GLASGOW are facing a back-row crisis after suffering two more injuries as well as their first defeat of the season. Head coach Gregor Townsend may be forced to call up more youngsters for next weekend’s match against unbeaten Ulster at Scotstoun, which is close to a sell-out.

Josh Strauss (head injury) and Ryan Wilson (hamstring) were both forced off during Glasgow’s 23-19 Guinness PRO12 defeat in Cardiff on Friday, while another head injury to hooker Fraser Brown may also limit the alternatives in a squad who already have a series of injuries in the back row.

“The Josh Strauss injury was a blow to him and us,” Townsend said. “He was defending really well and making some big carries so to lose him on half-time meant we were restricted in what we wanted to change in the second half.

“We have two HIAs (head injury assessments) with Fraser and Josh, Tim Swinson got a rib injury after moving to the back row initially, Nick Grigg had cramp, Ryan Wilson had hamstring tightness.

“We will wait before deciding because we lost Simone Favaro last week in the back row as well. It is a test of the squad depth and we are pretty good in terms of injuries apart from in the back row.

“Lewis Wynne has been in our camp and involved in our first three games, Matt Fagerson was with us tonight as 24th man so we do have young guys who are next in line if the opportunity comes.”

Wynne, 19, is a product of the Scotland age-grade system and Stirling County, while Glasgow Hawk Fagerson is the younger brother of Glasgow prop Zander and another coming through the national age-grade set-up.

Glasgow will be determined to bounce back at home and having outscored Cardiff by three tries to two there were certainly positives to take away from the Arms Park, up against a side that had 14 internationals in their starting line-up with four more on the bench.

“They played really well, I thought they defended really well at times,” Townsend said. “There were periods when we managed to get our game going, get quicker ball and create space, which was the 10 to 15 minutes before half-time when we left one try out there but did well to score two.

“At the beginning of the second half we carried that on but in the last 20 minutes the ball was very slow for both sides and there were a lot of big collisions. It was a good learning game for us but obviously we’re disappointed we did not get the win.”

The injuries were certainly a factor in that last 20 minutes, with prop Alex Allan having to come on at flanker. Townsend was able to see the funny side afterwards. “That was his dream to play in the back row and he has finally got it – backs will be the next one,” he joked.

“When you put a team out you hope the guys can play for the majority of the time but you have to adapt. It is a big game next week whether we had won or lost in Cardiff. Ulster are a top-quality side, on form, unbeaten, and we have some battles with them, so it will be another big test for us.”