Spring. It’s an interesting time of year. Some rugby competitions have finished, such as the club Premiership which has been incredibly close behind Ayr and Gala. Others are reaching their climax as the battle for play-off places heats up.
It’s also the time of year when many players negotiate contracts for next year.
For Scotland’s professional teams, there are issues on both fronts.
Glasgow are making the running for a home play-off fixture while the new coaches and managing director at Edinburgh must be considering how to bolster their squad for next year’s campaign.
Glasgow could be accused of being complacent after Friday’s match against the Scarlets. A win and that elusive home play-off slot would have been all but guaranteed.
But instead they lost badly, and consequently find themselves only nine points ahead of the Ospreys in fifth place who have a game in hand.
Glasgow’s campaign had been pretty good after a slow start and a poor outing in the Heineken Cup. Gregor Townsend appears to have a settled and happy squad of players and their highlight must have been the dismantling of Munster a fortnight ago at Scotstoun. Yet on Friday evening in South Wales it was a different team altogether that took the field.
It’s not too late to recapture their form and they deserve a play-off place. So perhaps the Scarlets match was just the wake-up call they needed before their last two league matches.
On the other side of the country, Edinburgh were similarly afflicted as they went down to Connaught. After last season’s European Cup heroics, Edinburgh have been awful although the signings the club made last season were meant to have strengthened the squad even more when the SRU chief, Mark Dodson loosened the purse strings.
While Sean Maitland and Josh Strauss have been great successes in the west of Scotland, the same cannot be said of Dimitri Basalia, Piers Francis & Co in the capital.
There have also been wholesale change off the field at Edinburgh with coaches Neil Back and Michael Bradley being replaced by Duncan Hodge and Steve Scott. And last week they announced that David Davies will be the club’s new managing director.
Edinburgh must sort out the playing roster and get a squad that can be competitive in all competitions.
Clearly there is a lot of work for both clubs to do before they can enjoy their summer holiday.
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