Glasgow and Edinburgh teams announced

Edinburgh Rugby prop Willem ‘WP’ Nel will lead the team out as the club’s 24th centurion against Leinster at BT Murrayfield tonight (kick-off 7.35pm).

The Scotland tighthead with 15 caps is out of contract at the end of the season, and apparently Edinburgh haven’t started contract talks with one of Europe’s top props, who signed for the capital outfit ahead of the 2012/13 season as a virtual unknown outside of South Africa.

Head Coach Alan Solomons has made just three changes from the team that defeated Scarlets 20-9 last weekend with Jamie Ritchie rested and Magnus “Maggie” Bradbury switching to the blindside. John Hardie is recovering from a head knock under the protocols so Hamish Watson comes in and all of which gives us a look at Tongan internationalist Viliami Fihaki  who will make his competitive debut for the club at number 8.

Nicely settled in, Glenn Bryce continues at full-back with last week’s try-scorer Michael Allen and the underused Tom Brown remaining on the wings.

Sasa Tofilau makes his third competitive start for the club at outside-centre with Phil Burleigh keeping a hold of the number 12 shirt.

Last week’s Guinness Man of the Match Duncan Weir and Nathan Fowles continue to build their half-back partnership as they make their third consecutive start together.

Centurion Nel, Ross Ford and Rory Sutherland form the front-row with captain Grant Gilchrist and Ben Toolis starting once again at lock.

Leinster will have been stung by the result against Glasgow that left them with nothing, and Edinburgh may find them a considerably tougher proposition. Do the capital men have the try scoring weapons to unlock what was at times a porous Dublin backline like Tommy Seymour did?

Edinburgh Rugby team to play Leinster
Guinness PRO12, BT Murrayfield, Friday 16 September, kick-off 7.35pm – live on BBC ALBA

15. Glenn Bryce
14. Michael Allen
13. Sasa Tofilau
12. Phil Burleigh
11. Tom Brown
10. Duncan Weir
9. Nathan Fowles

1. Rory Sutherland
2. Ross Ford
3. WP Nel
4. Ben Toolis
5. Grant Gilchrist (C)
6. Magnus Bradbury
7. Hamish Watson
8. Viliami Fihaki

Substitutes:
16. Stuart McInally
17. Allan Dell
18. Kevin Bryce
19. Fraser McKenzie
20. Cornell Du Preez
21. Sam Hidalgo-Clyne
22. Solomoni Rasolea
23. Blair Kinghorn

Players not available due to injury: Alasdair Dickinson (hamstring), Simon Berghan (foot), Anton Bresler (groin), Jack Cosgrove (knee), John Hardie (concussion), Nasi Manu (ribs), Jason Tovey (wrist), Will Helu (hamstring), Damien Hoyland (groin).

By a strange quirk of fate, Cardiff Blues vs Glasgow Warriors could be the pick of the round with both teams still unbeaten and Tommy Seymour sitting on 6 tries, but it’s not on the television. Let’s hope they get a good crowd at the Arms Park, including the Warrior Nation who are travelling in increasing numbers to support their club.

Centre Nick Grigg will make his first competitive start for Glasgow Warriors tonight while outside him Hogg and Seymour continue their early bid for complete control of the Pro12 Dream Team. This time Lee Jones is given a run ahead of Leonardo Sarto who has been very impressive in his early outings for the Warriors. The welcome face of Mark Bennett, returned from Olympic glory, waits on the bench.

There’s also a return for the bearded one: Josh Strauss, who will ease Townsend’s back row problems considerably. While the back division isn’t perhaps the top rank, the pack has no such issues and should be able to provide a platform.

Both Ali Price and Rory Clegg make their first starts of the season at half-back, while Peter Horne shifts to inside centre to accompany Grigg. In related news, Finn Russell is due to resume playing for Ayr this weekend which would see him in consideration for Glasgow’s game against Ulster.

Of the opposition, coach Townsend said this: “Cardiff have started the season very strongly and can score tries from anywhere. They have had excellent wins against Edinburgh and Munster and we’re going to need to improve defensively to get a positive result at the Arms Park tomorrow night.”

Glasgow Warriors team to play Cardiff Blues at BT Sport Arms Park, Friday 16 September (kick-off 7pm):

15. Stuart Hogg
14. Tommy Seymour
13. Nick Grigg
12. Peter Horne
11. Lee Jones
10. Rory Clegg
9. Ali Price

1. Gordon Reid
2. Fraser Brown
3. Zander Fagerson
4. Tim Swinson
5. Jonny Gray (C)
6. Rob Harley
7. Ryan Wilson
8. Josh Strauss

Replacements

16. Pat MacArthur
17. Alex Allan
18. Sila Puafisi
19. Greg Peterson
20. Lewis Wynne
21. Grayson Hart
22. Mark Bennett
23. Rory Hughes

Not available due to injury: Adam Ashe (hip / foot), Scott Cummings (shoulder), Simone Favaro (shoulder), Chris Fusaro (knees), Ryan Grant (back), Sam Johnson (shoulder), Sean Lamont (foot), Henry Pyrgos (knee) and D’arcy Rae (back).

