Franco Smith confirms team for Challenge Cup final
A match day 23 containing 18 internationals will take to the field in Dublin tomorrow night, as Glasgow Warriors go head-to-head with Toulon in the final of the 2022/23 EPCR Challenge Cup.
The Aviva Stadium will play host to the club’s first-ever European final. The competition’s only two unbeaten sides face off under the Friday night lights.
Fresh from signing a contract extension with the club earlier this week, Fraser Brown comes in to start at hooker. He is packing down between Jamie Bhatti and Zander Fagerson in an all-Scotland front-row.
Scott Cummings starts alongside JP du Preez in the second-row. The pair resuming the partnership that started the semi-final victory over the Scarlets in Llanelli.
An all-action back-row sees Sione Vailanu and Matt Fagerson paired together on the flanks. Also in the back row, the tournament’s top carrier, Jack Dempsey, lines up at number eight.
Domingo Miotti is named in the number 10 jersey. Meanwhile, George Horne – scorer of more points this season than any other Warrior – starts at scrum-half.
Sione Tuipulotu and Huw Jones combine in the centres, the former having been named in the BKT United Rugby Championship Elite XV for 2022/23.
In addition, Kyle Steyn leads the side from the wing, with Sebastián Cancelliere and Ollie Smith rounding out the starting XV in an unchanged back-three.
The tournament’s leading try-scorer, Johnny Matthews, is selected amongst the replacements for Glasgow Warriors. He joins Nathan McBeth and Simon Berghan as the front-row replacements.
Having made his 100th appearance in Glasgow colours last time out, Richie Gray rotates to the bench. Lewis Bean pulls on the number 20 shirt for his final appearance for the club before departing in the summer.
Meanwhile, Rory Darge is another to switch to the bench after starting last time out as the back-rower completes the cohort of six forwards amongst the replacements. Ali Price and Stafford McDowall completing the matchday 23 for the Warriors.
Speaking following selection, Head Coach Smith told glasgowwarriors.org:
“This week’s training has been highly competitive, with every player putting their hand up for selection and pushing each other forward.
“Toulon will provide a stern test, and they are a team that know how to play in finals rugby.
“We’re excited for the challenge that lies in wait and we know we need to be at our best in Dublin tomorrow night.”
Glasgow Warriors team to face Toulon at the Aviva Stadium, Friday 19 May, kick-off 8pm. Follow all the match live on BT Sport or our Live Match Centre at glasgowwarriors.org.
1 Jamie Bhatti (88)
2 Fraser Brown (140)
3 Zander Fagerson (127)
4 JP du Preez (24)
5 Scott Cummings (105)
6 Matt Fagerson (94)
7 Sione Vailanu (19)
8 Jack Dempsey (38)
9 George Horne (98)
10 Domingo Miotti (19)
11 Kyle Steyn (C) (64)
12 Sione Tuipulotu
13 Huw Jones (58)
14 Sebastián Cancelliere (24)
15 Ollie Smith (32)
16 Johnny Matthews (49)
17 Nathan McBeth (23)
18 Simon Berghan (32)
19 Richie Gray (100)
20 Lewis Bean (39)
21 Rory Darge (31)
22 Ali Price (129)
23 Stafford McDowall (56)