The End of Season Revolving Door

Glasgow Warriors have announced that hooker Dougie Hall will retire from rugby at the end of the season, while highly rated prop Jon Welsh and assistant coach Shade Munro will also leave the club. This continues the typical period of announcements around this time – the Six Nations can be a bit of a shop window, although you wouldn’t say that in the case of many Scotland players – that has seen DTH Van Der Merwe, Niko Matawalu and Sean Maitland all upping sticks from the Warriors.

There are also persistent rumours that Edinburgh’s Tim Visser is bound for England with Harlequins the current front-runners in light of Ugo Monye’s retirement. [UPDATE: this has now been confirmed]

Former Scotland international Munro has been part of the coaching staff at the Warriors since 2003 under both Sean Lineen and Hugh Campbell and will leave his role this summer when his contract expires. It is understood that the decision was taken by Glasgow head coach Gregor Townsend, who is perhaps looking to add someone fresh to his management setup. Or possibly Al Kellock.

34-year-old Hall has been an influential player for the Warriors since his arrival in 2007 and has gone on to make 141 appearances for the Guinness PRO12 side over an eight-year spell. In the summer he will join one of the club’s sponsors, McCrea Financial Services.

Welsh, who joined Glasgow in 2008 and has gone on to make 106 appearances, will join Newcastle Falcons next season which has also provided a recent home for Mike Blair, Scott Lawson, Ally Hogg, Phil Godman and Scott MacLeod.

And while we’re talking rumours on the grapevine, we’ve heard some very unlikely rumblings about Vern Cotter being offered the French job pre-World Cup. Take those as a salt-sprinkled wish-fulfillment on someone’s part; it would hardly reflect well on the man who wouldn’t leave his last job until he’d seen it out.

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46 comments on “The End of Season Revolving Door

  1. Andy McLellan on

    Also just been announced on Twitter D’arcy Rae is returning to Glasgow from Bennton Treviso for the rest of the season.

  2. Standoffalot on

    Seems that there is a very strong possibility that Shade Munro is going to be added to the Scotland set up. I didn’t realise that he’s on a central contract with the SRU, and is apparently being lined up as Scotland’s new forwards coach in time for the WC.

    • FF on

      How good is Shade? Glasgow’s forwards seem to have some of the same weaknesses as Scotland’s – defending lineout mauls and issues at scrum time being the most significant. Glasgow are much more competitive at the breakdown but not sure if this is just because it is not test level.

      Either way, can’t wait to see the back of Humphries who has been every bit as useless as Ospreys’ fans said he’d be.

      • Standoffalot on

        I agree. Part of the reason that I assumed Munro was being released was because of those very weaknesses. I would have liked to see BVC bring in his own coaching team to be honest as I think we could benefit from a complete shake up. That said Munro can only be better than Humphries.

      • FF on

        If this is what is happening it could very well not be a long-term option. Cotter seemed to confirm that his contract runs through the world cup to the end of next 6N. If he is not staying any longer they may be trying to make sure the next coach has a free choice and moving in SM in the shortish term would make that possible. But I agree, I’d like to see Cotter commit longer term to Scotland and to be given free reign to bring in his own team.

        However, I’d make do with seeing Humphries go. He really did destroy Scotland’s pack.

      • bulldog on

        SM has a great temperament and will be popular as he can build relationships. What he lacks technically he makes up for in his interpersonal skills. That said you make a valid point in that Glasgow and Scotland , cannot defend the rolling maul. They need to learn to master this tactic both in defence and attack. We need someone who has a track record in this aspect.

    • Andy McLellan on

      Humphries’ contract finishes post WC from what I’ve read so would be surprised to see him jettisoned before that. Unless they’re planning a coaching shake up in the wake of the 6N of course…

      • FF on

        Chat on the Glasgow forum is that Humphries’ contract ends in a month’s time. Apparently the Metro has reported that SM is going to the Scotland job.

      • Andy McLellan on

        There seems to be some conflicting reports around. He was given a 2 year deal in April 2013 but it wasn’t made clear if that started in April or not. Other reports are saying it will carry through to the end of the World Cup.

