Scottish Rugby News and Opinion


Glasgow and Munster Teams For the PRO12 Final

Gregor Townsend - pic © Al Ross
Gregor Townsend - pic © Al Ross

Outgoing captain Al Kellock has been dumped to the bench along with part genius, part liability Niko Matawalu as Glasgow Warriors look to keep their consistent improvements going and reward their growing support with a first ever title.

It probably represents Glasgow’s strongest available team, given the injuries they have and the backline just about picked itself especially given what happened last week. An interesting Ravenhill (sorry, warm Kingspan) welcome will await Niko from the bench I am sure.

Up front you could perhaps query the omission of Adam Ashe in favour of Ryan Wilson, probably no-one’s ideal openside flanker but who has appeared strongly from the bench in recent weeks, perhaps keen to play his way into favour in Glasgow and beyond. It says a lot about Scotland’s trials at hooker that Dougie Hall – who many thought had started his last for Glasgow at his farewell game – finds himself back in the hot seat with neither Fraser Brown nor Pat MacArthur able to replace him with any great chutzpah.

They will face a Munster team similarly wobbly with injury but who will be no less determined to send their retiring second row Paul O’ Connell off with a win. Ahh, the symmetry.

Good luck to Glasgow.

Teams for PRO12 final at the Kingspan Stadium, Belfast (kick-off: 18:30 BST, live on BBC Two Scotland, Radio Scotland and Sky Sports)

Glasgow Warriors: Stuart Hogg, Tommy Seymour, Richie Vernon, Peter Horne, DTH van der Merwe, Finn Russell, Henry Pyrgos, Gordon Reid, Dougie Hall, Rossouw de Klerk, Leone Nakarawa, Jonny Gray, Rob Harley, Ryan Wilson, Josh Strauss (captain).
Replacements: Fraser Brown, Jerry Yanuyanutawa, Jon Welsh, Al Kellock, Chris Fusaro, Niko Matawalu, Duncan Weir, Sean Lamont.

Munster: Felix Jones; Keith Earls, Andrew Smith, Denis Hurley (captain), Simon Zebo; Ian Keatley, Duncan Williams; Dave Kilcoyne, Eusebio Guinazu, BJ Botha; Billy Holland, Paul O’Connell; Donnacha Ryan, Paddy Butler, CJ Stander.
Replacements: Duncan Casey, James Cronin, Stephen Archer, Sean Dougall, Jack O’Donoghue, Cathal Sheridan, JJ Hanrahan, Ronan O’Mahony.

4 Responses

  1. Glad to see the only new injury for the final is Ryan Grant. With Murray and O’Mahoney out of the Munster line-up I think Glasgow fans will probably be travelling to Kingspan in a more optimistic mood.

    It wouldn’t be a Toonie line-up without at least one head-scratcher and for me that is leaving out Ashe in place of Harley, who hasn’t featured much recently. Good to see Wilson start as he has brought a bristling aggressiveness to the team when he has come off the bench in the previous weeks. These changes might bring an added freshness to a tired starting line-up as well as a robust approach to stand up to Munster like Glasgow weren’t able to for the first 40 minutes against Ulster. If we can match their pack I think we have a far better back line and should win.

    Anyway, it’s finally here. What promises to be the most important day in Scottish rugby in a generation. It is hard to overstate how important winning the title tomorrow is, not just for Glasgow but for rugby fans across Scotland. Come on Glasgow, let’s bring it home!!!

  2. Interesting team as always from Gregor. He does seem to have picked players who are eiher in form, or have been rested recently.
    I hope he hasn’t been emotionally guided in some of his choices, as I
    don’t think Dougie Hall or Al Kellock have been in good ‘nick’ lately, however deserving they might be for their form of the last 6 or 7 years. It is still a strong team.
    Come on Glasgow.

    1. Brown and MacArthur have struggled with their lineout throwing recently so I think Townshend is just trying to ensure the set piece is secure. I don’t know who else would be on the bench instead of Kellock with Swinson injured – he’s obviously got Leone to start to try to match Munster in the tight. Nakarawa is a bit of a beast when he’s carrying the ball if he isn’t focused only on offloading the ball – I hope he’s under strict instructions to play it safe at the start of the game and concentrate on matching Munster in the tight. When he held on the ball and carried at the end of the Ulster game he looked every inch the test lock he is.

  3. I think it’s a good selection by Gregor. Ashe and Fusaro haven’t done much in recent matches, although that could be applied to the pack as a whole. Wilson has earned his start off the bench. Hall is undoubtedly in to shore up the lineout, and with Harley you know what you get, plus he should be fresh. DTH was a shoe in and Reid is enforced but I suspect may have started anyway. I would actually have started big Al in place of Johnny Gray who is looking a little burned out and in need of a rest. Either way if we don’t sort out our basics we’ll get murdered. Line out and scrum need to be vastly improved. We really need to step it up a level and start with the sort of intensity we did against Leinster. We’re good enough, time to prove it.

You might also like these:

Craig is joined by Rory and Iain to look at the latest news including Scotland's win over Canada and the upcoming test against the USA.
Gregor Townsend has picked the strongest XV possible from his touring squad for the visit to Washington DC to play the USA, writes Rory.
Gregor Townsend has named his team to face Canada in the first match of the Skyscanner Americas Tour with 10 players given the opportunity to make their Scotland debut.
Craig is joined by Iain, Jonny and Rory to discuss Glasgow's momentous win in the final of the 2024 URC

Scottish Rugby News and Opinion