Ryan Wilson has been named as captain of Glasgow Warriors for the 2017/18 season by new coach Dave Rennie.
Fresh from a narrow defeat in their opening friendly to Northampton Saints where they lost 24-20 at Stirling County’s Bridgehaugh game, Rennie and Wilson will attend the PRO14 launch in Dublin today. Dublin has also been announced as the venue for the first PRO14 final. No surprises there.
The move represents a near total rehabilitation of Wilson’s public image from his involvement in Chipshopgate back in 2013, some 4 years ago now.
In the intervening time he has become a fixture both for Glasgow and for Scotland and while discipline has been an issue on the field for sure (this is presumably what the press release means by “all-action”), he has put in some towering performances in the navy blue of Scotland, typified by defensive workrate and steady ball carrying.
Gray and Pyrgos will remain part of the leadership group of senior figures that also includes senior players like Stuart Hogg and Fraser Brown.
Wilson faces stern challenges for game time from incoming Callum Gibbins as well as young tyros like Matt Fagerson who also fit into the “6/8, plays a bit of 7” role that John Barclay also does for Scotland, often restricting Wilson to a bench spot when the two crazy 7s are fit – not that often. Adam Ashe resurgent too might put pressure on at Number 8 but at the moment Wilson seems to be top of the team sheet.
He was a fixture during the Townsend/Cotter years, and it looks like this will continue during the Rennie/Townsend years.
Euro fixtures announced
Speaking of Cotter, Glasgow will face his Montpellier side in the European back-to-back fixtures this season. Their opening game will be away to Exeter Chiefs, scheduled for Saturday 14 October (kick-off 7.45pm) live on BT Sport.
The opening game will be away to Exeter Chiefs, scheduled for Saturday 14 October (kick-off 7.45pm live on BT Sport), followed by home to Leinster on Saturday 21 October, kick-off at 1pm (live on Sky Sports).
The Montpellier games are Friday 8 December (kick-off 7.45pm live on Sky Sports) and Saturday 16 December (kick-off 2pm live on Sky Sports).
Final fixtures against Leinster (A) and Exeter Chiefs (H) on the weekend of 12/13/14 January and weekend of 19/20/21 January respectively will be confirmed after Round 4.