Gregor Townsend is not getting the send-off he deserves - Peter Horne

03 May 2017 03:39

Peter Horne thinks Glasgow have failed to give Gregor Townsend the send-off he deserves as his Warriors reign comes to an end.

The Scotstoun head coach will take charge of his side one final time when they host Edinburgh on Saturday before taking over as Scotland boss.

However, inter-city bragging rights and the 1872 Cup are all that will be at stake this weekend, with both sides out of contention for the Guinness PRO12 play-offs.

And Horne admits that is a poor way to honour t he man who transformed Glasgow from no-hopers to champions during his five-year stint at the helm.

"It's a shame the way the season has gone," the Scotland centre said. "It just doesn't sit right with me the way the end of the season has come around. It doesn't feel right that we don't have a semi-final to look forward to.

"We've got no-one to blame but ourselves. We've just not played well enough. We've under-performed and not done ourselves justice.

"It's a bit horrible the season is coming to an early end but it will just make us hungrier to get back to work.

"It's hard to put into words what Gregor has done. He's taken us to another level. We've gone from having a thousand people watching us at Firhill if we were lucky to selling out Scotstoun every single week regardless of who we are playing.

"With the brand of rugby we've been playing, Gregor has been tipped for all sorts of jobs. Over the last two or three years every club has been after him at one point and that's testament to his dedication in preparing us.

"It's just disappointing we don't have the play-offs there to send him off on a proper high."

Townsend and his Murrayfield-bound coaching staff are not the only big-names departing Scotstoun this summer, with the likes of Simone Favaro, Mark Bennett, Josh Strauss and Gordon Reid also heading for the exit.

But while the head coach has spent little time discussing the countdown to his own farewell, Horne says his players are determined to make the most of the opportunity to show their gratitude.

"There probably is that sense that it's the end of an era w ith the coaches moving on and a bit of a turnover in players," he said. "So there is a great chance for us to make sure that for all the guys moving on, we do finish on a high.

" As you can imagine, Gregor has played it all down. He wants the focus to be solely on the boys.

"But as players we have spoken about how much it means to us to get a win.

"There are quite a few guys who are moving on who have spoken through over the last couple of weeks. They've said if it is going to be your last game, what do you want to be remembered for? You don't want to go out the door on a bad note."

Glasgow are hoping to snatch back the 1872 Cup after allowing Edinburgh to celebrate back-to-back triumphs in the annual two-legged showdown involving Scotland's two professional clubs.

They hold a 13-point advantage already over their Myreside rivals following their Boxing Day win and Horne expects his side to complete the job.

He said: "It's an easy game to get yourselves up for. We're desperate to win.

"It might look like a dead rubber but we're certainly looking to get a good win and get our hands on the 1872 Cup, something which has evaded us over the last couple of years."

Source: PA