Three debutants for Bath clash as Jones makes 50th appearance
Head Coach Franco Smith has named three debutants in the matchday 23 for tomorrow’s EPCR Challenge Cup opener against Bath, as well as selecting Huw Jones for his first appearance since re-joining the club over the summer.
It will be Jones’ 50th appearance in Glasgow colours, the Scotland centre reaching his half-century after recovering from a back injury sustained during his final appearance for Harlequins last season.
An all-Scotland front-row sees Jamie Bhatti return to one of his former clubs after being selected at loose-head, joining George Turner and Simon Berghan at the coal-face.
Lewis Bean and JP du Preez are paired together in the second-row for the first time from the start, with both men having experience against Bath from their respective spells in the English Premiership.
Ryan Wilson starts in a back-row that also consists of two of the three debutants; Cameron Neild lines up at openside to make his first appearance since joining from Worcester Warriors last month, whilst FOSROC Super6 standout Jack Mann is given his first opportunity in the professional game at number eight.
Jamie Dobie comes into the starting XV at scrum-half after coming off the bench in each of the club’s last two outings, partnering Argentinian fly-half Domingo Miotti in the half-backs.
Stafford McDowall lines up at inside centre, with the returning Jones pulling on the number 13 shirt for tomorrow’s clash at The Rec.
Kyle Steyn captains the side from the wing, as Rufus McLean and Ollie Smith complete the starting XV.
On the bench, Angus Fraser could make his first professional appearance should the hooker come onto the field tomorrow afternoon, having signed his first professional contract with the club in the summer of 2022.
Duncan Weir and Walter Fifita are in line for their first appearances of the 2022/23 season, the pair having been selected as part of a five-three split of forwards and backs by Smith and his coaching team.
Fifita and Fraser are two of four players amongst the replacements that would also be making their European debuts for Glasgow Warriors, joining Argentinian tight-head Lucio Sordoni and academy talent Euan Ferrie in the matchday 23.
Richie Gray rotates to the bench after starting in Parma last weekend, whilst the replacements are completed by loose-head Nathan McBeth and scrum-half Sean Kennedy.
Speaking to glasgowwarriors.org following selection, Head Coach Smith said: “After a strong showing away to Zebre Parma last weekend, everyone is looking forward carrying that momentum into Bath tomorrow and starting our Challenge Cup journey.
“It’s great to be able to welcome Huw Jones back in a Warriors jersey and give the opportunity to three new Warriors – Cameron [Neild], Jack [Mann] and Angus [Fraser]. All are exciting talents and everyone at the club is looking forward to seeing them take the field tomorrow.
“I know Johann [van Graan] well and Bath at The Rec will be a tough test. They play a powerful brand of rugby and tomorrow is a great opportunity to test ourselves against a formidable Premiership side.”
Glasgow Warriors team to play Bath at The Rec, Saturday 10 December, kick-off 1pm. You can watch the match live on Viaplay Sports 1, or follow all the action in our Live Match Centre at glasgowwarriors.org.
1. Jamie Bhatti (74)
2. George Turner (82)
3. Simon Berghan (16)
4. Lewis Bean (22)
5. JP du Preez (8)
6. Ryan Wilson (218)
7. Cameron Neild (0)
8. Jack Mann (0)
9. Jamie Dobie (39)
10. Domingo Miotti (11)
11. Rufus McLean (24)
12. Stafford McDowall (43)
13. Huw Jones (49)
14. Kyle Steyn (C) (54)
15. Ollie Smith (21)
16. Angus Fraser (0)
17. Nathan McBeth (8)
18. Lucio Sordoni (3)
19. Richie Gray (89)
20. Euan Ferrie (2)
21. Sean Kennedy (21)
22. Duncan Weir (126)
23. Walter Fifita (2)
Unavailable for selection: Scott Cummings (foot), Rory Darge (ankle), Allan Dell (calf), Jack Dempsey (groin), Zander Fagerson (hamstring), Cole Forbes (neck) Thomas Gordon (calf), Sam Johnson (jaw), Oli Kebble (shoulder), Enrique Pieretto (chest), Alex Samuel (back), Ross Thompson (ankle), Duncan Weir (calf).