We need to talk about…Where to play Munster

Careful study of long-range weather forecasts has become de rigueur among Warriors’ fans trying to anticipate when the club will next be able to play at their home ground of Scotstoun. Here at On Top Of The Moon this was a hot topic ahead of the game against Racing and various alternative venues were considered. With meteorological conditions failing to improve, what are the options for the fixture with Munster if there is no alternative but to switch?

Out of the running

  • Firhill Stadium – Partick Thistle play at home on Friday 19th and Tuesday 23rd.
  • St. Mirren Park – St. Mirren play at home on Saturday 20th.
  • Parkhead – Celtic play at home on Saturday 20th.

Would require the game switched to Sunday

  • Rugby Park – Kilmarnock play at home on Saturday 20th
  • Broadwood Stadium – Clyde play at home on Saturday 20th
  • Excelsior Stadium – Airdrie play at home on Saturday 20th

The most likely destination would seem to be Rugby Park with so much preparation and set-up work already having been done for the last ‘home’ game, but this switch would present some fairly significant issues:

  • Glasgow play Dragons on Thursday 25th. Means a 4 day turnaround for an already depleted squad.
  • Short timescale to get pitch and stadium ready for rugby.
  • Sky may not be too impressed with a change of venue and day. How much influence do they have?

Available

  • Murrayfield Stadium
  • Ibrox Stadium – would they want rugby damaging their pitch?
  • Hampden Park – would they want rugby damaging their pitch?

Murrayfield is free that weekend – meaning the game could be played on the correct day at the correct time. In all likelihood it’s the cheapest option. It’s almost like an additional residence for the Warriors. But it would be deeply unpopular with the fans, losing another home game and sending them on another trip to the far East.

Other options

Postpone the game until April (there are 2 free weekends for Euro quarters and semis with the Zebre away game needing to use one of these also). This was not an option for the European fixture with Racing as the game had to be played by the Monday or Glasgow would have forfeited. The club would need to persuade rest of league – in particular Munster. The selling points are:

  • Likely to be at least a third of the 2 sides’ squads missing on international duty – these players would be available in April, making for a higher quality fixture for the Pro 12.
  • Better weather. Which in all likelihood leads to better rugby and a better crowd.

As this would use the final spare weekend available this season the league are likely to want assurances that there will be a permanent solution for all remaining games.

From the Warriors’ perspective it would add a little to some late season fixture congestion but with only 4 defeats from 23 games after the 6 Nations across the last 4 seasons it would suit Glasgow to have another fixture during a period when they have traditionally been strong.

 

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