Five changes for Lions showdown

Five changes for Lions showdown

Glasgow Warriors Head Coach Franco Smith has named a starting XV showing five alterations from last weekend’s titanic encounter with the Vodacom Bulls, as his side look to conclude their South African tour with victory against the Emirates Lions tomorrow afternoon.

The Warriors know that a win will keep their hopes of a top-two finish in their own hands going into the final round of competition, after picking up two bonus-points in defeat at Loftus Versfeld last time out.

Murphy Walker – fresh from making his first appearance for the club in 512 days last weekend – joins childhood friend and fellow former Dundee Eagle, Angus Fraser, in a Glasgow Warriors matchday 23 for the first time, as Oli Kebble completes the starting front-row.

An unchanged second row sees Gregor Brown and Scott Cummings continue together in the engine room, the pair having each turned in industrious shifts in Pretoria last weekend.

Euan Ferrie and Henco Venter are both promoted to the starting XV after coming off the bench against the Bulls last time out, with Rory Darge completing the back-row as he packs down on the openside flank.

George Horne and Tom Jordan continue their combination in the half-backs, both me having contributed from the tee in addition to around the field last weekend.

The midfield combination is similarly unchanged, meaning Sione Tuipulotu and Stafford McDowall dove-tail for the fifth successive fixture in the centres.

Kyle Rowe is the only alteration to the starting back-line as the Scotland winger comes into the lineup in place of Sebastian Cancelliere, joining captain Kyle Steyn and full-back Josh McKay in the back-three.

An all-international front-row lies in wait for their opportunity when called upon tomorrow afternoon, as the top try-scorer in the BKT United Rugby Championship, Johnny Matthews, joins Jamie Bhatti and Zander Fagerson amongst the replacements.

Max Williamson continues in the number 19 jersey, whilst Matt Fagerson and Jack Dempsey – for the first time in his Glasgow Warriors career – rotate to the bench after starting last time out.

The back-line is once again covered by Jamie Dobie and Duncan Weir, the latter having become only the third player in Glasgow Warriors history to surpass 900 points when slotting the crucial last-minute penalty in Pretoria last Saturday.

Speaking following selection, Head Coach Smith told “Training this week has been competitive and focused, with everyone looking forward to tomorrow’s challenge.

“The Lions are a dangerous team across the field, who have the ability to hurt any team in transition and who will look to attack from anywhere.

“They will provide us with a stern test, and we know that we will have to be at our best tomorrow afternoon.”

Glasgow Warriors team to face Emirates Lions at Emirates Airline Park, Saturday 18 May, kick-off 3.05pm UK time. You can watch the match live on Premier Sports, or follow all the action in our Live Match Centre at

1 Oli Kebble (100)
2 Angus Fraser (11)
3 Murphy Walker (12)
4 Gregor Brown (18)
5 Scott Cummings (121)
6 Euan Ferrie (16)
7 Rory Darge (43)
8 Henco Venter (17)

9 George Horne (114)
10 Tom Jordan (45)
11 Kyle Rowe (15)
12 Sione Tuipulotu (50)
13 Stafford McDowall (77)
14 Kyle Steyn (C) (73)
15 Josh McKay (45)


16 Johnny Matthews (68)
17 Jamie Bhatti (101)
18 Zander Fagerson (144)
19 Max Williamson (15)
20 Matt Fagerson (106)
21 Jack Dempsey (45)
22 Jamie Dobie (63)
23 Duncan Weir (148)

Unavailable for selection: Fraser Brown (knee), Richie Gray (bicep), Gregor Hiddleston (calf), Huw Jones (hand), JP du Preez (knee), Alex Samuel (head), Ollie Smith (knee), Logan Trotter (thigh), George Turner (foot), Sione Vailanu (knee).

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