John Barclay says he is concerned about Glasgow Warriors’ ability to replace some of the star names that have departed the squad in recent years after Adam Hastings became the latest high-profile player to secure a move away from the club. Hastings joined a growing list of key players, including the likes of Stuart Hogg, Finn Russell and Jonny Gray, to head through the exit door at Scotstoun in recent years when his move to Gloucester was confirmed last week.
And Barclay says he is worried his former club are struggling to properly replace some of those names.
“I’m concerned, yeah. (But) I won’t be concerned if these guys are replaced,” Barclay said.
“I think Glasgow haven’t replaced some of their stars who have gone on to do great things when they’ve left, so I think there is a bit of a hope probably, rather than expectation, given the landscape we are in right now with COVID and the financial implications we are going to have, so it’s a really hard one for anyone to manage.
“But I certainly think if you are losing players of that calibre, you need to replace them. And savvy recruitment and bringing in (the right) guys is going to be really important.
“So I think it is slightly concerning, but we don’t know what the answer is yet. So hopefully they’ll bring in some quality to replace the guys who are leaving.”
And Barclay, who spent eight years with Glasgow, says he understands why supporters would be worried about the club’s transfer dealings.
“That’s the thing, Glasgow built a team, I was in a similar kind of thing in Wales (at Scarlets) whereby we were probably not the most funded… Well, I know we were one of the lowest funded teams, and by some good recruitment and by some academy guys coming through and becoming stars for Wales and the British and Irish Lions, we ended up with a really handy team.
“But we kind of knew at some stage, slowly, the bigger teams start to pick these guys off, and that’s the economics of the situation, that’s life.
“You can’t blame guys for one; wanting to go away if they are offered more money, and two; if they want to go away and have different challenges and experience different things. And I think the guys who have left from Scotland, looking at the teams they have gone to, they’re quality teams. And they’ve gone there and played some great rugby.
“So from a Scottish hat point of view, I think it’s great. But I also understand, if I was a Glasgow fan, I’ve seen this team being built up and guys are leaving who you’d hope would have been replaced.
“But no-one knows what’s going to happen in the world right now, never mind rugby, when it comes to finances. But rugby is a results-based business, so they have to find solutions to the guys who are leaving, somewhere and somehow.
“But as we know the guys who are leaving are arguably the most expensive players to replace, full-backs, stand-offs, second-rows, these are key players.”
Chris Paterson and John Barclay are joined by Jim Hamilton, Dougie Vipond, Rory Hamilton and Jenny Drummond for the big 1872 Cup clash between Edinburgh and Glasgow on Jan 2 live from BT Murrayfield on Premier Sports 1 from 2.30pm.
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