Glasgow Warriors work on ruck speed ahead of Scarlets visit

By David CurrieBBC Scotland
Glasgow Warriors stand-off Finn Russell
Finn Russell has a friendly rivalry for a starting place with team-mate Duncan Weir
Guinness Pro 12: Glasgow Warriors v Scarlets
Venue: Scotstoun Stadium Date: 9 January Kick-off: 19:35 GMT
Coverage: Live on BBC ALBA, BBC Radio Scotland and BBC Sport website

Glasgow Warriors' Finn Russell says the team learned valuable lessons in their last Friday.

The stand-off admits Glasgow have been working to improve their ruck speed after being caught out there by their rivals in the 20-8 loss at Murrayfield.

"We've been working a lot in the contact area," he told BBC Scotland.

"The ruck speed was slow so we are looking to pick that up to get the best from our attack to create opportunities against Scarlets."

Warriors host the Welshmen hoping to get their Pro 12 campaign back on track after the Edinburgh game, which doubled as the second leg of the 1872 Cup match.

They trail Ospreys by a point, having won nine and lost three of their 12 games to date.

"Edinburgh were really good at the breakdown and slowed us down, which took away our attack, "added Russell, 22.

"It's credit to their defence. They did their homework. This weekend we'll need to change things so it doesn't happen again.

"With all top four teams losing we could have gone top. On the other hand it has given us the fire in our belly to hopefully get the four points against Scarlets.

Finn Russell
Finn Russell is in the first year of a two-year professional contract with the Warriors after coming through the Scottish Rugby Elite Development Programme

"Ruck speed will be key, especially with them having John Barclay at seven. He's a great openside and the players all know what he's like.

"I'm sure he'll be trying to slow our ball down and make it messy. We'll need to get the ruck speed down by a few seconds and create opportunities for our attack."

The former Stirling and Falkirk player missed the first part of the season through injury but has since been competing for a regular starting place.

He hopes "to get another shot" against Scarlets but is mindful of head coach Gregor Townsend's tendency to rotate the starting 15.

Whether he begins the match or is on the bench, Russell feels the team are well placed for the second half of the season, during which they have a home game against Montpellier and an away tie in Bath in the European Rugby Champions Cup.

He said: "In the Guinness we are second so we have to keep winning the games to get the home semi-final and in the European Cup we need to win the next two games.

"I think we're in a good position but the back end of the season will be tough and there a lot of games that we've got to win."

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