Townsend: ‘Warriors full of confidence’

Date published: April 1 2017

Glasgow Warriors head coach Gregor Townsend believes his many Scotland internationals are full of confidence ahead of facing Saracens.

A large contingent of the Glasgow squad featured for Scotland throughout a successful Six Nations for the nation, including three home wins over Ireland, Wales and Italy.

Townsend added that Glasgow would naturally be better off for the likes of Stuart Hogg, Jonny Gray and Finn Russell playing together, and playing well, throughout the Six Nations.

“It means they are full of confidence,” Townsend said.

“The combinations that they carried on with Scotland, whether that be Stuart Hogg running lines with Tommy Seymour or Finn Russell working with Ali Price or Henry Pyrgos, that all helps us.

“So the players have been away but they have been playing together and have come back realising that this is our biggest game of the season. They can’t wait to play.”

Glasgow’s first-ever European Cup quarter-final has come off the back of that phenomenal 43-0 thrashing of Leicester Tigers in the group stages at Welford Road.

And Townsend expects the 2015 PRO12 champions to draw on that experience heading to Allianz Park for the clash with the defending European champions.

“That Leicester win got us the reward we have been working towards for the last few years which was to get out of the pool,” he explained.

“It has now set us up for a huge match, playing the European champions.

“Specifically it gave the players a lot of belief going into the Six Nations and this game too. It told them they can deliver when there is a big challenge ahead of them.

“We were up against a team who had only lost one European game at home in the last 10 years. We appreciate Leicester may not be playing at the same level as Sarries this year so Sunday will be a tougher challenge.

“But at Welford Road we took control of our own destiny by what we did with the ball and how hard we worked in defence. We’ll need that again this weekend.”