Glasgow Warriors scrum-half, Colin Gregor, served his city in style this morning as he became a flamboyant Italian barista during Glasgow’s busy breakfast rush.
Gregor, nicknamed ‘Budgie’ by his team-mates, got into the Italian mindset as the Warriors prepare for their first encounter with one of two new Italian teams to enter the Magners League, Aironi, on Friday 5 November (kick-off 7.30pm).
“It was all good fun,” he said as he wiped some wayward spillages from his apron, “we just need to make sure that, now that we have mastered the coffee arts, we can now master the art of beating Aironi on the pitch.”
Budgie’s breakfast barista experience also sought to reach out to Glasgow’s large Italian community. Many Scots-Italians can trace their ancestry back to the 1890s when their forefathers sought a new life in Scotland. Yet it was not until the First World War when a sizeable Italian community began to emerge.
Glasgow soon housed the third largest Italian community in Great Britain and there was even, for a short spell in 1908, an Italian language newspaper, La Scozia, on sale in Glasgow.
Now the city’s Scots-Italian community is being urged to support the Warriors when they play Aironi at Firhill on Friday night.
The Warriors enter the eighth round of the Magners League in 11th place, but only a win away from leaping into a mid table position.
Aironi have struggled to find their feet in their first foray into the Magners League arena, but Gregor knows that his side must not let their guard down. Meanwhile, Glasgow will also be looking to rediscover the flare shown in their last home match, against the Ospreys, which saw them come from 11-16 down to beat the reigning Magners League champions 31-23.
“We’re looking forward to getting back to Firhill,” he continued. “As is always the case, we need to concentrate on ourselves more that the opposition. Last time we played at Firhill we had a really good win against the Ospreys so we’ll be looking forward to imposing that style of game on Aironi.
“We know that they’re going to be tough and physical. The contact will be a pretty brutal affair so we need to be really sharp.
“Our defence will need to be tip top so we’re not gifting any soft points and then really turn it on in attack.”
Rugby is renowned for the level of opposition analysis in the professional era, but due to their recent inception, Gregor admits that the Warriors will have less to go on than normal.
However, despite the amount of background knowledge at his disposal, Gregor knows what to expect from the Italians – bucket loads of passion.
“Obviously they have brought another dimension to the league, not just in terms of more away games, but in the way they play so it’s going to be a big challenge for us on Friday night.
“I’ve personally not seen that much of them, but you know with Italian teams that they’re going to throw everything at you.”
Adult tickets for Friday night’s match are priced at £15 in advance. Tickets for Students and Senior Citizens are priced at £10 with Under 18s just £5.
Tickets can be purchased in person from Greaves Sports on Gordon Street, Sauchiehall Street or Buchanan Galleries, via the ticket hotline on 0844 800 3490 or by logging onto http://www.glasgowwarriors.org.