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Glasgow Bring Their Top Guns Back

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Hogg, Sarto, Bennett, Dunbar, Seymour, Russell, Pyrgos – looks like Townsend has put out the top flight in his squad for the visit of Ulster tomorrow (Friday) night.

It’s a bid to banish memories of the narrow defeat to Cardiff last week and a first outing of the season for the much-fancied centre pairing as well as Finn Russell who ended the previous season in such a disappointing way. Dunbar has been used sparingly so far while Bennett makes his first Glasgow start since the Olympic Sevens, and may find the atmosphere in Scotstoun on a Friday night just like Rio. Or not.

Sad news though for Peter Horne, who will be out for six weeks with a fractured hand suffered in the Cardiff match. For this game Stuart Hogg provides fly half cover on the bench, Townsend confirmed.

Up front things are less settled, with Glasgow in the midst of a bit of a back-row crisis with Ashe, Favaro, Fusaro, Harley and Strauss all back on the injury list.

News is emerging that Glasgow have signed a Nick Williams style wrecking ball (but faster) in the shape of Tongan American Langilangi Haupeakui but until the paperwork on that is sorted, Townsend will be making more use of Lewis Wynne and Matt Fagerson, who should get on to play alongside his brother. U20s openside Matt Smith can’t be far away from the team either.

With Tim Swinson injured, Townsend has moved Tjiuee Uanivi into the second row which means Greg Peterson starts and even the second row depth looks a little thin.

Up front it looks like Glasgow’s top flight as well with Reid, Brown and Fagerson all looking for a strong run of games to keep them in Vern Cotter’s thoughts as more than just replacements come November.

Glasgow Warriors team to play Ulster at Scotstoun Stadium, Friday 23 September (kick-off 7.35pm) – live on BBC Two Scotland:
15. Stuart Hogg,  14. Leonardo Sarto, 13. Mark Bennett, 12. Alex Dunbar, 11. Tommy Seymour, 10. Finn Russell, 9. Henry Pyrgos (Co-Captain); 1. Gordon Reid, 2. Fraser Brown, 3. Zander Fagerson, 4. Greg Peterson, 5. Jonny Gray (Co-Captain), 6. Tjiuee Uanivi, 7. Lewis Wynne*, 8. Ryan Wilson
Replacements: 16. Pat MacArthur, 17. Alex Allan, 18. Sila Puafisi, 19. Sam Thomson*, 20. Matt Fagerson*, 21. Ali Price, 22. Nick Grigg, 23. Rory Hughes

Not available due to injury: Adam Ashe (hip / foot), Scott Cummings (shoulder), Simone Favaro (shoulder), Jarrod Firth (knee), Chris Fusaro (knees), Ryan Grant (back), Rob Harley (knee), Peter Horne (hand), D’arcy Rae (back), Josh Strauss (head), Tim Swinson (ribs) and Richie Vernon (shoulder).

8 Responses

  1. Good looking back division but pack looks on the callow side with the bench strength being well and truly tested. Some of the ‘big guns’ up front (J Gray, are you listening?) need to front up.

    1. Lewis Wynne did well last week, Fagerson against Canada ‘A’. We need to stop squawking when these guys get their chance. There is no third team. If their performances are anything like Ally Miller who has has two MoMs at LS they will be fine. Trust Toonie – he knows.

  2. Just looked at the Ulster side , backs look good , Pienaar being a threat at the base, Big game for Henry Pyrgos, Gordon Reid and Ryan Wilson IMO.

  3. Two strong teams on the pitch tonight.
    Ulster might have the nudge in the pack, but the half backs and backs of both sides look well matched.
    If Glasgow can win enough ball at set piece and breakdown,
    I’d expect them to shade it, although much depends on the untried back row of Wynne, Wilson and Uanivi. You’d think that Glasgow might be short of cohesion in this area.

  4. This is gonna be won up front. We usually have the edge on Ulster’s pack but won’t tonight. I expect a narrow loss but if our makeshift back row pulls thorough it’ll be a big statement.

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Scottish Rugby News and Opinion