        Cotter’s deal is up in June next year so we have him for the next 6N. Hopefully he’ll stay for longer but rumours of other jobs have cropped up once or twice already.

      • Carl on

        Interesting stuff and nice to see SRU putting some faith at last in local coaches with a step up the career ladder.
        Wonder if plans might extend to giving Peter Wright the nod as Munro’s replacement after his recent success at Selkirk. Or is he too mouthy for the blazers.
        Be a good way of honouring Dobson’s talk the other year that club coaches would be exposed to district rugby.

    • Rory Baldwin on

      If Edinburgh beat L Irish and progress well in the Challenge Cup and/or even get into contention for 6th I think Solomons will be on steady ground, even if he does keep picking Strauss at 12.

      • FF on

        Edinburgh are already in contention for 6th – they’re only 4pts behind Connacht!

        I’d put money on Scarlets to tie it up though as they have by far the easiest run in. Edinburgh need to win this weekend to keep any hopes alive.

    • Mr P on

      Bit unfair on Solomons as he is slowly turning the oil tanker that is Edinburgh … and his new signing Nasi Manu looks the real deal. AT least Strauss is being picked less often compared with some months ago.

  3. Matto on

    I think we all prefer to see a Burleigh/Scott combo at Edinburgh, but is Strauss not only back in due to Burleigh’s injury? Anyway, since Chrimbo Edinburgh are largely playing in a commendable way. Unfortunately, I think we will really rue not winning the Ulster and Cardiff games (not commendable). I have posted elsewhere, in agreement with FF, that it will alas be Scarlets who take 6th, as they have by far the easiest run in. We are already on more points than last season (even if that only equates to 8th – as last year – it is all relative to what else is happening) and I am satisfied that Solomon’s is improving things. Please let there be a momentous end of season push in both competitions.

  4. Bulldog on

    Of the Gkasgow Departures DTH is by far the most concerning. He is a top finisher, a match winner. Back from injury and still on fire, a consumate professional. I would love to have had him for longer, he is much too classy for the Scarletts.What is the real story ?

    The same could be said of Niko however he is inconsistent and his unconventional moves are now known. I suspect he had always had a shelf life and that he may not have been receiving a wage commensurate with his contribution. Still , he has been lost much too easily.

    Maitland has had many injurys and appears to have lost an edge. Not bothered. Bye.

    Welsh is well liked and I would have thought happy to stay, Glasgow have a few tightheads , so what is the story behind the story? I feel sure Glasgow’s success will attract replacements so ,with the exception of DTH I feel positive.

    Visser, he would do well to get a place in the Premiership , he is capable of much more but a flat line at the moment. Could benefit from some class around him.

    Vern Cotter , heard it all now.

    • Ruairidh M on

      Absolutely agree regarding DTH. He, Hogg and Seymour are a world class back 3 unit and could do brilliantly in any league in the world. I would love to see them playing behind a world class forward pack like Toulon or the Sharks. However, why would you head down to Wales rather than either stay in a brilliant, livable city like Glasgow, battling for Pro 12 titles, or pop over to France or even Japan for huge money? From what he said in court, he has no intention in staying in the UK when his pro days are finished – wants to be a fireman in Canada, so what’s the deal? Glasgow seem to be bringing in a few average journeymen rather than a couple of real quality units. I really don’t see the Italian flanker or K. Low carrying the team over the line in Europe or in the play-offs. The back row now seems rather bloated. Strange times.

      • Carl on

        Bulldog. I have heard in Warriors chat that as part of the package DTH has been teed up for a fireman’s position in Llanelli when he departs the scene. Why not available here in Glasgow is the question? Otherwise think he may just want to gain a new experience. A big loss anyhow as our most creative back.

      • Standoffalot on

        Ok, so here’s a curveball. Why don’t Glasgow sign Tim Visser? The more I think about it, the more sense it makes. We seem to be going down the Scots qualified route so why not? Visser has a lot of work to do on his game, but why not do it at Glasgow? He needs a change of scenery and we need a proven try scorer. It wouldn’t be my first choice but it’s certainly an option.

