Gray to reach century in Munster clash
Richie Gray will become the latest Glasgow Warriors centurion this weekend, after the second-rower was selected in the starting XV for tomorrow night’s BKT United Rugby Championship quarter-final showdown with Munster at Scotstoun.
The Scotland star – who recently extended his contract with the club – will reach the milestone 14 years on from his professional debut for his hometown team, as the Warriors prepare for their first home URC knockout tie since 2019.
Johnny Matthews starts at hooker in the only alteration to the front-row that started at Parc y Scarlets last weekend, coming into the starting lineup to join Jamie Bhatti and Zander Fagerson at the coal face.
Scott Cummings packs down alongside Gray in the engine room, the pair having been due to start together last time out before Gray’s late withdrawal.
Matt Fagerson is selected at blindside flanker, with Rory Darge shifting to openside in a back-row completed by number eight Jack Dempsey.
The half-backs are unchanged, meaning George Horne and Tom Jordan once again combine in the nine and 10 jerseys.
Stafford McDowall and Sione Tuipulotu continue their partnership in the midfield, the former having crossed for a brace of tries in Llanelli last weekend.
Kyle Steyn captains the team from the wing, with the back-three completed by Sebastian Cancelliere and full-back Ollie Smith.
Fraser Brown comes into the matchday 23 amongst the replacements, joining Nathan McBeth and Simon Berghan as the front-row cover.
JP du Preez rotates to the bench after starting in the second-row last time out, as does back-rower Sione Vailanu, a try-scorer in the win over Munster at Thomond Park at the end of March.
Lewis Bean completes the cohort of forwards on the bench, with Ali Price wearing 22 at Scotstoun tomorrow night.
The replacements are rounded out by Huw Jones, the Scotland international returning to the matchday 23 after missing the Challenge Cup semi-final victory last Saturday.
Speaking following selection, Head Coach Franco Smith told glasgowwarriors.org: “Munster are a team who knows how to play in playoff rugby, and have been on a strong run of form in recent weeks.
“We know that we must be at our best level in order to meet the challenge they will pose.
“Training this week has been competitive and has seen the squad push each other to be the best they can be – we look forward to the test waiting for us tomorrow night.”
Glasgow Warriors team to face Munster at Scotstoun, Saturday 6 May, kick-off 7.35pm. Tickets are still available at glasgowwarriors.org.
1 Jamie Bhatti (87)
2 Johnny Matthews (48)
3 Zander Fagerson (126)
4 Scott Cummings (104)
5 Richie Gray (99)
6 Matt Fagerson (93)
7 Rory Darge (30)
8 Jack Dempsey (37)
9 George Horne (97)
10 Tom Jordan (23)
11 Kyle Steyn (C) (63)
12 Stafford McDowall (55)
13 Sione Tuipulotu (34)
14 Sebastian Cancelliere (23)
15 Ollie Smith (31)
16 Fraser Brown (139)
17 Nathan McBeth (21)
18 Simon Berghan (31)
19 JP du Preez (23)
20 Lewis Bean (38)
21 Sione Vailanu (18)
22 Ali Price (128)
23 Huw Jones (57)
Unavailable for selection: Facundo Cordero (hamstring), Cole Forbes (hamstring), Jamie Dobie (knee), Sintu Manjezi (knee), Jack Mann (head), Josh McKay (foot), Cameron Neild (calf), Ross Thompson (foot).