mix. A radical solution could entail either one of Huw Jones or Stafford McDowall swapping the midfield berth for a run at full-back.

Home and away designations for the inter-city double-header have been swapped around. Both matches will be played as Murrayfield but Saturday's game will count as a home match for Glasgow, while the following weekend's contest will be an Edinburgh home match. The logic behind this that it will improve the chances of the second game being played in front of "a very limited, socially distanced crowd" if it is designated a home fixture, attended by season ticket holders to ensure less travel.

It has also been agreed that the 1872 Cup will still be determined over three legs. With the series currently tied 1-1, this Saturday's derby will be the decider, with the fourth and final match counting as a regular Guinness PRO14 fixture but no specific silverware up for grabs.