Scottish Rugby News and Opinion


PRO14 Round 1: Connacht v Glasgow

Dave Rennie
Glasgow Warriors Head Coach Dave Rennie is ready to get stuck in - pic © Alastair Ross / Novantae Photography

With Edinburgh putting out a stacked team to face Ospreys, Dave Rennie and Glasgow are not pulling any punches with their selection either. Deeper into the season we might see players rested for tricky away fixtures in Ireland (away to Munster during a Six Nations always produces an interesting selection) but for now it is all systems go.

So that means the usual all-international backline from Glasgow – even if the halfback pairing of Horne and Hastings have just a handful of caps from the summer – including the replacements where Wallaby Nick Frisby waits to make his PRO14 debut. With Blair Kinghorn now a fixture in the Scotland side, Tommy Seymour’s place is no longer the certainty it once was. His post-Lions malaise was particularly horrific and to see him bounce back to form this season would be great.

Like Stuart Hogg who starts at fullback, Glasgow’s second biggest name Jonny Gray is thrown straight into action too. How he reacts to last season when Glasgow were outmuscled when the games counted most will be crucial. He may not be one of the co-captains in the back row (both start) but his leadership of the pack will be a big factor in his, Glasgow’s, and Scotland’s season.

Another welcome returnee is on the bench where Adam Ashe hits the comeback trail once again. Will this finally be his year?

Connacht: Tiernan O’Halloran, Cian Kelleher, Kyle Godwin, Tom Farrell, Matt Healy, Jack Carty, Caolin Blade; Denis Buckley, Dave Heffernan, Finlay Bealham, Ultan Dillane, James Cannon, Paul Boyle, Jarrad Butler, Eoin McKeon
Replacements: Shane Delahunt, Peter McCabe, Conor Carey, Quinn Roux, Cillian Gallagher, James Mitchell, Craig Ronaldson, Niyi Adeolokun

Glasgow: Stuart Hogg, Tommy Seymour, Nick Grigg, Peter Horne, DTH Van Der Merwe, Adam Hastings, George Horne; Oli Kebble, George Turner, Zander Fagerson, Scott Cummings, Jonny Gray, Rob Harley, Callum Gibbins (capt), Ryan Wilson (capt)
Replacements: Fraser Brown, Alex Allan, D’arcy Rae, Adam Ashe, Chris Fusaro, Nick Frisby, Alex Dunbar, Niko Matawalu

Players unavailable due to injury: Brian Alainu’uese (back), Matt Fagerson (thigh), Siua Halanukonuka (foot), Sam Johnson (head/knee), Huw Jones (wrist), Lee Jones (achillies), Kiran McDonald (hand) and Tim Swinson (lower limb).

Referee: Ian Davies (WRU)

At the Sportsground, Saturday 1 September, kick off 3pm – live on Premier Sports 1

13 Responses

  1. Neil’s Wholly Unofficial Player ratings:

    1. Kebble – 8
    2. Turner – 6.5
    3. Fagerson – 7.5
    4. Cummings – 6
    5. Gray – 7
    6. Harley – 5.5
    7. Gibbins – 6
    8. Wilson – 6
    9. Horne – 4
    10. Hastings – 4
    11. DTH VDM – 5
    12. Horne – 6
    13. Grigg – 5
    14. Seymour – 6
    15. Hogg – 8

    16. Brown – 7
    17. Allan -6
    18. Rae – 6
    19. Ashe – 7
    20. Fusaro – 6
    21. Frisby – 6.5
    22. Dunbar – 6
    23. Matawalu – 6

    1. DTH didn’t deserve 3 never mind 5. That 2 min spell where he gave away a moronic pen at the restart, then caught the ball and stepped into touch and from the resulting possession Connacht scored he couldn’t even be arsed keeping the scorer out wide.

      Really lazy unprofessional play.

  2. I obviously missed the memo about tv coverage of the Pro 14. Went searching for the Glasgow game coverage and now realize that its only on Pay tv (Premier Sports). Anybody thinks this is good for the game in Scotland? I don’t, I pay already for Sky and BT Sports and will not be subscribing for another sports channel. The game in Scotland (excluding internationals) is struggling for exposure, I just struggle to see how this tv deal helps the game in the long term. I’ll end up watching the Aviva and European games and that will be that. Welsh fans are p*ssed off also, although I noticed that Ulster – Scarlets game was on S4C (minus the red button English commentary option). Pretty hacked off about this.

    1. Absolutely. It must have been a serious wad to prise the Pro14 from Sky/BT Sports.
      However, as Premier have all the games now we can get rid of Sky and BT Sport. Apart from if you want to watch the ERC or AP. Personally for ERC or interesting AP matches I’ll go down the pub.

      1. Yeah, a lot of folk on social media just seemed to ditch Sky. Unfortunate if you watch other sports than Rugby that Sky has (golf etc) but most folk who had it for the rugby seemed happy enough to lose Sky Sports and pay for Premier Sports instead.

      2. Yup, the whole ‘I pay for several premium channels, how dare I be asked to pay for a premium channel’ argument just doesn’t wash with me. Prioritise – if Premier Sports still doesn’t make it onto your list then fine, you obviously care more about other content and that’s okay.

      1. Sort of, my work decided to pick on the blog as a non work related site and blocked access. They fell off the tackle when the system was updated and I can access at my leisure now.

        On the tv issue, I’m an all sports type and although I played rugby, I enjoy watching the footie. The wife has had her beady eye on the sports budget, and having just negotiated getting BT Sport back (in ignorance of the new rugby tv deal). Premier is a sports channel too far (for now). Whilst most scots rugby enthusiasts will switch to Premier from Sky, I think the occasional supporters and watchers will not be bothered. I think the game needs to broadcast to the widest audience possible.

        I noticed Sentanta (apologies if the spelling is wrong) being amongst the owner of Premier Sports past, they dropped the old SPL right in the sh*t when they weren’t able to widen the interest in Scottish football and ended up bust.

    2. It works out at £2.50 a week. Which seems pretty reasonable to me.

      Also, whilst having free to air coverage is obviously better, I’m not sure Alba actually doid that we’ll in widening the audience for pro-14 rugby. Anyone know what sort of audience they were able to pull in? My impression was that it was pretty limited.

      1. Fair enough, 2.50 a week isn’t a lot, cumulatively it is another thing. I will eventually probably stump up no doubt, but I need a good moan first.

        I watch my rugby in Wales, and admittedly Alba may not have added many viewers, but is was part of the overall league coverage. BBC Wales had pretty good coverage if you could put up with the patronizing pundits. Not sure how many of them have ended up on Premier, but a few of them have lost out on a decent living. I hope the Premier and Irish deals are sufficiently lucrative to offset the overall interest in the League. It’s a bit sad to see things turned on their head.

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Scottish Rugby News and Opinion