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