Scottish Rugby News and Opinion


Teams for the weekend

Leone Nakarawa - pic © Al Ross
Leone Nakarawa - pic © Al Ross

Glasgow have put out a strong but not-first choice team to play Zebre in their last home game of the league season proper, with plenty of firepower on the bench stacked up in case of emergency. It could be a last chance for the Scotstoun faithful to bid a fond farewell to The Unspellables (Jerry, Big T, Leone). While I won’t miss typing their names quickly whilst still trying to watch at the same time, they will all be missed to an extent even if Leone’s loss will be by far the greatest to the club. Also departing will be club stalwarts James Eddie (retirement) and Duncan Weir (Edinburgh) and they’ll be joined by Kevin Bryce – now apparently a tighthead – who’s also off up the M8 to try and understudy WP Nel.

Should be enough to see off Zebre and if they do their job, without seeming arrogant they should put in place a decent win before the bench gets the chance to run up a bit of points difference. 5 league points is really the minimum here. This one’s on BBC Alba tonight.

Glasgow Warriors: Glenn Bryce, Taqele Naiyaravoro, Mark Bennett, Alex Dunbar, Sean Lamont, Duncan Weir, Grayson Hart, Jerry Yanuyanutawa, Pat MacArthur, D’arcy Rae, Greg Peterson, Leone Nakarawa, Rob Harley (capt), Favaro, Ashe.

Replacements: Fraser Brown, Gordon Reid, Zander Fagerson, Tim Swinson, Ryan Wilson, Ali Price, Finn Russell, Tommy Seymour.

Zebre: tbc

Over in Ireland there will be a crunch clash between the Munstermen and Edinburgh who are very narrowly divided for a spot in the top 6 – Edinburgh currently edge it. Like Glasgow vs Connacht next week it could be a winner takes all clash. Munster might look like they are still rebuilding in the post Paul O Connell era but there is still plenty of muscle in the team and magicians like Simon Zebo and Keith Earls out wide.

Edinburgh have put out a pretty strong team with Matt Scott returning, the top front row out and Hardie and DuPreez in the back row. It’s also good to see Jamie Ritchie and Magnus Bradbury cementing their place in the team, although it would be nice to see Bradbury start more.

Also taking place tonight, no word on coverage but the BBC website should have radio at least.

Munster: Simon Zebo; Andrew Conway, Francis Saili, Rory Scannell, Keith Earls; Johnny Holland, Conor Murray; Dave Kilcoyne, Niall Scannell, Stephen Archer; Dave Foley, Billy Holland; Dave O’Callaghan, Tommy O’Donnell, CJ Stander (capt).

Replacements: Mike Sherry, James Cronin, John Ryan, Robin Copeland, Jack O’Donoghue, Duncan Williams, Ian Keatley, Ronan O’Mahony.

Edinburgh: Blair Kinghorn, Damien Hoyland, Matt Scott, Andries Strauss, Tom Brown, Jason Tovey, Sean Kennedy, Alasdair Dickinson, Ross Ford (capt), WP Nel, Anton Bresler, Ben Toolis, Jamie Ritchie, John Hardie, Cornell Du Preez.

Replacements: Stuart McInally, Rory Sutherland, John Andress, Alex Toolis, Magnus Bradbury, Sam Hidalgo-Clyne, Chris Dean, Dougie Fife.

13 Responses

  1. I would have expected Gladgow to have targeted some signings by this time, we should be looking at maybe as a very minimum bringing in some guys that have played club level in Scotland and excelled, we do not have the strength in depth required to lose Leone, Taquele, James, Jerry and not replace them with suitable replacements of this standard

    1. Leone is the only regular started Glasgow are losing – I think he is verging on irreplaceable but Townshend hinted they’ve received a tidy sum in compensation so who knows who’ll they’ll bring in with the required game breaking ability. Naiyaravoro’s season has been the proverbial curate’s egg. He has a hatful of tries to his name but it won’t surprise anyone if he isn’t starting the next two games. Glasgow could do with another 10-tries a season winger, preferably one who can defend this time.

