Thursday 29 September 2016

'We are going to have to match Munster physically' - Glasgow scrum-half Henry Pyrgos

Andy Newport and Gavin McCafferty

Published 28/05/2015 | 15:40

25 April 2015; Henry Pyrgos, Glasgow Warriors, is tackled by Jack Carty, Connacht. Guinness PRO12, Round 20, Connacht v Glasgow Warriors. Sportsground, Galway. Picture credit: Oliver McVeigh / SPORTSFILE
25 April 2015; Henry Pyrgos, Glasgow Warriors, is tackled by Jack Carty, Connacht. Guinness PRO12, Round 20, Connacht v Glasgow Warriors. Sportsground, Galway. Picture credit: Oliver McVeigh / SPORTSFILE

Glasgow scrum-half Henry Pyrgos believes the time is finally right for the Warriors to claim their first piece of silverware.

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The Scotland number nine has watched from close quarters as head coach Gregor Townsend has shaped the Scotstoun outfit into one of Europe's most consistent sides over the last three years.

But so far they have failed to take the next step and turn their steady form into trophy-winning displays.

Twelve months on from losing their maiden Guinness PRO12 final, however, they will get a second chance as they take on Munster in Belfast on Saturday.

And Pyrgos says Townsend's side are now ready to become champions.

He said: "It would mean everything to win this final. We are desperate to go over there and win this tie. We have worked really hard over the last few years.

"In the five years I have been here I have seen the club grow year on year - we have got better and better.

"We have given ourselves another chance to get this title and we really want to go over there and put in a massive performance for everyone associated with this club."

Pyrgos turned his back on a chemistry degree at Loughborough University to pursue his rugby ambitions with Glasgow in 2010.

It took the Dorchester-born Dark Blues cap two years to work his way into Townsend's team, but he has been just one of many Warriors to have benefitted from the head coach's guidance.

"When I came up, we had just been off the back of a semi so I knew Glasgow was a good club and had a lot of good players," the 25-year-old said.

"But when I joined, we had a lot of rebuilding to do. A few guys moved on, as happens in sport. We had a lot of guys who I had played age-group rugby with coming in, but not a lot of experience at professional level.

"However, I always knew it was a talented bunch of guys with the development of players - Gregor Townsend and Sean Lineen have developed players really well - and we have managed to bring in some quality additions from outside the group, which has really helped us as well.

"We have a great competitive squad of guys. Gregor said we had used 50 players this season, which shows it's a massive squad effort to get where we are."

Beaten by Leinster in Dublin last year, Pyrgos and company will have to overcome another Irish province when they face Anthony Foley's side this weekend.

Munster will undoubtedly target the likes of Ryan Grant after the Glasgow prop's shaky display against Ulster in the semi-final.

But Pyrgos insists his side - who finished top of the PRO12 table for the first time this year - have threat of their own.

He said: "We are going to have to match Munster physically. Traditionally they are a hugely physical side. They've got a great set of forwards and dangerous backs so we are going to have to go there and meet the physical challenge in the contact area.

"If we can get speed of ball and get our attack into the game, we have some very dangerous runners who can cause them problems. So we are going to have to front up in defence and be accurate with the ball to give ourselves a chance."

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