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Johnson buoyed by Glasgow form


Latest rugby union news

Latest rugby union news

Latest rugby union news

Scotland head coach Scott Johnson believes Glasgow's unbeaten start to the season can have a positive impact on his Dark Blues side ahead of the Autumn internationals.

The Warriors have won all five of their RaboDirect Pro12 fixtures this season and currently top the league.

They now face up against European champions Toulon in France as the Heineken Cup kicks off and Australian Johnson even fancies Gregor Townsend's side to cause an upset on the Mediterranean coast against a side he dubbed the "Real Madrid of rugby".

Johnson's Scotland face Japan, South Africa and Australia next month and he believes Glasgow's early-season form will be a terrific boost ahead of those Tests.

Johnson - who also doubles as the Scottish Rugby Union's director of rugby - told Press Association Sport: "There's no doubt Glasgow will need character on Sunday against Toulon. They are the Real Madrid of rugby but then again, Real Madrid haven't won anything for a while.

"They will be vulnerable because it is the first game. I'd like to get them over there first because everyone is a bit edgy at the start of the tournament and it brings the sides closer together.

"However, it's been a wonderful start to the year for Glasgow but what has probably not been said is that they could have lost quite a few of those games.

"But they showed great resolve to win the tight games. That says a lot about their character. The Ulster game was a perfect example. They were knocked out everywhere except on the scoreboard.

"That gives them confidence and that is a terrific thing for Glasgow as a region and us as a national team and me as a coaching director. We've got the Autumn Tests coming up and we're all in this together."

While Glasgow are flying high, Edinburgh's troubles continue.

South African Alan Solomons was only appointed as head coach a month before the season kicked-off and has watched the Murrayfield side slide to the bottom of the Pro12 with just one win so far.

But Johnson feels they will get it right soon.

"Edinburgh are where they are and probably where we knew they were going to be," said the Scotland boss.

"The coaching team came in late and we understood that. We have got a substantial number of people out of contract come the end of the year. It's a transitional phase and it would be deluding people to say otherwise.

"We've been through this before with sides and you have to be clear where you are going. At the end of the day, we will get a result out of Edinburgh. It's been something that has been begging to be done for a while but it will take a little time."