In other news, the Scottish Rugby Board today unanimously voted Colin Grassie as its new Chairman, to take over from Sir Moir Lockhead OBE with effect from 1 January 2017.

Sir Moir was due to retire in June 2017 but has decided to step down earlier to enable a new Chairman to help drive forward Scottish Rugby’s modernisation and commercial strategies. A new independent non-executive director will now be sought, with a view to that person taking up office early in 2017. Colin Grassie joined the Scottish Rugby Board as an Independent Non-Executive Director in July 2012 having been UK CEO and a member of the Group Executive Committee at Deutsche Bank. He was re-appointed to the Scottish Rugby Board in July 2015 and will take on the role of Chairman for a 3-year period.

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12 comments on “Glasgow and Edinburgh teams announced

  1. Ian on

    Cardiff -Glasgow has the makings of cracking game but it’s the only (?) Not on TV. If I had hair I’d be tearing it out.

  2. Matto on

    Tenuous link to selections, but I see Jones has listed his training squad for the AIs. Is it to early to start thinking about this for Scotland? If not, then this is my core squad below. Nothing particularly surprising (Bradbury and Kinghorn being the only new call ups), but I do think that it looks decent, depending on whether those players currently recovering from injury (*) do so.
    1. Reid, Dickinson*
    2. Ford, McInally, Brown
    3. WP Nel, Welsh
    4/5 R Gray, J Gray, Toolis, Gilchrist
    6. Bradbury, Barclay
    7. Hardie, Watson
    8. Strauss, Du Preez
    9. Laidlaw, Pyrgos
    10. Russel, Horne*, Heathcote
    11. Visser, Maitland
    12. Scott, Dunbar, Taylor
    13. Bennett, Jones
    14. Seymour, Hoyland
    15. Hogg, Kinghorn, Jackson

    1. Dickinson 2. Ford 3. Nel 4. Gray 5. Gray 6. Barclay 7. Hardie 8. Du Preez 9. Laidlaw 10. Russel 11. Visser 12. Dunbar/Scott 13. Bennett 14. Seymour 15. Hogg
    16. Reid 17. McInally 18. Welsh 19. Toolis 20. Watson/Bradbury 21. Pyrgos 22. Horne 23. Maitland

  3. john martin on

    V Australia I’d go…….
    15.Hogg, 14.Seymour, 13.Jones, 12.Dunbar, 11.Visser, 10.Russell, 9.Laidlaw
    8.Strauss, 7.Hardie, 6.Du Preez, 5.Grat, 4.Gray, 3. Nel, 2. Brown, 1.Sutherland

    Maitland, Horne, Pygros, Barclay, Swinson, Reid, Ford, Welsh

  4. Mikelinds on

    Personally for Major testst – Dunbar at 12, Taylor at 13, Bennett on bench. Need Jones to move north, preferably to Embra. Play some up here then we can assess.

    I would like to see us use the Georgia game to play guys like Jones, lets have a proper look.

    I have to say I can never remember the strength in depth we now have at centre. I would hate to remind you folks of the days when Marcus di Rollo was a shoe-in.

  5. FPC on

    Squad is looking good. Even players who were off the boil are coming back nicely.

    Maitland is at last developing a work ethic at Sarries. Visser looks much hungrier. Bennett has clearly benefited from 7s and looked very sharp last night.

    I would like to see Horne given more game time at 10. Makes sense given the talent at centre: Matt Scott is playing really well at Gloucester but is pretty much out of the reckoning for Scotland. For all the plaudits, Finn Russell is by no means the finished article and needs some competition.

    • Lamont on

      Although Kinghorn offers more in terms of potential, (ideally I would like to see him included). Does anyone know how Bryon McGuigan is getting on at Sale? I see he has started quite a few matches at 15 since his move from Exeter

    • FF on

      Any idea how well Heathcote is playing? With Weir and Horne (probably) out of AIs we’re getting down to bare bones to back up Russell.

  6. john martin on

    JohnMc,

    All 3 guys are very good players

    Taylor hasn’t started a game this season

    Bennett has started recently (after the 7s) but done little of note

    Jones has been playing very impressively in SA

    • JohnMc on

      John, wasn’t aware Duncan hasn’t played yet. I should have known that so my apologies. Jones is good and doing well in Safferland, but a Bennett returning to form (which he is) is a real asset to club and country and deserves, for now anyway, a place in the queue ahead of HJ, imho.

      • Mikelinds on

        Think we need to see Jones playing up here, probably for Embra after the Currie Cup (or whatever they play for domestically in SA these days), before we make any calls in where he might stand in the pecking order. At least centre is a position where we have some depth.

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