Having looked at the players who were available during the RWC and trying to pick out the key attributes of the new signings it’s time to look at the squad as a whole. Analysing the team and breaking it down by strength in depth is always likely to be a little bit controversial, particularly because not everyone will agree exactly who is first choice and who are the backups. It remains a valuable exercise though as it allows the entire group of players at Gregor Townsend’s disposal to be visualised and to see where the side would go (and how much impact this would have) if there was a run of injuries.
So without further ado here is the official On Top Of The Moon depth chart for the Warriors (click for large version):
Full time squad facts and figures:
- There are 39 capped internationals in the main squad of 52 players.
- 85% of the Champions Cup squad have played Test rugby (it would be 90% but for injuries to Fraser Brown and Peter Murchie).
- The players have a total of 2,153 Warriors appearances behind them (as at 1/12/15). The ten most capped players account for 1,042 of these matches played. There are 25 players in the squad who combined only have 181 previous games for Glasgow under their belts.
- The average age of the squad is 25.6 (forwards 25.5, backs 25.8).
- The average age of the possible first choice XV is 25.3 (forwards 26.3, backs 24.1).
In recent times, Gordon Reid has shown himself to be a stronger scrummager and carrier than Ryan Grant who has struggled to recapture his Lions form.
A tough one to call. Fraser Brown is favoured at international level but Pat MacArthur has been more likely to be Toony’s choice for the past couple of seasons. We’ll need to wait until 2016 before we see where they stand.
Sila Puafisi looks like the most likely first choice right now but in common with most of Glasgow’s props his real strengths are more around the pitch than in the sweet science of the scrum. Zander Fagerson offers more off the bench than Big Mike Cusack but there’s likely to be a lot of rotation in this position throughout the season.
The Warriors 4 international locks tie up the main positions but Scott Cummings is only a few good meals and some extra gym sessions away from pressing his claim for inclusion.
The frenzied style and extra size and power of Simone Favaro gets him the nod ahead of club stalwart Chris Fusaro but it’s a close run thing.
Blindside may well be covered by players who are nominally number 8s but Rob Harley’s record suggests he’ll continue to see the most game time in the 6 jersey and he’s yet to miss a game this season.
An embarrassment of riches at 8 and one that may well see Toony using 2 or even 3 of the candidates across the back row together. Josh Strauss is the man in possession but he’ll come under threat from the ridiculous work rate of Adam Ashe and the versatility of Ryan Wilson.
Henry Pyrgos is a big miss for the Warriors. On early season form Mike Blair has eased ahead of Grayson Hart as current first choice but they both provide different options for the coaches to select from.
No real surprises here. Peter Horne is more likely to see game time in the 10 shirt than Gregor Hunter.
Again no real change on last season. Sam Johnson will hopefully be a useful option during the Six Nations window when Scotland call-ups decimate the Warriors midfield.
Tommy Seymour will continue to develop into DTH mkII. Taqele Naiyarovoro will provide a contrast on the other wing with some handy deputies backing them up.
Unchanged from the previous campaign. This is a position where there may be room to see a Scottish Rugby Academy player being brought in next season.