AFTER a couple of months patching a team together with whatever players he can lay his hands on, Glasgow Warriors head coach Danny Wilson says he is looking forward to having some genuine selection decisions to make ahead of Friday night's Challenge Cup last 16 clash away to Montpellier.  

With a dozen players returning from international duty and a number of long-terms absentees through injury – such as Fraser Brown, George Horne, Peter Horne and Niko Matawalu – now back in the frame as well, Wilson is in a position to field a far more experienced side than has been possible for most of this Covid-interrupted season.  

However, he also recognises that a number of youngsters who have stepped up to play leading roles in the team’s min-revival in recent weeks – helping Warriors to three wins in the last four outings – deserve the right to be properly considered ahead of the team to face Montpellier being announced tomorrow lunchtime.  

“We’re all about bringing the young guys through and using those opportunities to play them, but we also haven't had the other boys available to force us to make those decisions, so it is great that we have that selection headache in a couple of positions now," he said. "We’ll weigh up the experience versus youth question, and other things like form, as we look to pick a team we believe has the best possible chance of getting a win on Friday.”  

“I feel defensively we still need to improve a little bit, so we’ll pick the right players so we can deliver on both sides of the ball,” he added, before indicating that his instinct is to go with the tried and tested. “You want your experienced players out there, although it has been pleasing to see some of the performances we’ve had from some of our young boys.  

“Each player who has come back from Scotland duty this week has said they want to go at this game – they see it has a reward at the end of it if we get a win – but there are a few bumps and bruise, and boys who have been in camp a long time, so we need to see how they are.”  

Montpellier are currently 11th in the France’s Top 14 table, but their recent form – like Glasgow’s – has picked up, and they come into this match having won their last three games on the bounce.  

“They had a good win at the weekend against Toulouse away and that’s a hell of a result against a team at the top of the pile,” said Wilson. “You go through the Montpellier team, with their budget and the money they have spent on individuals, and you see there’s some real quality there. Plus, French sides are usually more effective at home than they are on the road so it’s a big challenge.   

“It doesn’t feel like a Challenge Cup fixture – away to Montpellier would usually be a Champions Cup tie – but there’s a reward of a home quarter-final if we can get a win. Europe has been strange for us this season as we only got to play one game in the pool stage, so this is a game to be excited about and hopefully we can go there and get a reward.   

“We’ve won three of our last four games so we’re going into it on the back of some decent results. The key is to get our international players back into Glasgow jerseys and into Glasgow’s way of doing things, so that everyone is back on the same page.”  

“It’s a huge challenge, a really big fixture, but it could lead into a home quarter-final which would be massive.