Glasgow Warriors: Semi-final loss to Connacht motivates us - Gregor Townsend

Warriors' Pro12 title defence ended with defeat by Connacht in May
Warriors' Pro12 title defence ended with defeat by Connacht in May

Gregor Townsend says opening their Pro12 campaign against Connacht is the perfect way for Glasgow Warriors to get over the "hurt" of last season's semi-final loss to the Irish side.

Warriors' title defence ended with a 16-11 last four defeat in Galway as Connacht went on to lift the title.

"We have bad memories of that game where the disappointment was tangible," Townsend said.

"To get the champions first game gets the focus really into reality."

The Warriors head coach - who will leave at the end of the season to take over as Scotland boss - says a lot of his players struggled to get over the semi-final loss, which will provide extra motivation for Saturday's trip to Connacht.

"Yes, it probably does," Townsend told BBC Scotland. "A lot of our players carried that hurt on into the summer.

"This is our first opportunity to play in a proper competitive game and it's in the same venue against the same opponents so I'd like to think that disappointment will turn into determination.

"You'll see a real commitment from our players to do better than we did last time.

"Whether we're champions, whether we're runners-up or not even made the semi-finals, is irrelevant.

"That's the motivation from everyone here, to do as well as we can in all the tournaments we're involved in. It's an exciting year for us all."

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