Tuipulotu to captain Glasgow Warriors for first time
Sione Tuipulotu will lead out Glasgow Warriors under the Saturday night floodlights tomorrow night, after the centre was named as captain for the visit of the Vodacom Bulls in the BKT United Rugby Championship.
It will be the first time that the Scotland international has captained the club, having become a firm favourite with the Warrior Nation since arriving at Scotstoun back in June 2021.
There’s nothing like being there 🤩
Be there for our #BKTURC clash with the Vodacom Bulls this weekend!
— Glasgow Warriors (@GlasgowWarriors) October 6, 2022
The 25-year-old will skipper a starting XV showing three changes from last weekend’s outing in Swansea, as the Warriors look to extend an unbeaten run at home in the league that stretches back to October 2021.
An unchanged front-row sees two of the club’s current top try-scorers, Fraser Brown and Zander Fagerson, pack down alongside Jamie Bhatti for the visit of the South African franchise.
Scott Cummings and Richie Gray pair up in the second row, the former currently sitting second in the league for lineout steals after three rounds of competition.
Matt Fagerson returns to the lineup after missing last weekend’s match due to injury, coming in to start at number eight alongside Gregor Brown and Thomas Gordon in the back-row.
George Horne similarly comes back into the starting XV after recovering from a knock, with Tom Jordan making his fourth successive start at fly-half.
Sam Johnson lines up alongside captain Tuipulotu in the midfield, a partnership that has developed for both club and country over the past 18 months.
The final change to the starting lineup comes at full-back, as Josh McKay makes his first appearance of the season after recovering from off-season surgery, joining Sebastian Cancelliere and Cole Forbes – who shifts to the wing to accommodate McKay – in the back three.
One further alteration comes amongst the replacements, as Lucio Sordoni – who put pen to paper on a two-year contract with the club earlier this week – replaces Simon Berghan as the cover at tight-head.
Fresh from a try-scoring cameo off the bench last time out, Oli Kebble continues as the replacement loose-head, George Turner completing the front-row cover.
JP du Preez and Sintu Manjezi retain their spaces in the matchday 23, with Ryan Wilson making it a six-two split once more after coming off the bench against the Ospreys.
The replacements are rounded out by half-back pairing Ali Price and Domingo Miotti – the latter having fond memories of facing the Bulls, having scored twice on his Super Rugby debut against the men from Pretoria during his time at the Jaguares.
Speaking following selection, Franco Smith told glasgowwarriors.org: “We know we welcome a formidable unbeaten Bulls side to Scotstoun tomorrow.
“We will need to take our chances and be more clinical against what will be a of big South African side.
“Sione [Tuipulotu] has been a stand out player for us in the opening rounds and plays a key part in our leadership team in training and on game days. He’s passionate about this club and is fully deserving of the honour of leading the team out on Saturday night.
“The Bulls are another opportunity to take a step forward in our journey and everyone at the club is looking forward to welcoming them to Scotstoun tomorrow night.”
Glasgow Warriors team to face Vodacom Bulls at Scotstoun, Saturday 8 October, kick-off 7.35pm. You can watch the match live on Premier Sports 1, or follow all the action live on the @GlasgowWarriors Twitter account.
1. Jamie Bhatti (70)
2. Fraser Brown (125)
3. Zander Fagerson (118)
4. Scott Cummings (93)
5. Richie Gray (86)
6. Gregor Brown (6)
7. Thomas Gordon (55)
8. Matt Fagerson (81)
9. George Horne (82)
10. Tom Jordan (3)
11. Cole Forbes (27)
12. Sam Johnson (94)
13. Sione Tuipulotu (C) (23)
14. Sebastian Cancelliere (12)
15. Josh McKay (15)
16. George Turner (80)
17. Oli Kebble (80)
18. Lucio Sordoni (2)
19. JP du Preez (2)
20. Sintu Manjezi (3)
21. Ryan Wilson (214)
22. Ali Price (114)
23. Domingo Miotti (8)
Unavailable for selection: Allan Dell (calf), Rory Darge (ankle), Jack Dempsey (rib), Jamie Dobie (hamstring), Huw Jones (back), Rufus McLean (hamstring), Ally Miller (back), Enrique Pieretto (shoulder), Kyle Steyn (hamstring) Max Williamson (shoulder).