Gray's departure from Glasgow worries me
So big Richie Gray is leaving Glasgow. Is he making a mistake? What on earth is one of our best players doing leaving Glasgow to play in Manchester?
And is the English Premiership that attractive?
Why is Scotland's most marketable player walking out the door?
Frankly, I'd like to have seen him either stay at Glasgow to gallop across Scotstoun when Glasgow move there, or go and sample the life of wine, pate, some strange pain (their word for the staff of life) and the odd fight in the sunshine.
I am surprised he didn't go to France.
Glasgow will struggle to find another player as marketable as Richie Gray. Photo: SNS
I'm a big fan of Gray's. A huge, quiet man, he was playing Scottish First Division (Premiership) rugby in his teens, found himself in a tug of love between several clubs and then was snapped by by the professionals at Glasgow.
In a recent speed test at Glasgow he was the fastest forward over ten yards. That's probably two big paces for him.
Jeremy Guscott took a guess that he was slow and got it spectacularly wrong.
It's incredible that a youngster who was playing amateur club rugby just a couple of years ago is now one of the most sought-after players and Andy Robinson has briefed journalists that he believes Gray to be world class.
Had Scotland fared better in the World Cup he might have commanded even more interest.
But his departure south next summer has me asking the question: why would he leave Glasgow for Sale?
Putting myself in his shoes, I would leave a place if I didn't like it, or I felt I wasn't learning anything where I was, or didn't like the league I was involved in, or I could earn more money elsewhere.
I hope he is leaving to broaden his horizons elsewhere. Sale must have made him some offer to overtake the overtures of the French clubs.
I hope there is nothing about Glasgow he dislikes but it sends a strange message when such a marketable player leaves for, it is said, an offer close to the Glasgow one.
In fact, he may even be going for less money. I guess we will never find out.
It's certainly a big blow for Glasgow. He would have been able to bolster the pack for a few years. His face is on the masks the kids wear at the ground. He must have been responsible for at least a few hundred extra people turning up to watch.
Now the task is to find others to help with the marketing effort. Gray will be missed. Al Kellock should start renegotiating his contract. Glasgow now have a few quid spare in the budget.
But it all makes me feel a little strange, this one. It wasn't expected in my book. What do you think?