Once A Warrior 2020 part 7: Round-up

Coaches and staff

Dave Rennie was the ninth man to fill the head coach role for Glasgow in the professional era. His span of 77 games is just ahead of Hugh Campbell and ranks fourth all-time for the club behind Richie Dixon (91), Gregor Townsend (147) and Sean Lineen (163).

With an overall winning percentage of 61.0% he is one of only two Warriors’ coaches to win more than 50% of their games – the other being Toony with a rate of 61.9%.

Dave is the only one of Glasgow’s coaches to lead them to a league playoff appearance and the European knockout stages in the same season. That came in the 2018/19 campaign where his side were (arguably) a dry day away from a second league title.

In the current campaign RWC disruption, which contributed to the club’s worst start to the season since 2011/12, had put Glasgow in a tricky position. However they were still reasonably well placed to secure playoff rugby for the eighth time in the last nine years before coronavirus intervened.

An odd end to Dave’s time with the club as a new coach will finish out the season he started. Rens is another who has missed out on a proper farewell. Hopefully he can catch up in his new head coaching role when Australia next travel to play (and lose to) Scotland.

Some of Dave Rennie’s assistant coaches have also moved on from the Warriors. Jason O’Halloran spent five years in Scotland, first with the national side and latterly with Glasgow. As the man in charge of the backs he had a huge influence on Warriors’ remarkable attacking efforts with 100+ tries scored in both 2017/18 and 2018/19 – something that had never been achieved before in the club’s history. Jason is joining Suntory Sungoliath in Japan as Assistant Coach.

Scrum coach Petrus Du Plessis will always have a place in the hearts of Glasgow fans for his efforts on and off the pitch, including playing with the club band and returning to the NHS to help out during the current pandemic. He’ll also forever hold a club milestone as Warrior number 300:

His records as the oldest man to appear for the club in both the PRO14 and Champions Cup aren’t guaranteed to stand forever – but they will take a remarkable effort to overtake! Petrus has been heavily linked with the scrum coach role for Australia.

It was also recently announced that John Dalziel would be moving on to become Gregor Townsend’s forwards coach with Scotland. The former Melrose man has been progressing through the ranks coaching at London Scottish and having spells in charge of both Scotland U20 and Scotland 7s before joining up with the Warriors towards the end of the 2018/19 season. John has been a success in every role he has tackled and looks to be one to watch as he climbs the coaching ladder.

Earlier in the season Rugby Operations Manager John Manson left to take up a similar role with Old Glory DC in Washington. Some say that John was the missing link. Warrior number 59’s return to the club came just in time for the club’s big leap forward to win the PRO12 title in Belfast. Coincidence or the benefits of putting a former prop in charge of wrangling the wilder members of the squad (mentioning no Wilsons)? You decide…

Having spent the last seven years as the club’s media and comms’ supremo, Jeremy Bone has moved on to become the SRU’s Strategic Brand Manager. As the face of the club when Warriors’ HQ was in its infancy Jeremy would be familiar to most of the club’s fans and has been a significant part of the growth of the club on social media and maintaining their links with the community and supporters.


In addition to those covered in Parts one, two, three, four, five and six there have been quite a few other players involved with the club during this Covid-19 shortened season. Warrior number 299, Tevita Tameilau, returned to the US in December and joined up with San Diego Legion in Major League Rugby.

Gordon Reid (Warrior number 192) re-signed briefly on a Partnership Contract with Ayrshire Bulls in the Super 6 before departing for Northampton. This is not the first time Glasgow fans have had to bid farewell to Gordy – his Once A Warrior tribute from 2017 is here.

There were a number of players signed on short-term contracts and loans to provide additional cover during the season – hookers Pat O’Toole and Ross Graham as well as props Gaston Cortes and Ewan McQuillin helped out in the front row. Ewan became Warrior number 310 with a couple of appearances from the bench late on in the campaign.

Some of the Scotland 7s’ squad were also involved in the extended squad with 16 Warriors’ players absent from preseason and the early rounds of the PRO14 due to World Cup duties. Alec Coombes, Robbie Fergusson (Warrior 250), Max McFarland and Kyle Rowe all trained with Glasgow.

Old Glory DC player Jack Iscario and Ayrshire Bulls’ Lars Morrice were others who spent time at Scotstoun on training contracts.

From the 2019/20 Scottish Rugby Academy Stage 3, five players won’t be returning next year –Cameron Henderson (Leicester Tigers), Marshall Sykes (Edinburgh), Grant Hughes, Kristian Kay and Euan McLaren.

Thanks for all your efforts to everyone mentioned (and anybody accidentally omitted!) The players on the pitch on match days get most of the attention and praise but there is a huge amount of work that goes on off the pitch and in training and everyone involved makes a contribution to the club’s performances. Best of luck for the future to you all.

(Based on the information available nothing has been confirmed for the status of full-time squad members Glenn Bryce, Bruce Flockhart and Johnny Matthews as well as Partnership Contract player Sean Kennedy. The blog will be updated if it’s confirmed that any of them are leaving the club.)

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