Al Kellock backs Johnnie Beattie to bounce back with Glasgow

Johnnie Beattie
Beattie has been capped 16 times for Scotland

Glasgow Warriors captain Al Kellock is keen for Johnnie Beattie to return to the fold after his fellow forward was loaned out to Ayr at the weekend.

Warriors recorded a fine win over Bath in the Heineken Cup a day after Beattie helped Ayr shock Plymouth Albion in the lower-level British and Irish Cup.

"I have played with him for enough years to know how good he is," Kellock said of his fellow Scotland cap.

"And I want him to get back to his best and play as well as he can."

Beattie was the most high-profile omission from Andy Robinson's Scotland squad for this summer's World Cup in New Zealand.

And he has not been a constant feature in Warriors' recent starting line-ups under coach Sean Lineen.

But Kellock backed the 25-year-old flanker/number eight, who has 16 international caps, to challenge for his place in the side ahead of Sunday's second Pool 3 game, away to Leinster.

"I am keen to get the best team, the best 22, we possibly can and Johnnie's a great player," the Scotland captain told BBC Scotland.

"I know he's gone down to Plymouth with Ayr and they've done incredibly well and that's a great win for Ayr.

"I don't think anybody gave them much of a chance.

"Those guys have got another 80 minutes under their belt. Training is very competitive and so Johnnie's going to be pushing hard this week as well."

Glasgow have now won five games in a row in all competitions, but Kellock recognises that qualification from Pool 3, for which reigning champions Leinster are strong favourites, will still be difficult.

"We are not going to get carried away," said the lock ahead of the trip to the RDS Arena. "We had to battle to get the win, but it is a great start and exactly what you need.

"If we had lost that game by a point, it would be a far different feeling coming into training today.

"So we are in the right place for next week, although it is an incredibly difficult place to go and get a win, the RDS, especially in the Heineken Cup.

"But we have got to go there confident and if we can get something out of the game then we go into the Montpellier games in good shape."

Kellock was delighted with Warriors' victory, secured by Richie Gray's late try, over an Aviva Premiership side.

"You have to get off to a good start, especially a home match, in the Heineken Cup," he said.

"It wasn't exactly how it was meant to go, but it was great to get a try at the end.

"That's probably been our best factor over a number of years - that we will battle for absolutely everything.

"We had to battle. Bath are a very good team.

"We gave them too much ball, there's no doubt about that. I don't know what the percentage stats were, but they had far more ball than we did, especially in the first half.

"So we had to scramble, but we scrambled well."

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