PRO14 Round 13: Zebre vs Glasgow Warriors

Dave Rennie has put a pretty strong team together for the visit to Zebre in Parma over the weekend with a new midfield pairing of Nick Grigg and Huw Jones. Interestingly Jones played quite a lot at 12 for Western Province but is being kept at 13 here where Grigg usually plays. Possibly with Scotland in mind, or possibly because Grigg can fill a pocket-sized basher role at 12 while Alex Dunbar is listed injured.

Other points of note: Brandon Thomson is coming onstream just in time for the Six Nations when Finn Russell and Pete Horne are both likely to be absent. And Adam Ashe reappears on the bench too after ankle surgery. Remember, he looked pretty handy in the very early stages of the season. Will he come into the reckoning for Scotland, or might Matt Fagerson also recently returned from injury? Could be too soon for either but with Ryan Wilson and John Hardie possibly unavailable, who knows…?

Of slight worry for Gregor Townsend will be the injury list, with several players who he will hope to include in his Scotland squad hiding in there. Callum Gibbins has had to undergo surgery and faces up to 12 weeks on the sidelines, which won’t bother him as much as Rennie but the news that Scott Cummings and Zander Fagerson suffered hand and foot injuries in training earlier this week will. Both face a recovery period of “up to eight” weeks.

Still, it is a strong enough side that they should be able to do some damage over in Italy and maintain their position atop the league heading into more European fixtures and the Six Nations period – the next round of PRO14 is not until the 9th of February.

Glasgow: 15. Ruaridh Jackson, 14. Lee Jones, 13. Huw Jones, 12. Nick Grigg, 11. Niko Matawalu, 10. Finn Russell, 9. George Horne; 1. Alex Allan, 2. Pat MacArthur, 3. Siua Halanukonuka, 4. Greg Peterson, 5. Jonny Gray, 6. Rob Harley (Capt), 7. Chris Fusaro, 8. Matt Fagerson.
Replacements: 16. James Malcolm, 17. Oli Kebble, 18. D’Arcy Rae, 19. Kiran McDonald, 20. Adam Ashe, 21. Henry Pyrgos, 22. Peter Horne, 23. Brandon Thomson.

Zebre: 15 Edoardo Padovani, 14 Rory Parata, 13 Giulio Bisegni, 12 Tommaso Castello (capt), 11 Giovanbattista Venditti, 10 Carlo Canna, 9 Marcello Violi, 8 Renato Giammarioli; 7 Johan Meyer, 6 Maxime Mbandà, 5 George Biagi, 4 David Sisi, 3 Eduardo Bello, 2 Tommaso D’Apice, 1 Andrea Lovotti.
16 Luhandre Luus, 17 Andrea De Marchi, 18 Roberto Tenga, 19 Valerio Bernabò, 20 Derick Minnie, 21 Guglielmo Palazzani, 22 Maicol Azzolini, 23 Ciaran Gaffney

Glasgow unavailable players: Brian Alainu’uise (knee), Fraser Brown (head) Scott Cummings (hand), Alex Dunbar (knee), Zander Fagerson (foot), Callum Gibbins (achillies), Stuart Hogg (hip), Rory Hughes (shoulder), Sam Johnson (jaw), Lelia Masaga (knee), Leo Sarto (shoulder), Tommy Seymour (foot) Tim Swinson (hand) Ratu Tagive (Achilles), George Turner (suspension) and Ryan Wilson (ankle).

Live on BBC ALBA, kick-off 3.30pm (UK time)

Alan Kerr is a long time rugby lover and occasional player for Broughton FP RFC. Site co-founder Al prides himself on offering the "man on the bus" view of Scottish Rugby!

28 comments on “PRO14 Round 13: Zebre vs Glasgow Warriors

      • Nicholas on

        If that’s true – Idiots! One player we really couldn’t afford losing out on, and they manage to dick it up at such a crucial time. Amateur.

  1. TeamCam on

    So, Warriors are missing more than a full XV, and Scotland are missing (off the top of my head):


    And quite a few of those not missing are just coming back from injury. Looks like it’ll be a lean 6N period results-wise again!

    Still, tomorrow’s team looks good and it’ll be good for Thomson to get some game time, even if I’d rather have Hastings than Horne on the bench.

  2. Stu on

    Hastings not getting near the squad again – if Rennie thinks Horne will replace Russell when he leaves he’s not been paying attention.

    • AJT5 on

      Have to agree with Stu here and stress how much Pete Horne is not the answer for next year/now in term of Glasgow/Scotland 10 back up. Not sure what Hastings is doing wrong in not being able to get some game time. He looked pretty handy earlier in the season.

      Really wish Jonny and Finn werent playing this weekend what with all the injuries were having…

  3. Neil on

    Nicol ?
    Perhaps their is somone random kiwi with a great great grandmother who came from scotland we can fly in quickly.

  4. TheSmidge on

    I think we can safely assume that Toony and the SRU are scouring the known rugby world right now for any otherwise uncapped TH props who might be SQ.

    Unless a miracle prop can be found and assuming no one recovers sufficiently, I think the 3 in the squad for the start of the 6N will be Welsh, Rae and McCallum. Don’t think there’s any chance of going backwards with Moray Low, who simply isn’t test quality, when there’s two decent prospects at Edinburgh and Glasgow.

    Seems that the problems at LH are less severe, with at least Bhatti and Sutherland likely to be fit for the first game. Word is that Marfo isn’t far off either.

    • Rory Baldwin on

      I heard Marfo was seeing a back specialist this/next week, don’t suppose you have any more eveidence re:him seen online (as research for my squad piece), I don’t doubt you?!

    • Bulldog on

      Gordon Reid is back from Injury at London Irish and I feel sure would not let us down, though he would need game time in January.

  5. Scrummo on

    I don’t think we need to panic about tighthead at all.

    Jon Welsh is a top quality prop in his prime doing very well in the AP.

    McCallum is a great prospect who has done well at Edinburgh and is as ready as Fagerson was when he was dropped in.

    Rae is OK. I don’t rate him highly but we’ve had far worse tightheads on the bench.

    It could also see Nicol getting some gametime at Glasgow and considering he is the most destructive prop I’ve seen at under-20 level in a long time for any nation that can only be a good thing. Mind you Edinburgh may be scraping the barrel!

    Or there’s Longwell…Cometh the hour…

  6. Neil on

    Dont know what the issue is with Glasgow but their skills are never consistently accurate for most game this season, they are doing enough to beat the average and good teams but wont be enough to beat the top sides.

    Do they need/have skills coach ?
    Is it a mental focus thing ?
    is it that they dont have the fitness to execute skills when fatigued and under pressure ?
    or is it a combination of the above ?

    I think it is somthing Dave Rennie is going to have to adress for next season and i don’t believe its a player issue but a way they are being coached/managed throughout the week.

  7. TeamCam on

    Is anyone else a little concerned that our two new high-profile props aren’t that good? Nuke looks permanently knackered and Kebble has been schooled in the scrum.

    • Sean on

      Yep. I am with you. Hopefully it is a bedding in period for Kebble in particular. He looks a bit like a rabbit in the headlights.

      Also Masaga signing seems like an error. ‘Flash’ either doesn’t fancy it or has been very unlucky with the injuries. Hopefully the latter.

      I would say that only Gibbons looks like a good acquisition from the NZ influx so far. Still time to be proved wrong!

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