Scottish Rugby News and Opinion


Glasgow Freshen Up Backline For Ulster

Glasgow have freshened up their back line with experienced heads and rested a couple of big names for the match with Ulster this weekend.

Head coach Sean Lineen called for a “big reaction” to defeat at the RDS: “We were disappointed with the manner of our loss to Leinster, and as a group we’ve been working hard all week to address the areas where we didn’t get it right.”

(updated with Ulster team)

Following a performance over in Dublin that could be best described as ineffectual – at least until the match was over as a contest – the Ulster game will see Glasgow on the trail of a fifth straight win back in the RaboDirect PRO12, and a fourth successive triumph at Firhill in all competitions.

It’s good to see Troy Nathan come in at 13 as he has created several scoring opportunities in his cameos thus far, while I think Rob Dewey is too similar a player to Morrison and still not in terrific form. Samoan World Cup winger David Lemi is handed his first start with Federico “Irn-Bru” on the other. The young talents of Hogg and Weir marshal the new look back division from either end with Henry Pyrgos starting at 9.

In the forwards it is mostly unchanged, but Tom Ryder is given another chance to turn a couple of good performances into a serious challenge to Gray or Kellock in the second row.

Lineen also commented: “David Lemi has already made clear his class in training, and he’s the sort of player our fans will really take to. Henry has been progressing well and deserves a start, and it’s also really pleasing to have Jon and Moray back fit and chomping at the bit for games.”

Richie Gray and Chris Cusiter drop to the bench, presumably for a rest, and are joined there by Moray Low for his first PRO12 appearance this season.

Ulster will be without two of their key men in Stephen Ferris and Rory Best who are being rested, while Ruan Pienaar remains out with injury. Simon Danielli will likely feature, possibly at fullback where he has been playing in the Heineken Cup.

Glasgow Team to face Ulster: Stuart Hogg, David Lemi, Troy Nathan, Graeme Morrison, Federico Aramburu, Duncan Weir, Henry Pyrgos, Jon Welsh, Pat MacArthur, Mike Cusack, Tom Ryder, Al Kellock (captain), Rob Harley, John Barclay, Ryan Wilson
Replacements: Finlay Gillies, Ryan Grant, Moray Low, Richie Gray, Chris Fusaro, Chris Cusiter, Alex Dunbar, Colin Shaw

Ulster: A D’Arcy; A Trimble, D Cave, N Spence, S Danielli; I Humphreys, P Marshall; T Court, A Kyriacou, D Fitzpatrick, J Muller (capt), D Tuohy, R Diack, W Faloon, P Wannenburg.
N Brady, P McAllister, A Macklin, T Barker, M McComish, I Porter, P Jackson, I Whitten.

Kick Off 7.35pm, live on BBC Alba and BBC2 N.I (which is available on Sky if you prefer an English language commentary)

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Scottish Rugby News and Opinion