Three Scotland stars return for Stormers clash
Matt Fagerson, Sione Tuipulotu and Ollie Smith will all make their first appearances of the 2023/24 campaign tomorrow night, as Glasgow Warriors welcome the DHL Stormers to Scotstoun for Round Three of the BKT United Rugby Championship.
Head Coach Franco Smith and his coaching team make seven changes in total to the starting XV that took to the field in Galway last weekend, as the Warriors look to bounce back in front of the Warrior Nation under the Friday night lights.
Johnny Matthews makes his first start of the season after coming off the bench in Glasgow’s opening two matches of the campaign, as the hooker packs down between Oli Kebble and Zander Fagerson in the front-row.
Greg Peterson comes into the second-row to partner Richie Gray for the first time in the pair’s respective Glasgow careers, the former having replaced the latter in Galway last time out.
Fagerson’s return to the starting XV comes on the blindside flank, with Rory Darge promoted from the bench to start on the openside in a back-row completed by Sione Vailanu.
An unchanged half-back combination sees George Horne and Tom Jordan combine once more, the latter having crossed the whitewash for one of the club’s four tries at The Sportsground.
Stafford McDowall captains the side from inside centre in the absence of Kyle Steyn, partnering the returning Tuipulotu in the midfield.
Sebastian Cancelliere returns to the back-three after becoming a father for the first time last week, joining Kyle Rowe – a try-scorer on his debut last weekend – and full-back Smith in the starting XV.
A fourth Scotland international could make his first outing of the season this weekend, after Jamie Bhatti was selected amongst the replacements for tomorrow night’s clash.
The loose-head joins Lucio Sordoni and Angus Fraser as the front-row cover, Fraser rotating to the bench after starting both fixtures to date.
Scott Cummings and Henco Venter also figure amongst the replacements after starting both of the club’s matches to start the 2023/24 season, whilst Alex Samuel returns to the matchday 23 after missing out last weekend.
Jamie Dobie retains his place on the bench after a try-scoring cameo in Galway last weekend, as Duncan Weir rounds out the matchday squad by wearing the number 23 jersey.
Speaking following selection, Head Coach Smith told glasgowwarriors.org: “We made too many unforced errors last weekend and allowed the win to get away from us – Connacht played well and deserved the victory, but we are keen to go out and make things right this weekend.
“The Stormers almost the complete team – they have reached the final in both of the URC seasons to date, they have some outstanding players in both the forwards and the backs, and they are exactly the type of challenge that we are excited about facing.
“We’re looking forward to being back at Scotstoun for our first Friday night match of the season – we’re proud to play at home, and we’re ready for the challenge in store.
Glasgow Warriors team to face DHL Stormers at Scotstoun, Friday 3 November, kick-off 7.35pm. Tickets are still available for the match at glasgowwarriors.org.
1 Oli Kebble (87)
2 Johnny Matthews (52)
3 Zander Fagerson (130)
4 Greg Peterson (34)
5 Richie Gray (102)
6 Matt Fagerson
7 Rory Darge (34)
8 Sione Vailanu (21)
9 George Horne (101)
10 Tom Jordan (26)
11 Kyle Rowe (1)
12 Stafford McDowall (c)
13 Sione Tuipulotu (36)
14 Sebastian Cancelliere (26)
15 Ollie Smith (33)
16 Angus Fraser (5)
17 Jamie Bhatti (89)
18 Lucio Sordoni (17)
19 Scott Cummings (108)
20 Alex Samuel (8)
21 Henco Venter (2)
22 Jamie Dobie (53)
23 Duncan Weir (135)
Unavailable for selection: Fraser Brown (knee), Facundo Cordero (ankle), Euan Ferrie (ankle), Huw Jones (foot) JP du Preez (knee), Kyle Steyn (ankle), Murphy Walker (calf)