Perfect preparation for a Gregor Townsend-themed pub quiz (it could happen) – it’s 7 Surprising Stats!
1. Try time for Townsend
Glasgow scored 220 tries in Toony’s first 3 seasons in charge (more than they managed in the previous 5 seasons combined) generating 27 bonus points in the process. No team scored more tries in the Pro 12 across those campaigns. Including the current season Gregor’s Warriors have crossed the whitewash 248 times, with 55 different players touching down, and will be looking to notch their 250th score against the Scarlets on Saturday.
2. Rotation, rotation, rotation
No less than 94 players have pulled on the blue and black jersey for Glasgow during Toony’s tenure. 20 of them have featured in more than half of the coaches’ games in charge. 7 players played just once for the Warriors during Gregor’s first 100 games – kudos, honour and prestige awaits the first person who can name them all! (Answer in the comments.)
3. Teacher’s pets
Even in the era of Toony Tombola there are still some players the coach is loathe to leave out. Top of this particular class is Josh Strauss with 79 appearances, closely followed by Niko Matawalu with 75 (in fact from his first run out against Cardiff, Niko only missed 9 fixtures before he left in the summer). After that come Pat MacArthur (74), Rob Harley (73) and Tim Swinson (67).
4. The tries from the far side of the world
The Weegie from Fiji is also the top man for tries scored in the Townsend era – 26 meat pies came his way – although only 25 if you ask Stuart Hogg…DTH van der Merwe is next with 25 (from 21 fewer appearances than Niko). Then it’s Tommy Seymour with 18 and Stuart Hogg and Mark Bennett tied on 11. Of the players who didn’t manage to register a try under Gregor Townsend, Jon Welsh featured in the most games (44) whilst looking as likely to score as a eunuch in a nunnery.
5. Winning is a habit
Gregor Townsend has won 66% of his games as the Warriors’ head honcho (for comparison, Sean Lineen won 49% of his games in charge). Between the different competitions that Glasgow are involved in this breaks down as 73% of all games won in the Pro 12 and 35% of games won in the Champions Cup – illustrating the disparity in the level of play required and what has been achieved by the side in these tournaments.
6. United nations
Players from 14 different countries have taken to the field for Glasgow under Toony’s stewardship. The Warriors are a Frenchman short of a Six Nations; have managed a full set for The Rugby Championship; 4 of the 6 Pacific Nations cup sides; and a Georgian in a pear tree….The full list is:
Argentina, Australia, Canada, England, Fiji, Georgia, Ireland, Italy, New Zealand, Scotland, South Africa, Tonga, USA, Wales
7. Staying power
Gregor’s stay with Glasgow is his longest stint with any team since he turned professional in 1995. The Warriors’ faithful will be hoping that, having signed a contract extension to keep him at Scotstoun until June 2017, Gala’s favourite son can be persuaded to stay even longer and take the side into a sixth season and beyond!