Walker to make first appearance of 2023/24 season

Walker to make first appearance of 2023/24 season

Murphy Walker will make his first appearance for Glasgow Warriors since December 2022 in Pretoria tomorrow afternoon, after the prop was selected to start this weekend’s Kids Round clash with the Vodacom Bulls at Loftus Versfeld in the BKT United Rugby Championship.

The 24-year-old tight-head – who extended his contract with the Scotstoun outfit earlier this week – is part of a starting XV showing 11 changes from the 40-9 victory over Zebre Parma last time out, as Franco Smith’s squad go in search of a first win on South African soil since 2018.

Walker is part of an all-new starting pack, with fellow Scotland prop Jamie Bhatti returning from an injury sustained back in February to pack down in the front-row alongside Grant Stewart, who makes his 50th appearance in Glasgow colours.

Scott Cummings starts in the second-row after being introduced early on in the win over Zebre Parma, whilst Gregor Brown comes in to pack down alongside the Scotland standout in the engine room.

Rory Darge is another to return from a short injury layoff as the openside takes his place in the back-row, Matt Fagerson and Jack Dempsey making it an all-international loose-forward trio.

Behind the scrum, George Horne and Tom Jordan combine in the half-backs, the former’s try in Parma last time out having moved him into third place on the club’s all-time try-scoring charts.

The midfield combination is unchanged, as Sione Tuipulotu – another to run out for his 50th appearance in Glasgow colours – and Stafford McDowall dove-tail once more in the centres.

Club captain Kyle Steyn and Josh McKay continue on the wings, whilst Sebastian Cancelliere comes into the back-three in place of Kyle Rowe to round out the starting XV.

Johnny Matthews returns from an injury sustained against the Hollywoodbets Sharks three weeks ago to line up amongst the replacements, the league’s top try-scorer joining Nathan McBeth and Zander Fagerson as the front-row reserves tomorrow afternoon.

Former Scotland U20 colleagues Max Williamson and Euan Ferrie are selected as part of a six-two split of forwards and backs, with Henco Venter covering the back-row from the replacements bench.

The back-line is covered by Jamie Dobie and Duncan Weir, the former having made his debut in South Africa in the first match of the 2019/20 season away to the Toyota Cheetahs.

Speaking following selection, Head Coach Smith told glasgowwarriors.org: “Training this week has been highly competitive, with everyone focused on producing our best performance tomorrow afternoon.

“The Bulls provide one of the sternest tests in the URC; they have one of the strongest home records in the competition at Loftus Versfeld, as well as a blend of physical forwards and dynamic backs.

“We know that we will need to be at our best to compete tomorrow, and everyone is looking forward to the challenge.”

Glasgow Warriors team to face Vodacom Bulls at Loftus Versfeld, Saturday 11 May, kick-off 1pm UK time. You can watch the match live on Premier Sports, or follow the action at our Live Match Centre at glasgowwarriors.org.

1 Jamie Bhatti (100)
2 Grant Stewart (49)
3 Murphy Walker (11)
4 Gregor Brown (17)
5 Scott Cummings (120)
6 Matt Fagerson (105)
7 Rory Darge (42)
8 Jack Dempsey (44)

9 George Horne (113)
10 Tom Jordan (44)
11 Sebastian Cancelliere (33)
12 Sione Tuipulotu (49)
13 Stafford McDowall (76)
14 Kyle Steyn (C) (72)
15 Josh McKay (44)


16 Johnny Matthews (67)
17 Nathan McBeth (38)
18 Zander Fagerson (143)
19 Max Williamson (14)
20 Euan Ferrie (15)
21 Henco Venter (16)
22 Jamie Dobie (62)
23 Duncan Weir (147)

Unavailable for selection: Fraser Brown (knee), Facundo Cordero (ribs), Richie Gray (bicep), Gregor Hiddleston (calf), Huw Jones (hand), JP du Preez (knee), Alex Samuel (head), Ollie Smith (knee), Logan Trotter (thigh), George Turner (foot), Sione Vailanu (knee).

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