Gregor Townsend and Al Kellock were two men in demand today as the RaboDirect PRO12 season launch took place in the spectacular surroundings of Glasgow’s iconic Riverside Museum.
The Warriors head coach and captain were joined by their counterparts from across Ireland, Italy and Wales as the competition launch came to Scotland for the very first time to co-incide with the club’s move to Scotstoun.
Later in the day, the chief executives and other management of the RaboDirect PRO12 sides were given a tour of the Warriors’ new home ahead of the stadium staging a tournament match for the very first time when Scarlets come calling on Friday 7 September.
On Monday evening, the City Chambers played host to a gala dinner organised in conjunction with Glasgow City Council and Glasgow Life, two of the Warriors’ key partners at Scotstoun.
Glasgow open up their new campaign with a trip to Heineken Cup finalists Ulster on Friday 31 August, and Townsend and Kellock were today quizzed by media from all four competing countries about the club’s ambitions to build on reaching the play-offs twice in the last three years.
Head coach Townsend told www.glasgowwarriors.org: “Everyone at the Warriors can’t wait for the competitive season to begin, and we’ve been working extremely hard to ensure we hit the ground running come next Friday and the visit to Ravenhill.
“Days like today are a real reminder of just how close we are to the season kicking off, and it’s been absolutely fantastic to host media, coaches and players from across the competition in our great city.
“We’ve got one more warm-up game, against Exeter Chiefs at Millbrae this Thursday, and then it’s all about seeking to improve on the good work that was done last year and making sure we’re challenging at the top end of the table once again.”
Captain Kellock confirmed: “As a born and bred Glaswegian, it’s been a really proud day to experience this launch right on our home turf.
“The fact it’s been staged here is testament to the growing profile of Glasgow as a rugby city, and also to the respect we’ve earned with our performances in the RaboDirect PRO12 over the last few years.
“The start of a new season is always an exciting time, but there’s definitely an extra edge there this year with the move to Scotstoun Stadium and the opportunity we have to develop a fitting home for Glasgow Warriors.
“We’ve got three games there during September, and as a squad and coaching group we’ll be doing everything we can to give the supporters positive results and performances to begin life in our new surroundings in the best possible way.”