Match Preview Ayrshire Bulls
Glasgow Warriors will be kicking off the 2022/23 pre-season with a trip to Inverness to play against Ayrshire Bulls, as Franco Smith takes charge of the Warriors for the first time.
Following the withdrawal from Worcester Warriors at short notice, the Ayrshire Bulls accepted the call to action and will line up against Smith’s side at the Caledonian Stadium.
The reigning FOSROC Super6 champions promise to be a good test for the Warriors side, as the Bulls are coming off of last weeks victory against current FOSROC Super6 leader, Watsonians, who had been on a long unbeaten run spanning across 10 months.
ONES TO WATCH
Having won Try of the Week last week against Watsonians, Jamie Shedden went on to get player of the match with two tries to his name. The 21-year-old centre is both quick and powerful, and a strong weapon in the midfield.
Another player to watch out for will be full-back Liam McNamara, with his powerful running and intricate pass for Shedden’s Try of the Week just an indicator of what he can do.
Both players were named in the FOSROC Super6 Team of the Week alongside their teammates Andrew Nimmo (loose-head prop) and Rory Jackson (flanker).
Shedden, McNamara and Jackson have also all trained with Glasgow Warriors in the past.
It will be an interesting match-up tomorrow night, with the clubs having a connection in the past through both players and backroom staff.
Former Glasgow and Scotland international, Peter Murchie, was Head Coach with the Ayr RFC for their 2018/19 season. Murchie led the Bulls to a league and cup double before joining the Warriors in 2021 and is now an Assistant Coach under Franco Smith.
Similarly, fellow former Warrior and Scotland star, Pete Horne, had a coaching spell with the Ayrshire side. Having been an assistant coach after his retirement in 2021 and taking over as Head Coach in 2022 with the Millbrae men, Horne then made the move back to his former side as a Skills Coach ahead of 2022/23.
Tom Jordan, having joined Glasgow Warriors in 2021, was a standout player for the Ayrshire side in their 2021 season, scoring a whopping 49 points in just nine games. Jordan will be starting against his former side on Friday night. He’ll be lining up alongside Stafford McDowall in the centres, with McDowall having been Ayr RFC Young Player of the Season in 2016/17.
Alex Samuel will be starting on the bench for Smith’s side, just a week after playing for the Bulls against Watsonians. It was Samuel’s first match after returning from injury, as he prepares for his first season as a professional.
In addition, Will Hunt and Cameron Jones will also be starting on the bench this Friday night. Hunt is currently on a short term deal with the Warriors and has been playing frequently with the Ayrshire side, as has scrum-half Jones, who linked up with the Scotstoun squad over the summer.
There are other players not making the journey to Inverness who have a history with the men from Millbrae, too. Current Glasgow and Scotland player, Ollie Smith, had played for Ayrshire Bulls prior to joining Glasgow Warriors academy, playing a pivotal role for the side. Fellow Glasgow and Scotland player, Ross Thompson, had also played for the Bulls prior to turning professional, with both Thompson and Smith making their debuts in the 2020/21 season.
The referee for the pre-season matchup will be the experienced figure of Hollie Davidson. Her last outing was as an Assistant Referee last Saturday, as Scotland took on the USA in a Summer Test before the Women’s Rugby World Cup in October.
The game will not be broadcast on any streaming services. However, you can follow live match updates on our Twitter account @GlasgowWarriors .