    • Bulldog on

      Thanks for the inputs, DTH has certainly set Scotstoun on fire, best wishes to him in the new career. ‘Penas Glasgu’ and ‘DTH’are the only words of Gaelic I know, so I am stuffed now.

      Llaneli or Glasgow – No brainer for me. They should have checked him for concussion before he signed that contract.

  5. Andrew McG on

    Vern Cotter has the air of a loyal, traditional values man – like it would be violating who he is to break contract (although I never fully understood his role, if any, in the Clermont fiasco). It would also surely damage his reputation if he were to break contract.

    After the 2016 6 Nations, he has a dilemma, though. If Scotland’s performances/results haven’t picked up significantly, then his stock goes down, so does he extend contract to turn it around with the risk that further poor results just reinforce his weak position? Or does he cut his losses and accept that he’s lost ground to other NZ-coach wannabes and hope to rebuild his reputation elsewhere? Will pride/determination keep him here for longer until things turn around or he feels he needs honorably to fall on his sword like Andy Robinson?

    Here’s hoping short-to-medium-term progress and results make these questions irrelevant…

  6. Neil on

    So VC may depart our shores- that would be sooooooo typical of the luck we have had over the last 6 months. If it happens then wave goodbye to Scottish rugby as we know it. I would like to say that we would be competing with Italy fotr 5th place in next years 6 nations but I dont think we will even manage that. The best we would be able to hope for is to come within 20 points of one of the other teams in each game.

    • FF on

      Steady on Chicken Little. These are just rumours and unless you have a specific reason to think they are credible I’d forget about them. Cotter needs test experience and quitting Scotland won’t help him accumulate it. Failing to lift a Scotland team is not going to burnish his reputation in the eyes of NZ recruiters. Also, if he wanted to bail and coach the French he’d never have taken the Scotland job as PSA is clearly a dead man walking and has been for some time.

      I’d be shocked if he doesn’t at least see out his contract, which runs out at the same time as Steve Hansen’s. He is not going to be the leading contender for that job unless he has some measure of success with Scotland. There are lots of rumours swirling around the AB job as it is the biggest gig in the world but let’s face it, from the lofty heights of Mordor Cotter’s CV is just not that impressive.

      • Neil on

        All this may be true but the job of coaching France has got to be more attractive than the one he is currently in. He could take the French team to the WC final and possibly win it with the talent in that squad. He will also be remembered for what he did at club level in France so I think he could be attracted to that job and would be one of the leading contenderers if PSA were to quit or be sacked. It will also be a much better way of raising his portfolio than sticking with our bunch of also rans who really have no hope. Intervention from the good man above would be required for us to achieve anything.

    • FF on

      Until he was injured Atkins had been making big strides for Edinburgh. I guess with Gilchrist, B. Toolis, MacKenzie and Bresler at Edinburgh he has moved to play more rugby. Good on him, Exeter is a club young players can improve at and make a name for themselves and if Atkins kicks on it’ll add to the depth of Scottish rugby.

  7. FF on

    Update on Dunbar in today’s Scotsman artcile on Fagerson:

    The coach also revealed that surgery on Scotland centre Alex Dunbar’s anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) had gone well. He said: “The operation was successful, which is something we were concerned about. If there had been a lot of swelling or more work to do that would put the rehab back but there have been a lot of case studies of players coming back within that time frame [for the Rugby World Cup] and the medics should know in about six weeks, after the swelling has gone down, if it is possible for Alex to come back for the World Cup.”

    Doesn’t sound like he had the ‘revolutionary’ procedure trumpeted in Rugby World.

    • Andy McLellan on

      Aye, read that this morning. He’s obviously a pretty robust player and young enough that he could make a speedy recovery so we’ll see. I’ve heard of footballers coming back within 6 months from ACLs, but also longer so it’s probably a bit of a lottery at this stage.

      Sounded interesting with that new technique though. Wonder if there’s a hesitancy from the SRU to try something relatively unknown for such an important player – although the testimonials are glowing.

