Kings set to face Glasgow's World Cup stars
Glasgow Warriors could be boosted by five Scottish international players returning from World Cup duty in Japan when they face the Isuzu Southern Kings at Scotstoun on Friday.
After a slow start to their new campaign, 2018's Guinness PRO14 finalists will be able to call on the services of their returning Test stars.
“Out there in training on Monday we had guys like George Horne, Pete Horne, Adam Hastings, George Turner and Zander Fagerson and they are all available for selection,” Warriors assistant coach Kenny Murray said.
“We’ve not got any excuses for our poor start being about guys being away at the World Cup,” Murray said.
The Glasgow coach said his team expected a tough battle against the Kings.
“If you look at the Kings attack stats, they are pretty good,” he said.
“They have played some hard teams and scored 10 tries, with eight of those 10 coming from line-outs, so they are a very strong line-out team.
“They are just off scoring 30 points against Treviso at the weekend, so this is going to be a really tough game for us.
“We feel our attack can put them under a lot of pressure and they are obviously conceding a lot of points, but defensively we have to be at our best because they pose a lot of threats.”
Murray said the team were disappointed by their slow start, which has seen them win only one of their opening four games.
“We’ve just not performed as well as we’ve needed to.
“The guys we had on the pitch at Dragons last weekend were good enough to win that game and we should have won with the team we had on the park.
“It is obviously disappointing to have lost the games we have lost already but we know we can dig ourselves out as there are still a lot of games to play.
“The season doesn’t finish next week, but we do need to start winning games.
“Now we have the Kings here on Friday and then Zebre away.
“These are another two games where, if we play to our potential, we should be looking to win them to set up going into Europe.
“Then we have a second group of guys who had a lot of game time in the World Cup and they’ll maybe come back in the week after, for the Zebre game.
“The guys come back and sometimes it is a bit of a relief to get away from that international pressure, and they are all keen to play and get back into it.
“Sam Johnson is not available for another week, but is back doing a bit of training to get himself ready.
“They are all disappointed about the outcome in Japan, not getting to the quarterfinal, but the thing about rugby is that you have to put things behind you pretty quickly because you have another game in a few days.”
The Kings defeated Glasgow in Port Elizabeth last season and while they’ve lost all four games so far, the Warriors will not take them lightly.
“We certainly did not play well against the Kings last year,” Murray said.