Aberdeen Grammar head coach Ali O’Connor is confident they will be able to field a strong side against Glasgow Hawks after a Covid scare.
Grammar saw their first game of the season against Edinburgh Accies postponed after a number of positive cases within the club.
Director of rugby Gordon Thomson expressed confidence last week that the trip to Glasgow would go ahead as planned and O’Connor took training at Rubislaw last night.
There is bound to be some rustiness when it comes to Saturday, given Hawks played Marr last weekend while Grammar were idle, but O’Connor believes they will still field a strong outfit despite their recent troubles.
He said: “We’re hopeful as the week progresses we’ll have some more bodies available. Players are coming back but we had enough to train last night.
Unfortunately our first Premiership match against @EdinburghAccies this Saturday has been postponed due to a number of positive COVID cases in the Aberdeen Grammar team😔
Read the full statement from our Chairman and Director of Rugby here: https://t.co/3Oq9FyYhbv
— Aberdeen Grammar Rugby (@ABDNRugby) September 2, 2021
“We dealt with it during the first lockdown (positive cases) and just had to make sure everything was present and correct with the guidelines. Once we did that it was a case of no training Tuesday, no training Thursday and no game Saturday.
“We’ll struggle for not having that first game and Hawks will have an advantage over us in that respect. But I’m confident we’ll have enough to put in a good performance on Saturday.
“I think there were six games across the leagues called off. When you think about the impact that will have towards the end of the season it could be a worry. All we can do is be as prepared as we can be.”
The Accies game has been rescheduled for November 13, on the same day Scotland are due to play South Africa in the third of four Autumn Series matches at Murrayfield.
Preparation has had to be altered given the circumstances and the Grammar boss has a balance to find to have the players ready to go in their first Premiership fixture.
He added: “There’s still that hesitancy in the background of ‘is something going to happen’ but that’s outwith our control.
“We’re happy we can field a really strong squad. It’s a case of getting a bit of fitness in the legs; we’ve got to find a delicate balance to toughen up their fitness and leave them fresh for the weekend.
“I’ve not seen any footage from their game at the weekend yet. They tend to be stronger at home than they are away, so we need to make sure when we have the ball we execute what we want to do and put pressure on them on the defensive side.
“It’s a bit of an unknown (across the league), but that’s just where we are.”
O’Connor is hopeful of having Sam Knudsen and Tom Aplin available for Saturday, given they would have missed the Accies game.