Warriors taking on the world

Warriors taking on the world

In just 24 hours’ time, a cacophony of noise will drown out the whistle of referee Nigel Owens to signify the kick-off of not only Japan’s match with Russia, but the start of rugby’s greatest show.

20 teams
from across the globe will battle it out over the next six weeks, as they vie
to be the nation that lifts the Webb Ellis Cup in Yokohama on Saturday 2

In amongst
the action will be 16 Glasgow Warriors, including nine players making their
debuts on the sport’s biggest stage.

With the
help of club stats guru Kevin Millar (@topofthemoongw), here is the 2019 roll
of honour…


quarters of the current Warriors contingent will be preparing to pull on the
famous dark blue jersey in the Land of the Rising Sun, after Scotland head
coach Gregor Townsend named 12 Glasgow players in his 31-man playing group for
the 2019 Rugby World Cup.

Dave Rennie’s
side once again contributes the highest number of players to the squad, as was
the case at the 2015 edition of the tournament.

Jonny Gray
and Tommy Seymour will be the most-capped Warriors in the Scotland squad, with
52 caps apiece going into Saturday’s match with Ireland.

At the other
end of the experience scale, four-cap second-row Scott Cummings will be heading
to his first World Cup after an impressive run of form in recent months.

Brown, Ryan Wilson and Peter Horne join Gray and Seymour as the Glasgow players
to appear at their second tournament, the quintet having all appeared in
England four years ago.

Zander Fagerson
and George Turner complete the Warriors representatives in the pack, with
George Horne, Ali Price, Adam Hastings and Sam Johnson completing the


A brace of
Warriors will be lining up for the Flying Fijians in Japan, with both Niko
Matawalu and Mesu Dolokoto selected by John McKee.

will be heading to his second Rugby World Cup having impressed in England in
2015, including a eye-catching cameo in the tournament’s opening match.

It will be
Dolokoto’s first time gracing the sport’s biggest stage, as the hooker looks to
add to his international caps tally before linking up with the Warriors after
the tournament.


most internationally-experienced representative at the tournament will be
pulling on a red shirt in Japan, as DTH van der Merwe prepares to run out for
Canada at a fourth Rugby World Cup.

The all-time
top try-scorer for club and country, van der Merwe has played in each of Canada’s
last 12 matches at the tournament.

He was one
of the stars of the 2015 tournament, scoring in all four of Canada’s pool
matches and recording a spectacular long range try against Italy at Elland Road.


scrum will be anchored by a man well-known to the Warrior Nation, with Siua
Halanukonuka set to appear at his first Rugby World Cup.

tighthead will be hoping to add to his 11 caps for Toutai Kefu’s side, starting
with their Pool C opener against England in Sapporo on Sunday.

He could
face a reunion with English props Joe Marler, Kyle Sinckler and Dan Cole – all three
were part of the British and Irish Lions team beaten by Halanukonuka’s
Highlanders in 2017.

Once a
Warrior, Always a Warrior

There will
also be a host of former Warriors in action over the coming weeks, with no fewer
than 11 players who have previously represented the club set to suit up for
their respective national sides.

John Barclay
makes his third appearance at a Rugby World Cup for Scotland, with Gordon Reid,
Finn Russell, Stuart Hogg and Sean Maitland each representing their country for a second
tournament in succession.

Canada will
be able to call upon the services of both Taylor Paris and Djustice Sears-Duru,
as the ex-Glasgow duo line up alongside van der Merwe in Kingsley Jones’ squad.

Matawalu and
Dolokoto will be joined in the Fiji playing group by the unmistakeable figure
of Leone Nakarawa, who was named in the official Rugby World Cup team of the
tournament four years ago.

The trio
will face former Glasgow hooker Shalva Mamukashvili’s Georgia side in Osaka on
Thursday 3 October, whilst van der Merwe’s Canada outfit will come up against a
Namibia side containing Tjiuee Uanivi in their final group match.

former Glasgow second-row Greg Peterson is amongst the 31 players selected by
the USA, with the Eagles set to come up against Halanukonuka’s Tonga – the Ikale
Tahi, or Sea Eagles – on Sunday 13 October.

the bench

It’s not
just on the pitch that the Warriors influence can be felt, however – two coaches
with Glasgow connections will also be making their presence known over the next
six weeks.

assistant coach Mike Blair enjoyed a season at Scotstoun before moving into a
coaching role, whilst Matt Proudfoot – a Warrior in the 2003/04 season – will be
assisting South Africa head coach Rassie Erasmus.

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