Glasgow Warriors: Gregor Townsend hails 'seminal weekend' for Scottish rugby

Gregor Townsend and Ryan Wilson
Head coach Gregor Townsend believes this is a "seminal weekend" for Scottish rugby

Glasgow Warriors head coach Gregor Townsend hailed a "seminal weekend" for Scottish rugby after his side clinched first European Champions Cup quarter-final by hammering Leicester Tigers.

Glasgow inflicted the Tigers heaviest-ever European defeat with a 43-0 six-try thumping at Welford Road.

Warriors will play Munster or Saracens away from home in the last eight.

"I know how important a day this is for us a club, but also for Scottish rugby," Townsend told BBC Scotland.

"This is a seminal weekend. It'd be great to build on this, in the next few weeks during the Six Nations, but also over the next few years.

"We've started something over the last couple of years. It started in Belfast and Dublin with the number of supporters that went over to watch us in Pro12 finals. This is how it starts.

"The noise they make, it's not like they're just any supporters. Scotstoun is a special atmosphere, today was so noisy. The Glaswegians love their city and love their sports teams and it's great they get behind our rugby team."

Townsend feels the occasion comes close to matching Glasgow's Pro12 title triumph in 2015, when his side thrashed Munster at Belfast's Kingspan Stadium.

"The Pro12 final, its hard to top that, but in many ways today reminded me of that day," he said. "The support, the way the players delivered in such a big occasion. We were just sitting back watching with pride at how well the played."

Alex Dunbar
Glasgow could face a trip to Pool 1 rivals Munster in the quarter-finals

Glasgow will travel to Pro12 heavyweights Munster, or defending champions Saracens in the quarter-finals.

Warriors lost narrowly to Munster, who finished top of Pool 1, in a gruelling battle at Scotstoun last weekend.

"Munster are a team we know really well," Townsend said. "Last week was a really high-quality game. I watched all the other games in Europe last week, and I felt that one was the closest to Test quality.

"That shows you how good a team Munster are, but we played a big part and were disappointed not to win. Whoever we play, it's going to be tough, we're away from home, but we have won two big games away from home in Europe this season (against Racing 92 and Leicester)."

'Main goal' fulfilled

Finn Russell
Finn Russell says Glasgow have achieved their biggest goal of the season

Glasgow fly-half Finn Russell says, in becoming the first Warriors side to reach the last eight, the squad have fulfilled their primary aim for the season.

"At the start of the year, qualifying for Europe was probably the club's main goal," he said. "After a narrow loss to Munster we knew how tough it was going to be. There's still a long way to go yet but today was a brilliant performance.

"Everything we planned for all week and the way we predicted the game was going to go happened. It's not often you get that. We scored early on and kept the foot down.

"The confidence we had, the forwards with the line-out drives and set-piece were outstanding. We're on the bus back up the road tonight - we'll hopefully get a couple of beers, but we're back in camp tomorrow!"

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