      1. I suppose when you look at it like that… But in my personal opinion we could be doing with maybe another DECENT fly half to cover for Finn when on international duty as has already been said by FF a first class winger that can score 10+ tries per season.

      2. I doubt we will get another out-and-out winger; we already have an international in Sarto coming in. I found it a bit odd signing a player who will be absent during both the Autumn tests and 6N but what do I know. I’d only get another back 3 player if he was equally adept at FB to cover Hoggy. Priority signings in my eyes are a LH and a(nother) backup 10. Glasgow will be very short in these positions come the international windows if not. Getting a top class LH would be where I hope we’d splash most cash, as Glasgow really need to add some grunt to the pack if they are going to make strides in Europe.

      3. Agree with your analysis of big T’s defence. Ironic that both Zebre tries scored down his wing? He gets caught out of position a fair bit and isn’t a great tackler, which is weird given his obvious size advantage. I reckon Townsend will be as happy to see him go as he is to leave. Lee Jones is starting to come good as a first choice winger and IMO will play alongside Seymour in the playoffs.

      4. We are being kind to big T. He was never committed to Glasgow and who knows what damage he has done, to himself, through his lack of committment. The only benefit is that opponents know he can be a menace if he gets the ball in space so they are distracted by his presence which creates space elsewhere. The idea was right , what happend before he got here was the issue.

  2. Wonder how Nakawara will far in the physical/bosh Top 14. Glasgow, while not set up around him, definitely play a game that is taylor made for his talent. Matawalu has struggled at Bath..hope we don’t see these great players stunted.

  3. Is it the end of the ‘Fiji Weegies’?
    A sad day for the club, and the rest of us who have watched them
    weave their particular brand of non conformism.
    They’ve been a breath of fresh air for the most part.
    I hope GT finds a couple of game breakers from somewhere, and they
    can make the ‘difference’ to keep Glasgow challenging and have a good
    European season. I’m not sure it matters what position they play.
    Glasgow have still done nothing in Europe, even with a very good team.

    Edinburgh are a different story and I despair about them.
    Any recovery still looks fragile even with a decent pack.
    9 man rugby will get them nowhere,
    There seems to be an inability to attempt to play 15 man rugby, or even
    embrace a philosophy which has an attacking dimension.
    If Mc T above thinks we need another fly half we could do worse than sign
    Shingler from Llanelli. His Scottish prospects seems to have diminished, but
    he’s a very good player and and kicker.

    1. Shingles is NSQ following the World Rugby ruling that his Wales u-20 cap made him ineligible for us.

      1. We could do worse than signing Steven Shingler but I can’t help but feel that we need a couple of high profile signings, surely the money raised from the Fijians leaving would allow us to bring in a couple of “big time” players.

  4. Tried to post in the Japan tour thread but it’s been closed

    When can we expect the tour squad to be announced?

  5. It’s also been confirmed that Tyrone Holmes will leave Glasgow Warriors next season, I always thought that he would have been Scotland’s next true Openside Flanker?

  6. Nakarawa is irreplacable , while Nico had become a solo contributor (aka liability) , Leone fits with the team. I think Glasgow will be back to traditional front 5 rugby when he departs.

    Personally I think he is priceless , so whatever cash GT got, it is worthless, not nearly enough , however his departure will test the team culture and I believe that is an asset at Glasgow.

    If I were the team accountant , I might be saying take the cash , while he is fit and able.

    However fans bring gate money and it is less exiting without Jerry, Nico and now Nakarawa. If I were a player considering a move to Glasgow, one of the considerations would be , how could my game improve playing beside someone like Nakarawa ?

    I would like to recongnise James Eddie. Right timing for James. However I was looking forward to seeing more of James who is a bit more than just safe pair of hands IMO. He really fitted with the team, Glasgow born and bred, stood shoulder to shoulder with high profile imports and gave all he had to every game.

    Good on you James, you left us wanting more.

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Scottish Rugby News and Opinion