Wilson backing league leaders Glasgow for URC glory

Wilson backing league leaders Glasgow for URC glory

BKT URC pundit Ryan Wilson believes his former team Glasgow Warriors can go all the way and win the league title.

The Scottish outfit are four points clear of Leinster Rugby at the top of the table with three rounds of regular season matches to play.

They face a titanic tussle with the fourth-placed Vodacom Bulls at Pretoria’s Loftus Versfeld on Saturday before travelling to Johannesburg to face the Emirates Lions and then hosting Zebre Parma.

Ex-Scotland back row Wilson, who spent 13 years with Glasgow, feels they are well placed to repeat the title triumph he shared in back in 2015.

He feels the meticulous planning of South African head coach Franco Smith has been a key factor in their success this season.

“He is a good man and doing great things with the team,” said the 50-times capped Wilson, speaking at a BKT URC round table.

“He is a very detailed coach. He talks about the plan all the time.

“He works the boys really hard, but he also has trust in them. He has been brilliant.”

Wilson continued: “I think Glasgow can go the whole way.

“The squad is building nicely and they’ve got that threat, that weapon of that maul, which has helped Johnny Matthews be top try scorer in the league this season.

“If they can go to South Africa and get some points over there, maybe one win, they will be sitting pretty comfortably.

“They want to make sure they take that top spot because home quarters, home semis, home final is exactly what you want when you look at the stats around it, especially with their record at home.

“If they can just hang on to that top spot, they are so dangerous at home.

“Having home advantage all the way through is massive. That’s what they want to try and push for.

“Leinster have got one eye on the Champions Cup which is good for Glasgow because they have got all their focus on the BKT URC.”

Wilson, who retired from playing last year and is now a TV pundit, added some wider thoughts on his former team.

“Glasgow have put rugby on the map in the city,” he said.

“It’s grown so much. There are a lot of people leaning into rugby now. With the experience you can get coming down to Scotstoun, a lot of families love it.

“It obviously helps when the team is winning and pushing for trophies.”

Looking at the challenge facing the Scottish side in Pretoria this weekend, Wilson said: “It’s a huge crunch match, a huge game.

“Coming from Glasgow, they will feel the heat and the altitude.

“The Bulls are probably favourites. They have home advantage and that weighs a lot.

“It’s a huge game for them as they will want to keep putting pressure on Munster and Leinster just above them.

“But it’s equally a huge game for Glasgow because that top spot is massive.”

Looking at the table as a whole, Wilson said: “It’s so exciting how tight the league is.

“I think the top four as it is now will be the top four teams at the end - Glasgow, Leinster, Munster, Bulls.

“But there is so much movement from fifth to eleventh. There is just going to be such an amount of chopping and changing there because a lot of those teams play each other. So it’s an exciting end to the season.”

Latest News