Rowe to make Glasgow Warriors debut
Kyle Rowe will make his competitive debut for Glasgow Warriors in Galway tomorrow afternoon, after the winger was named in the starting XV for this weekend’s BKT United Rugby Championship clash with Connacht at The Sportsground.
The Scotland international – a summer arrival from London Irish – is selected in a lineup showing four changes from last weekend’s 43-25 win over Leinster, as Franco Smith’s men go in search of back-to-back victories to start the new season.
An unchanged front-row sees Oli Kebble and Zander Fagerson once again pack down as the props, with Angus Fraser retained at hooker after crossing for a try on his first start for the club last weekend.
Scott Cummings is paired with Richie Gray in the second-row, the latter returning to Glasgow action following his third Rugby World Cup in Scotland colours.
Sione Vailanu is also included in the starting XV after returning from impressing for Tonga at the Rugby World Cup, as he starts at openside in a back-row completed by Gregor Brown and Henco Venter.
After scoring just 94 seconds after coming off the bench to become a Glasgow Warriors centurion, George Horne is promoted to start at scrum-half, with Tom Jordan continuing in the number 10 jersey.
The midfield combination of Stafford McDowall and Huw Jones continues together once more, the pair having combined to beat a total of 14 defenders in last weekend’s victory over Leinster.
Kyle Steyn – scorer of a brace of tries on Glasgow’s last visit to Galway – captains the side from the wing, with Josh McKay and debutant Rowe completing the back-three.
After a try-scoring cameo last time out, Johnny Matthews is once again selected as the cover at hooker, joining Nathan McBeth and Lucio Sordoni as the front-row replacements.
Greg Peterson rotates to the bench after a tireless 80-minute shift against Leinster at Scotstoun, as does Rory Darge following his 31-tackle display against the men from Dublin.
Ally Miller and Duncan Weir both retain their places amongst the replacements, with Jamie Dobie completing the matchday 23 as he lines up amongst a six-two split of forwards and backs.
Speaking following selection, Head Coach Smith told glasgowwarriors.org: “We’re looking forward to this weekend’s challenge – we’re keen to take the learnings from last weekend and our experiences from last season to build on our performance.
“Connacht play an enterprising brand of rugby and are capable of causing the best defences problems, and will defending a proud home record in Galway.
“Our preparations this week have been focused on what we need to do to reach the level we want to reach – this is only week two of the season and it is important that we keep building.”
Glasgow Warriors team to face Connacht at The Sportsground, Saturday 28 October, kick-off 3pm. You can watch the match live on Viaplay Sports, or follow all the action in our Live Match Centre at glasgowwarriors.org.
1 Oli Kebble (86)
2 Angus Fraser (4)
3 Zander Fagerson (129)
4 Scott Cummings (107)
5 Richie Gray (101)
6 Gregor Brown (13)
7 Sione Vailanu (20)
8 Henco Venter (1)
9 George Horne (100)
10 Tom Jordan (25)
11 Kyle Steyn (C) (66)
12 Stafford McDowall (58)
13 Huw Jones (60)
14 Kyle Rowe (0)
15 Josh McKay (28)
16 Johnny Matthews (51)
17 Nathan McBeth (25)
18 Lucio Sordoni (16)
19 Greg Peterson (33)
20 Ally Miller (15)
21 Rory Darge (33)
22 Jamie Dobie (52)
23 Duncan Weir (134)
Unavailable for selection: Fraser Brown (knee), Facundo Cordero (ankle), Euan Ferrie (ankle), JP du Preez (knee), Murphy Walker (calf).