High-flying Gray ready for next test

High-flying Gray ready for next test

2021 might still be in its infancy, but anyone watching last weekend’s 1872 Cup opener was left in no doubt about one thing – Richie Gray is back with a bang.

Having spent
the majority of the preceding three months on the sidelines after sustaining a
concussion against the Scarlets in October, the second-rower showed no signs of
ring-rustiness at the home of Scottish rugby in a display that had pundits and
supporters alike purring with approval.

“I was
chuffed to be back out there with the boys,” Gray told glasgowwarriors.org.

“The result
didn’t go our way but I enjoyed the game – it was pretty attritional, so I
enjoyed the chance to get out and get stuck into Edinburgh. Hopefully this week
we get the result as well as the performance.”

Standing as
the tallest player in club history at 6’10”, the man from Rutherglen served a
reminder to the Warrior Nation as to his lineout prowess; a dominant aerial display
saw Gray register a Guinness PRO14-leading four lineout steals, earning him a
place in the competition’s Team of the Week for Round 10.

Yet whilst
the 2013 British and Irish Lion earned many of the plaudits for his
eye-catching work, the man himself insists it was a team effort from the
Warriors pack.

“We work a
lot on our defensive lineouts during the week, so we put the time in thinking
about what might be coming our way,” explained Gray.

was obviously a great one for us in terms of disrupting their ball. It’s luck
of the draw sometimes, though, and you’ve got to be alive to react to what

“It was
really satisfying to see it come off as well as it did for us – everyone was switched
on and played their part, and it was a real team effort.”

Gray was
also effusive in his praise for his second-row partner-in-crime Scott Cummings,
who marked his first match since agreeing to a contract extension with a
trademark all-action display.

“Scott’s a
fantastic player, and a fantastic guy as well,” said Gray.

“I’m over
the moon that he’s re-signed with Glasgow – it’s a real coup for the club. He’s
been outstanding over the last couple of seasons and I really like the way he

“He hits the
line at pace, carries really well and he’s the guy that’s calling the shots at
the lineout. I love playing alongside him.

“The lineout’s
been performing pretty well, and a lot of that is down to Scotty’s calling.
There’s a good group of guys who’ll have their say depending on who’s playing,
like myself, Ryan [Wilson], Rob [Harley] and so on, but at the end of the day
the final decision is Scott’s. He’s been leading it really well this season and
long may it continue.”

The immediate
focus for Gray and his Glasgow team-mates, however, is reversing last weekend’s
result when Edinburgh arrive at Scotstoun this evening. Having identified the
areas requiring improvement in the wake of Saturday’s defeat, the second-rower believes
the squad will need no extra motivation going into tonight’s encounter.

“The two big
areas for us have been the scrum and the penalty count,” said Gray.

“We need to
improve there – we didn’t play too badly overall last week and we were in a
position where we could have won the game, but our discipline let us down. That
needs to improve and it starts with tonight.

matches are always special. Even at the weekend without fans, there was
something unique about the atmosphere. I’ve got no doubt it’ll be the same
again at Scotstoun tomorrow night, regardless of how cold it might be!”

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