Whether or not the teams for the weekend give any indication into the mind of Gregor Townsend is difficult to ascertain but the presence in the Glasgow side of Townsend’s latest call ups (Harley, Smith, Dunbar) suggests they’re not likely to appear in the starting XV to face Italy.
That’s possibly not great news for Adam Ashe fans either. It looks like a Ritchie/Hardie/Wilson combo will be the pencilled-in combination, although the back row is one of the areas where a strong showing here from Ashe could yet force Toony to change his mind.
However, surely one of Jamie Bhatti or Alex Allan will play some part in the Six Nations opener? You would doubt Allan Dell will be travelling to South Africa with Edinburgh this weekend, although the game time would be useful for him (Edinburgh’s team will be announced tomorrow).
For Glasgow fans though it’s quite a decent looking team including 15 who have represented their country and Niko Matawalu will be looking to repeat his hat-trick against the Ospreys last time.
Under the stewardship of Kenny Murray (Dave Rennie is back in New Zealand) there could also be first Glasgow starts for Academy prospects Robbie Smith and Thomas Gordon.
Glasgow Warriors: Ruaridh Jackson, Lee Jones, Nick Grigg, Stafford MacDowell, Nikola Matawalu, Brandon Thomson, Nick Frisby; Alex Allan, Kevin Bryce, Siua Halanukonuka, Tim Swinson, Scott Cummings, Rob Harley, Matt Smith, Adam Ashe.
Replacements: Robbie Smith, Jamie Bhatti, D’arcy Rae, David Tameilau, Thomas Gordon, Robbie Nairn, Alex Dunbar, Rory Hughes.
Ospreys: Dan Evans, Hanno Dirksen, Johnny Kotze, Cory Allen, Luke Morgan, Sam Davies, Tom Habberfield; Gareth Thomas, Scott Baldwin, Tom Botha, Lloyd Ashley, James King, Olly Cracknell, Sam Cross, Rob McCusker.
Replacements: Scott Otten, Rowan Jenkins, Gheorge Gajion, Will Griffiths, Will Jones, Matthew Aubrey, Luke Price, Tiaan Thomas-Wheeler,
Date: Fri 25th January 2019, KO: 19:35, Scotstoun Stadium
Referee: John Lacey