Dempsey starts as Afshar set for debut

Dempsey starts as Afshar set for debut

Jack Dempsey will make his return to Glasgow Warriors action under the Saturday night lights, as the Scotland international starts at number eight for the visit of Ulster to Scotstoun tomorrow night.

The 29-year-old comes back into the lineup after recovering from a wrist injury sustained while on Scotland duty at the Rugby World Cup, one of six changes to the starting XV that earned a bonus-point win over Benetton last time out.

There could also be a potential debut for scrum-half Ben Afshar should he be called upon from the replacements tomorrow night, the Scotland U20 standout having helped Stirling Wolves to the FOSROC Super Series title last weekend.

Zander Fagerson is the only alteration to the front-row that ran out at Scotstoun last weekend, the tight-head packing down alongside fellow Scotland internationals Jamie Bhatti and George Turner.

A new second-row pairing sees Greg Peterson and Scott Cummings combine in the engine room, resuming the partnership that started the opening round victory over Leinster last month.

Dempsey’s return at number eight sees him join Matt Fagerson and Rory Darge in the back-row, the former having made a total of 54 tackles in his last three outings for the club.

Behind the scrum, Sean Kennedy makes his first start in Glasgow Warriors colours since March 2021, as the experienced scrum-half partners Tom Jordan in the half-backs.

Stafford McDowall once again leads the side from inside centre, with Sione Tuipulotu lining up outside the Stewartry RFC product in the midfield.

The back-three – all try-scorers against Benetton last time out – is unchanged, meaning Kyle Rowe and Sebastian Cancelliere once again flank the flying figure of Josh McKay at full-back.

Oli Kebble returns to the matchday 23 for tomorrow night’s match, the Scotland loose-head joining Johnny Matthews and Lucio Sordoni as the front-row replacements selected for the clash.

Richie Gray rotates to the bench after starting the club’s last three fixtures, Sione Vailanu doing likewise to accommodate the returns of Dempsey and Darge.

Sintu Manjezi completes the six forwards selected amongst the replacements by the club’s coaching team, while Duncan Weir joins potential debutant Afshar in covering the backline.

Speaking following selection, Head Coach Franco Smith told “Ulster is a top-class outfit – they have again proven that this season by only losing one game so far and have started the season in strong form.

“They have an experienced coaching group that knows Glasgow well, they have a squad full of international talent and we expect them to be at their very best as they have shown good form away from home.

“We are excited to run out in front of the Warrior Nation at a packed out Scotstoun once again, and the players are up for the challenge ahead.”

Glasgow Warriors team to face Ulster at Scotstoun, Saturday 25 November, kick-off 7.35pm – tickets are still available at

1 Jamie Bhatti (92)
2 George Turner (92)
3 Zander Fagerson (131)
4 Greg Peterson (37)
5 Scott Cummings (109)
6 Matt Fagerson (98)
7 Rory Darge (35)
8 Jack Dempsey (39)

9 Sean Kennedy (26)
10 Tom Jordan (29)
11 Kyle Rowe (4)
12 Stafford McDowall (C) (62)
13 Sione Tuipulotu (39)
14 Sebastian Cancelliere (29)
15 Josh McKay (30)


16 Johnny Matthews (55)
17 Oli Kebble (88)
18 Lucio Sordoni (20)
19 Richie Gray (105)
20 Sintu Manjezi (13)
21 Sione Vailanu (24)
22 Ben Afshar (0)
23 Duncan Weir (137)

Unavailable for selection: Fraser Brown (knee), Facundo Cordero (ankle),Jamie Dobie (ankle) Huw Jones (foot) JP du Preez (knee), Kyle Steyn (ankle)

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