Southern Kings v Glasgow Warriors
Glasgow’s second South African adventure comes hot on the heels of the news that Stuart Hogg – sent home from the tour last week without training – required ankle surgery on the injury he picked up against Munster. Bad news for Scotland fans as it means he will miss the autumn internationals out for 10-12 weeks. Good news perhaps for Hogg himself, who will go into an important year refreshed and fighting fit. Good news also for Edinburgh’s Blair Kinghorn, now likely to fill the 15 shirt against at least some of South Africa, Argentina, Fiji and Wales.
Zander Fagerson also came home following surgery (his took place in RSA) and will be out for a similar length of time. His place anchoring the scrum for the Warriors goes to D’arcy Rae, while Ruaridh Jackson is an unsurprising understudy for Hogg having done well at fullback last season and in the last game. The backline has had a shuffle following a comfortable win over the Cheetahs, Huw Jones getting his first start and Pete Horne moving to 10 for the first time this season.
This game’s location has been moved to the Nelson Mandela Metro Uni pitch, which from photos posted by the small band of Warriors fans over in SA looks like Scotstoun before they put the other three stands up, so perhaps the Warriors are not a big draw in that part of the world. Definitely has the feel of a backup side but there’s plenty heft on the bench if things go poorly, as well as a chance to get Robbie Nairn into action.
Southern Kings: Masixole Banda, Yaw Penxe, Harlon Klaasen, Berton Klaasen, Bjorn Basson, Martin du Toit, Rudi van Rooyen; Schalk Ferreira, Mike Willemse, Luvuyo Pupuma, Bobby de Wee, JC Astle, Henry Brown, Andy Ntsila, Ruaan Lerm.
Replacements: Alandre van Rooyen, Justin Forwood, Martin Dreyer, Stephan Greeff, CJ Velleman, Godlen Masimla, Ntabeni Dukisa, Mikey Botha.
Glasgow Warriors: Ruaridh Jackson, Tommy Seymour, Huw Jones, Nick Grigg, DTH van der Merwe, Pete Horne, Nick Frisby; Jamie Bhatti, George Turner, D’arcy Rae, Greg Peterson, Scott Cummings, Ryan Wilson, Chris Fusaro, Adam Ashe.
Replacements: Fraser Brown, Alex Allan, Kevin Bryce, Rob Harley, Callum Gibbins, Ali Price, Adam Hastings, Robbie Nairn.
Referee: Andy Brace (IRFU)
Sat 22nd September 2018, KO: 15:00, Nelson Mandela Metro Uni
Leinster Rugby v Edinburgh
Big news for this fixture is probably that it’s one of the rare occasions the Sainted Sexton will make an appearance in the PRO14. Well okay, it’s his 150th Leinster appearance so he must have had a few at the start of his career. Edinburgh shouldn’t feel too respected by this though, he’s most likely just getting his eye in for Europe. At home it’s a strong team the Dubliners have put out and Edinburgh could find the going tough at the Showground.
Dell and Ford get a start alongside Simon Berghan whilst new cult hero Pierre Schoeman (pronounced Skoo-man, in case you were wondering) sits on the bench ready to unleash his brand of merry mayhem. The backline sees both Kinghorn and Matt Scott rested and with Mark Bennett long-term injured it has a little more of a “last season” – or before – feel, even with a first chance to get a good look at Juan Pablo Socino in the centre. I’m also a fan of Sevens squad member Jamie Farndale who’s been out of the XVs game quite a long time but always impressed at age grade level.
With 9 changes, the one area that still looks pretty impressive is the back row, with Magnus Bradbury back to full fitness and looking to lay down a long term claim now Bill Mata is out injured. One of last season’s break out stars for the capital side, Luke Crosbie, is on the bench.
Much was made in the big boy papers of Ospreys’ second string side getting thumped over at Munster last weekend; let’s hope a similar grisly fate doesn’t await our plucky lads.
Leinster Rugby: Jordan Larmour, Fergus McFadden, Garry Ringrose, Robbie Henshaw, James Lowe, Johnny Sexton, Luke McGrath; Cian Healy, James Tracy, Michael Bent, Devin Toner, James Ryan, Max Deegan, Josh van der Flier, Jack Conan.
Replacements: Sean Cronin, Peter Dooley, Tadhg Furlong, Mick Kearney, Dan Leavy, Jamison Gibson-Park, Ross Byrne, Joe Tomane, image:
Edinburgh Rugby: Dougie Fife, Jamie Farndale, Chris Dean, Juan Pablo Socino, Duhan van der Merwe, Jaco van der Walt, Sean Kennedy; Allan Dell, Ross Ford, Simon Berghan, Fraser McKenzie, Ben Toolis, Luke Hamilton, Jamie Ritchie, Magnus Bradbury.
Replacements: David Cherry, Pierre Schoeman, Murray McCallum, Callum Hunter-Hill, Luke Crosbie, Nathan Fowles, Simon Hickey, James Johnstone
Referee: Daniel Jones (WRU)
RDS Arena, Saturday 22 September, kick-off 7.35pm) – live on Premier Sports