DANNY Wilson is optimistic that Glasgow can return to action against Ospreys on Saturday after both of their 1872 Cup matches had to be postponed because of Covid.
The Warriors had been due to play at home to Edinburgh two days after Christmas and then visit the DAM Health Stadium for the return leg on Sunday. But a high number of positive tests for Covid in their camp led to both games being called off. The plan now is for something close to a normal match week to begin at Scotstoun in the next couple of days, and if that can go ahead, the home URC match against the Ospreys should also get the green light, according to the head coach.
“I’m pretty hopeful,” Wilson said yesterday. “I think what we’re doing now, and the reactions we’ve had to take during this period, will allow us to be in a much better place come Monday to go into that game.
“Like anything at the moment there’s a risk attached to it, because we’re testing very, very regularly, and therefore who knows what will come from the next round of tests. But as we stand at the moment, I’m confident, or hopeful as well, that we can get back to a far more level playing field.
“We’re not going to be clear of it – no-one’s going to be clear of it at the moment. But we’ll certainly hopefully be in a better position than we are now.”
A relatively small number of positive cases can bring about a postponement – notably if a team is unable to field a recognised front row. But Wilson explained that, while his squad would have been light in certain positions, the sole reason for the postponement of the two derbies was the fact that the testing on his squad had returned a relatively large number of positives.
“It was just based on numbers – the numbers were high enough that we needed to stop coming in and spending training time and day time together. We had enough in our environment that we needed to try and stem any more positive tests, basically.
“As you know, Omicron spreads far more quickly than other variants and we had to find a way of stopping that. We had enough players and staff testing positive that we needed to prevent that going any further. But the follow-on from that would still be that in certain positions we would have been extremely stressed if not incapable of filling those positions.
“It was spread over a two- to three-week period – you had some coming out of isolation as others were going in. It was too spread to be able to nail down exact numbers. It was into double figures over the whole period, but not in one fell swoop.”
Rearranged dates have yet to be announced for either of the 1872 Cup games. But, given how congested the calendar already is, there is a real possibility that they could be played at some point around or during the Six Nations, when the Warriors and Edinburgh would both be severely depleted.