Glasgow Warriors head coach Gregor Townsend allays security fears in Paris

Glasgow head coach Gregor Townsend insists he is not worried about strict security measures distracting his players as they prepare to return to Paris.

The Warriors were in the French capital on the night of the November 13 atrocities which left 130 people dead.

The Guinness Pro12 champions were preparing for a European Champions Cup clash with Racing 92 but the match was postponed while France came to terms with horrific attacks carried out by Islamist extremists.

The crucial Pool 3 fixture at the Stade Olympique Yves-du-Manoir has now been rearranged for Saturday but, even two months on from the devastating scenes, there remains a nervous air in Paris.

Townsend believes his players will be well guarded during their stay.

“It’s the anniversary of Charlie Hebdo and we saw on the news [that there had been another incident in Paris], so security will be a priority for us and for Racing,” he said.

“But I’m not worried about it being a distraction. The best security is the security you don’t see. As a playing group we get on a bus and go straight to the stadium, so it won’t affect us.

“It will be more the supporters who have to take that little bit more time getting through security for the game.”

Townsend certainly has enough to be concerned with as he prepares to face the Top 14 leaders and their superstar squad.

Townsend — whose side are likely to require at least two wins from their remaining three games if they are to make the quarter-finals for the first time — said: “I’m expecting the strongest team they can put out.

“It looks like for their European games they have gone for the guys who have international experience such as Dan Carter and Joe Rokocoko from the All Blacks or their French internationals.

“But it raises everybody’s focus when you know you are up against some of the best players in the game now, or in Carter’s case to have ever played it.

“Dan is in great form. He had a great World Cup and has been outstanding in the couple of games he has played for Racing. We know their threats but they like to play rugby so we reckon it will be a positive game to watch.”


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