Five changes for quarter-final clash
Glasgow Warriors Head Coach Franco Smith has named a starting XV showing five changes from last weekend’s record-breaking victory over the Dragons at Scotstoun, as his side goes in search of a European semi-final place for the first time in club history.
A showdown with the Emirates Lions awaits under the Scotstoun floodlights tomorrow night, with the tie marking the first-ever European quarter-final to be played at the home of the Warriors.
Three of the alterations come at the coal face, as an all-Scotland front-row of Jamie Bhatti, George Turner and Zander Fagerson come into the starting lineup to take on the men from Johannesburg.
Fresh from making his 100th appearance for the club last weekend, Scott Cummings continues his partnership with Richie Gray in the second-row.
Matt Fagerson comes back into the starting XV to replace Sione Vailanu, with Rory Darge reverting to openside in a back-row completed by number eight Jack Dempsey.
George Horne and Domingo Miotti continue together in the half-backs, the former having contributed 21 of Glasgow’s 73 points against the Dragons last weekend.
Sione Tuipulotu and Huw Jones are once more paired in the centres, Jones having been one of the six players to cross the whitewash in Glasgow colours on Saturday evening.
After an impressive showing on the wing in the win over Munster a fortnight ago, Jamie Dobie is once again selected in the number 11 shirt, joining club captain Kyle Steyn and full-back Ollie Smith in the outside backs.
Last weekend’s history-maker Johnny Matthews rotates to the bench to accommodate Turner, the five-try hooker joined by Nathan McBeth and Simon Berghan as the front-row replacements.
JP du Preez and Lewis Bean are again selected amongst a six-two split of forwards and backs amongst the replacements, with Thomas Gordon recovering from a hip injury that sidelined him for the win over the Dragons to take the number 21 shirt.
The backs are covered by Ali Price and Tom Jordan, the former coming back into the matchday 23 after being rested for last weekend’s victory.
Speaking following selection, Head Coach Smith told glasgowwarriors.org: “After our performance last weekend against the Dragons, we will be looking to improve across all areas of our game again tomorrow.
“The Lions have not lost for five matches and they have shown that they’re a big threat – it will take a special effort from us in front of our home supporters.
“We know we will need to be at our best to beat them tomorrow night.”
Glasgow Warriors team to face the Emirates Lions at Scotstoun, Saturday 8 April, kick-off 8pm. Tickets are still available at glasgowwarriors.org.
1 Jamie Bhatti (83)
2 George Turner (89)
3 Zander Fagerson (122)
4 Scott Cummings (100)
5 Richie Gray (96)
6 Matt Fagerson (89)
7 Rory Darge (26)
8 Jack Dempsey (34)
9 George Horne (94)
10 Domingo Miotti (17)
11 Jamie Dobie (48)
12 Sione Tuipulotu (32)
13 Huw Jones (54)
14 Kyle Steyn (C) (60)
15 Ollie Smith (29)
16 Johnny Matthews (44)
17 Nathan McBeth (19)
18 Simon Berghan (28)
19 JP du Preez (19)
20 Lewis Bean (35)
21 Thomas Gordon (64)
22 Ali Price (124)
23 Tom Jordan (19)
Unavailable for selection: Sebastian Cancelliere (knee), Facundo Cordero (hamstring), Cole Forbes (quadricep), Sintu Manjezi (knee), Jack Mann (head), Josh McKay (foot), Enrique Pieretto (chest), Lucio Sordoni (ankle), Ross Thompson (foot), Sione Vailanu (knee).