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.