REPORTS over the weekend that Duncan Weir is in talks with Glasgow Warriors about a move back north in the summer will have invoked mixed emotions amongst the club’s fan base. 

‘Meatball’, as he is affectionately known, remains a popular character at the club where he started out on his professional career just over a decade ago, and the thick thatch of hair he is currently sporting on the top of his head as a charity fund-raising exercise had added to his cult hero status. 

At 29, the stand-off still has a few good years left in the tank, but it is hard to escape the feeling that his recruitment would provide final confirmation that Warriors have ceased to be an upwardly mobile nursery for exciting young talent, and more a stopping off point on the way to the retirement home. 

Weir would be joining Niko Matawalu, Richie Gray, Leone Nakarawa, Glenn Bryce, Sean Kennedy, and the now departed again DTH van der Merwe in returning in recent seasons to the club where they first made their name. 

Of that number, only Bryce and Kennedy have hinted at being able to reproduce or better the form of their first stints at the club. 

Weir was moved on from Warriors to Edinburgh in the summer of 2016 so that he wasn’t stuck behind Finn Russell in the queue for regular game time, Russell subsequently left for the bright lights of Paris in 2018, and now his replacement in the Glasgow No10 shirt, Adam Hastings, is off to Gloucester next season – hence the opportunity for Weir to bring his club career full circle. 

Meanwhile, Weir endured an injury-ravaged couple of seasons with Edinburgh before Worcester Warriors stepped in to resurrect his career, and his form for the English side earned him a Scotland recall for the Six Nations at the start of the year. His three-minutes off the bench against France in March and his two starts this Autumn against Italy and France (again) took his cap tally to 30. 

However, those two starts were purely down to Russell and Hastings both being injured. If all three are fit then Weir – as decent a bloke and solid a kicker as he is – doesn’t get a look in.  

If Weir does return to Glasgow, he won’t let anyone down, but replacing Russell with Hastings, and then Hastings with Weir – who was deemed surplus to requirements four years ago – is not a good trajectory for the club. 

With Brandon Thomson also coming out of contract at the end of the season, Glasgow are really in the market for two stand-offs, and they are understood to be keen on 21-year-old Ben Healy of Munster as well. That would represent an investment in youth – it’s just a shame that nobody who came through the Scottish system seems to fit the bill. 

Meanwhile, Huw Jones was linked with a move to London Irish over the weekend, while Scott Cummings, Sam Johnson and Jamie Dobie are some of the other leading players who will become free agents in the summer.  

Glasgow are hoping to make some signing and re-signing announcements in the next couple of weeks.