Horne to reach century as Venter makes debut
George Horne is set to become the latest Glasgow Warriors centurion this weekend, as the scrum-half returns from Scotland duty to line up alongside his club-mates for Sunday afternoon’s BKT United Rugby Championship opener against Leinster at Scotstoun.
The Howe of Fife product is selected amongst the replacements and will follow in the footsteps of elder brother Pete in reaching 100 appearances, becoming just the second pair of siblings – following Alan and Gordon Bulloch – to join the ranks of Glasgow Warriors centurions.
Summer signing Henco Venter will also celebrate a landmark milestone, as the South African back-rower makes his competitive debut for the club in the back-row.
In total, seven Scotland internationals return to club action this weekend, with Zander Fagerson starting at tight-head alongside Angus Fraser – making his first competitive appearance at Scotstoun – and Oli Kebble in the front-row.
Greg Peterson makes his second Scotstoun debut after returning to the club on a short-term deal, the USA international packing down alongside Scott Cummings to re-form a partnership last seen in the 2018/19 campaign.
Rory Darge comes straight back into the starting XV to line up at openside, joining debutant Venter and blindside Gregor Brown in the back-row trio.
Jamie Dobie makes his third successive start at scrum-half after captaining the Warriors in both of the club’s pre-season fixtures, whilst Tom Jordan moves from the midfield to the number 10 jersey for the season opener.
An all-international midfield combination sees Stafford McDowall start at inside centre, with fellow Scotland cap Huw Jones coming into the team to start outside him in the 13 shirt.
Kyle Steyn captains the side from the wing on his return to Glasgow colours, as he joins Josh McKay – on his first competitive outing since March – and Sebastian Cancelliere in the back-three.
The club’s most recent Scotland international can be found amongst the replacements, as Johnny Matthews joins Nathan McBeth and Lucio Sordoni as the front-row cover for Sunday’s clash.
Alex Samuel wears the number 19 shirt after impressing in both of the club’s pre-season fixtures, with Ally Miller and Thomas Gordon joining the second-rower in a six-two split of forwards and backs.
Centurion-in-waiting Horne covers the backs alongside the experienced figure of Duncan Weir, the fly-half set to make his 134th appearance in the colours of his hometown club.
Speaking following selection, Head Coach Franco Smith told glasgowwarriors.org: “Everyone cannot wait for the start of the new season.
“It’s a great feeling to be able to kick off the season at home, and we’re looking forward to running out in front of the Warrior Nation once more – it’s been a long time since we played a competitive match at Scotstoun, and the boys are really excited to get going.
“Even without some of their stars, Leinster have been a formidable force in the URC in recent seasons, and we look forward to what will be a strong test this Sunday.”
Glasgow Warriors team to face Leinster at Scotstoun, Sunday 22 October, kick-off 4pm. Tickets are still available for this match – click here.
1 Oli Kebble (85)
2 Angus Fraser (3)
3 Zander Fagerson (128)
4 Greg Peterson (32)
5 Scott Cummings (106)
6 Gregor Brown (12)
7 Rory Darge (32)
8 Henco Venter (0)
9 Jamie Dobie (51)
10 Tom Jordan (24)
11 Kyle Steyn (C) (65)
12 Stafford McDowall (57)
13 Huw Jones (59)
14 Sebastian Cancelliere (25)
15 Josh McKay (27)
16 Johnny Matthews (50)
17 Nathan McBeth (24)
18 Lucio Sordoni (15)
19 Alex Samuel (7)
20 Ally Miller (14)
21 Thomas Gordon (65)
22 George Horne (99)
23 Duncan Weir (133)
Unavailable for selection: Fraser Brown (knee), Facundo Cordero (ankle), Euan Ferrie (ankle), JP du Preez (knee), Murphy Walker (calf).