Horne returns for Guinness PRO14 finale

Horne returns for Guinness PRO14 finale

George Horne will make his long-awaited return from injury for Glasgow Warriors this weekend, as the scrum-half is named in a starting XV showing six changes for tomorrow’s meeting with Benetton at Scotstoun.

The former Howe of Fife man has been sidelined since December with a foot injury, but takes his place at scrum-half for Glasgow’s final match of the shortened 2020/21 Guinness PRO14 campaign.

An unchanged front-row once again sees Aki Seiuli and Enrique Pieretto named as the starting props, with Fraser Brown assuming the captaincy as he starts at hooker.

James Scott comes into the starting lineup to start in the second-row, the on-loan Worcester Warrior packing down alongside Scotland international Richie Gray in the engine room.

Kiran McDonald shifts to the blindside to accommodate the inclusion of Scott , as – with Ryan Wilson in line to win his 50th cap for Scotland this weekend after being called up earlier this week – an all-new back-row sees Fotu Lokotui promoted from the replacements to start at openside and TJ Ioane named at number eight.

Ross Thompson continues at fly-half for the fourth successive match, partnering Horne in the half-backs for the first time in his professional career.

Robbie Fergusson pulls on the Glasgow jersey for the final time before linking up with the Great Britain 7s squad to battle for a place at the Tokyo Olympics, as the Scotland 7s captain starts alongside Nick Grigg in midfield.

Lee Jones and Ratu Tagive are selected on the wings, with Ollie Smith returning to the starting side to take his place at full-back.

The replacements see Johnny Matthews come back into the matchday squad after missing last weekend’s trip to the Dragons, joining Dylan Evans and D’arcy Rae as the front-row cover.

Fresh from agreeing a contract extension earlier this week Hamish Bain is named in the number 19 jersey, whilst Thomas Gordon rotates to the bench after starting every match to date in 2021.

Jordan Lenac will make his Glasgow Warriors debut should he come onto the field, with Ian Keatley providing a wealth of top-flight experience from the 22 shirt.

Niko Matawalu completes the bench, with the Fijian in line for his first Glasgow outing since December’s clash with the Dragons at Scotstoun.

Speaking following selection, Head Coach Danny Wilson told glasgowwarriors.org: “As a coaching and playing group last week’s performance was one we were all disappointed with and we need to bounce back with a good performance this weekend.

“With the likes of Ryan [Wilson], Rob [Harley], Rufus [McLean] and Jamie [Dobie] away with our Scotland internationals, others get the chance to step up and stake a claim for the jersey.

“It’s great to welcome George [Horne] back – having the likes of him and Fraser [Brown] back available to us is a massive boost.

“Benetton will have their internationals back with them, and like us they will be looking to build some momentum ahead of next weekend’s European fixtures.”

Glasgow Warriors team to face Benetton in the Guinness PRO14, Saturday 27 March, kick-off 1.45pm, live on Premier Sports 1. You can follow the action in our Live Match Centre at glasgowwarriors.org.

1. Aki Seiuli (26)
2. Fraser Brown (C) (103)
3. Enrique Pieretto (14)
4. Richie Gray (56)
5. James Scott (3)
6. Kiran McDonald (32)
7. Fotu Lokotui (8)
8. TJ Ioane (11)

9. George Horne (60)
10. Ross Thompson (7)
11. Lee Jones (89)
12. Robbie Fergusson (11)
13. Nick Grigg (84)
14. Ratu Tagive (21)
15. Ollie Smith (5)

16. Johnny Matthews (11)
17. Dylan Evans (4)
18. D’arcy Rae (83)
19. Hamish Bain (6)
20. Thomas Gordon (32)
21. Jordan Lenac (0)
22. Ian Keatley (2)
23. Niko Matawalu (134)

Unavailable for selection: Alex Allan, Scott Cummings, Matt Fagerson, Cole Forbes, Chris Fusaro, Tommy Seymour, Kyle Steyn.

International duty: Jamie Dobie, Zander Fagerson, Rob Harley, Adam Hastings, Sam Johnson, Huw Jones, Oli Kebble, Rufus McLean, Ali Price, Grant Stewart, George Turner, Ryan Wilson.

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