• Text size      
  • Send this article to a friend
  • Print this article

Glasgow v Benetton Treviso: Morrison welcomes chase at Warriors

No-one is better placed to assess the current Glasgow Warriors squad than the club's longest-serving player and Graeme Morrison believes it is by far the strongest he has known.

Sidelined for the past 11 months because of a troublesome knee on which he underwent minor surgery in the summer only for it to flare up and require cortisone injections just a few weeks into the season, he knows his absence has allowed Peter Horne to establish himself as a Scotland contender.

However, as Morrison noted, that is now the case all over the pitch at Glasgow following the massive upscaling of the squad this season.

"Competition is very healthy," said the 29-year-old Scotland centre who made his debut for the club a decade ago. "I don't think we've ever had a back five with as much talent as we do now. There are weeks when we can leave Tommy Seymour or Sean Maitland out. We're grateful to have that sort of talent. It makes it tough to get in the team, especially when Sean Lamont's back in the centre and we've got Alex Dunbar and Horney. There's a number of combinations that Gregor [Townsend, their head coach] can go for and it's healthy for us."

Morrison has captained the team several times in the past and has long held a senior player's role, but he is happy that more is now being asked of others. "It's good that the responsibility's been shared around. We've got very capable players doing the job which is good for the club and good for the team and good for the individuals, as well. Getting this experience will hold them in good stead for the future and for things to come," he said.

"I'm very happy with the environment we've got here now and it makes training so much more intense. We go out there and we're able to play 15 against 15 of guys that could step in at any time and do just as good a job as the other guy."

Part of the team that has reached the four-club end-of- season league title play-offs twice in the three seasons since they were introduced, Morrison knows that winning the 1872 Challenge Cup for a fourth year is not enough, given the resources now available to Glasgow.

"We're in a great position, a couple of points off second with one or two going head-to-head this week, so it's an opportunity for us to move on up," he said. "There's a genuine belief in this squad that we can do something special. I think we're on the right track.

"We've got a lot of work to do, but the festive games against Edinburgh were a good springboard, but they won't count for much if we don't go out and replicate those good performances this week."

As he observed, a win tonight will almost certainly improve Glasgow's current fourth position, while they would expect to win their next two matches thereafter against Zebre and the Dragons.

There is, though, also an awareness within the camp that tonight's opponents, Treviso, have also enjoyed back-to-back derby wins over the festive period and, having claimed their first away win in the Pro12 at Firhill last season, will arrive without fear as they aim to avenge this season's defeat in Italy.

"Treviso have a raft of international players throughout their team, Italians who have beaten Scotland and Scottish teams and they'll be hurting from us beating them over there," Morrison acknowledged.

"They've got some really powerful runners in the back-row and the midfield and they challenge you really hard at set-pieces, so these are areas we're going to have to try to take away from them, so Gregor's right to give them a lot of respect and all the players will do so, as well."

Contextual targeting label: 
Careers and Jobs

Commenting & Moderation

We moderate all comments on HeraldScotland on either a pre-moderated or post-moderated basis.
If you're a relatively new user then your comments will be reviewed before publication and if we know you well and trust you then your comments will be subject to moderation only if other users or the moderators believe you've broken the rules

Moderation is undertaken full-time 9am-6pm on weekdays, and on a part-time basis outwith those hours. Please be patient if your posts are not approved instantly.

133692