      Alternatively, he could go down the Robin Van Persie route and get placenta pumped into the joint, as he did with his ankle. Boak.

      • coully on

        I’d have figured the SRU would have been pulling out all the stop to get him back asap. That “procedure ” in RW sounded pretty interesting

      • Andy McLellan on

        Yeah of course coully but I’d be 100% sure they have done everything. On paper, this new technique sounds incredible but it could simply be it wasn’t the best option, medically, for Dunbar. I’ve only over knackered ligaments in my shoulder but I know people with the same injury who’ve had different treatments and recuperation time.

        Anyway, I’ve got faith in the medical bods to have obviously done the right thing for the lad. It’d be great to have him back for the WC but not at the detriment of his long term career.

      • Callum on

        That’s my only worry. That the managment will try and rush him back and push him to play. This could be bad for his long term career but also for out WC campain. Usualy when a player comes back from a big injury they need quite a bit of time to get used to the intensity of the game. Up that to international rugby and you would want them to have a long period of gradual exposure to both Club and International level.

        I love Dunbar but I would rather see Scott have some time to build a connection with Bennett in time for the WC rather than have Dunbar and Bennett trying to re discover their connection during the group stages.

        Still BVC is a smart man and a great coach so I don’t think I need to worry about this.

      • Mako on

        I Think R Vernon could end up surprising a few people. He played fantastically well at 12 against Leinster and he has the rest of the season to develop a bond with Bennett. Regardless of this I believe that Vernon should be played primarily as a 12 from here on out.

    • johnmc on

      Could be a very good move for Tim, and for the national side. Provided he earns a regular first team place, week in week out intensity of the English Prem could just be what he needs to complete his development into a better all round footballer and an even sharper attacking threat. I wish him well there.

  8. pragmatic optomist on

    It looks like all of the best backs in Scotland are earning a lot more by taking the ‘Queens shilling’. Can’t say I blame them, and as long as they get solid game time it’s good for Scottish national side.
    Possibly not as good for Glasgow or Edinburgh, but it depends who is brought in to fill the gaps.
    I think Glasgow need a marquee signing for the backs. DTH and Maitland both going is too much in one season. Edinburgh look as if they have young replacements, but not so sure about Glasgow.

    • FF on

      I wonder if this is with a view to moving him into a coaching role? He seems to have ambitions in this area.

      • coully on

        planetrugby article, he’s pretty much saying he want’s to give back to scottish rugby and get into coaching and townsend will be a great role model. can’t really agree more tbh

      • Andy on

        Mike’s article on the beeb website always had a high degree of content on the intricacies of tactics so I’d imagine he’d do very well as a coach. Always wondered why he was so reluctant to criticise abhorrent displays, now it looks like he didn’t want to alienate the players he was planning on coaching a year or two down the line.

        But yet again Glasgow have made another signing that isn’t going to improve the first choice XV.

      • FF on

        Just seen Ulster have signed Charles Piutau from the Blues on a 2-year deal. Either Scottish side is going to struggle to match signings like that.

      • Andy on

        FF – I don’t think there’s much mileage in signing All-Blacks or Springboks. Maitland’s and Strauss’ are the way we need to continue. Ulster have an attendance average of more than Glasgow and Edinburgh combined so can afford a few stars.

        Having said that, at the rate Glasgow’ attendance has grown in the past 4-5 years if it keeps growing then maybe we can compete for a few “box office” signings.

      • FF on

        Yeah, I agree that signing marquee players for the sums that have been bandied around for Piutau wouldn’t be a good use of scare funds for either of our pro-teams.

        Unfortunately for Glasgow, Scotstoun is already at capacity for its biggest games with no prospect of being developed apart from putting up the temporary stands occasionally. If they continue to grow their fanbase Glasgow will be looking for a new home soon enough.

  9. pragmatic optomist on

    If Glasgow are already reaching capacity in most of thier games, where could they go next?
    Do they need to consider hiring out a football stadium for the bigger games?
    I’d thought that there was more capacity potential at Scotstoun, but it seems there are a few restictions. Anyone know the score?

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