To quote the Cambridge News: insert generic Vern Cotter blurb here.
Scotland’s old coach comes to town with his new club Montpellier to face the new brand of taciturn Kiwi in residence at Scotstoun. It’s a “good buggers” head to head if you will.
Vern, we hear, has lightened up considerably since returning to the south of France and sleeping nightly atop a big pile of cash.
In a race to see if he can become a Scotstoun favourite in time for Christmas, Huw Jones starts his first game for the Warriors alongside Sam Johnson. First choice half backs Finn Russell and Ali Price return from Scotland duty alongside Tommy Seymour who will be looking to try and turn his form around as we know he can. He’ll be without his usual sparring partner Stuart Hogg who is still recovering from the hip flexxor injury that kept him out of the Australia game but that’s no bad thing if you are the in-form Ruaridh Jackson.
Leonardo Sarto is also in fine fettle and he starts on the other wing. Given injuries it’s about the strongest backline Rennie could put together.
Up front Ryan Wilson resumes the captaincy from Calum Gibbins and now that he’s fit, big hitter Samuel Vunisa slots in at number 8. Jonny Gray, Jamie Bhatti and Zander Fagerson all had very positive autumns with Scotland and will be looking to continue that if Glasgow are to have any chance of some sort of useful European campaign.
The bench features a number of players ideally suited to put the boot into tired and lumbering forwards, with Pete Horne’s skills at controlling a game improving almost week on week while younger brother George and Niko Matawalu will bring the crazy late on. The pack replacements are perhaps not as strong as Rennie might like but at least he has enough fit hookers, which was an issue earlier in the week.
Any talk of concentrating on the PRO14 – where Glasgow remain unbeaten after Round 10 – is perhaps put to bed with this team. Lose at home and it might be a different story next week over in France, but for now Glasgow are still acting like they’re in it to win it.
Glasgow Warriors: Ruaridh Jackson, Leonardo Sarto, Huw Jones, Samuel Johnson, Tommy Seymour, Finn Russell, Ali Price; Jamie Bhatti, George Turner, Zander Fagerson, Scott Cummings, Jonny Gray, Ryan Wilson (c), Callum Gibbins, Samu Vunisa
Replacements: James Malcolm, Alex Allan, Siosiua Halanukonuka, Kiran McDonald, Matt Smith, George Horne, Peter Horne, Niko Matawalu
Montpellier: Jesse Mogg, Benjamin Fall, Frans Steyn, Jan Serfontein, Nemani Nadolo, Aaron Cruden, Enzo Sanga; Mikheil Nariashvili, Bismarck Du Plessis, Johannes Jonker, Nicholaas Van Rensburg, Jacques Du Plessis, Kelian Galletier, Julien Bardy, Louis Picamoles (c)
Replacements: Romain Ruffenach, Grégory Fichten, Mohamed Haouas, Konstantine Mikautadze, Fulgence Ouedraogo, Benoit Paillaugue, Gabriel N’gandebe, Henry Immelman
Coverage on Sky Sports, kick off: 19:45
Referee: Matthew Carley (England)