There’s an elephant in the room. The kind of elephant that once had the most poach-worthy tusks in the savannah but is now dozing in the shadows of his team mates. Johnnie Beattie is the missing man at Glasgow and no one is pointing out his absence with so much as a hushed murmur.
This morning I was fixed with a smile and told “I’m a pretty positive sort of guy.”
Over a plate of biscuits Sean Lineen assured me of Glasgow’s focus and of his renewed passion for the game on the west coast. Last season the Warriors finished in a lowly 11th place and there was talk of the head coach being courted by Aviva Premiership outfit Bath. This time round, though, the former Scotland centre is looking to rebuild and get the best out of a young team.
Some press releases can be taken out of a clichéd handbook. “This preseason is the best we’ve ever had/we’re the fittest we’ve ever been/the new signings have created a real buzz around the place!”
Starting his 5th season as Glasgow Warriors Head Coach Sean Lineen has heard and said these several times. Now, though, he must know that he has this season, and this season alone, to try and turn things around after last term’s near disastrous plummet to the foot of the Magners League.
The Scotland under-20s have already left for their World Cup in Italy. In their ranks they have Duncan Weir, Mark Bennett and Stuart Hogg. They also, it must be said, go with mixed expectations.
There is a fine line between realism and negativity. I know this myself, having been described as a wee bit *just a wee bit* negative.
In Scottish rugby we are often accused of dwelling on the negatives. Results, finances and the press almost ensure this. The outlook is usually grey.
The new coach of Edinburgh Rugby is going to be:
a) Michael Ball
b) Michael Flatley
c) Michael Bradley
d) Bradley Wiggins
I have to admit, the name didn’t ring much of a bell with me either. (The answer is rumoured to be c) by the way). Michael Bradley, former coach of Connacht. Not the Connacht of this season, who have done pretty well under Blessed Eric. No, the Connacht from before. So there you have your answer to the other great question of our time – are the pro-sides turning into second class citizens under the current SRU regime?