Scottish Rugby News and Opinion


Saracens vs Glasgow: teams

Glasgow v Saracens
Jonny Gray batters through Will Skelton and Vincent Koch during Glasgow Warriors vs Saracens in the European Rugby Champions Cup at Scotstoun - pic © Alastair Ross / Novantae Photography

Glasgow face a huge task this weekend with 2016 and 2017 champions Saracens to be overcome to guarantee the knockout stages.

Of course, there is a chance that Edinburgh can do them all a favour tonight: a win at BT Murrayfield would secure a knockout place for Glasgow as one of 3 best runners up and both clubs would go through. Alternatively, if Edinburgh lose, the Navy and Burnt Orange Army will in fact be hoping for a Glasgow loss to preserve their own place.

It comes down to small margins.

With that in mind, Dave Rennie has gone for as much experience as he can muster, with older heads like Rob Harley, Chris Fusaro, Ryan Wilson and Tim Swinson at the heart of the pack.

Out in the backs there’s a potential new Scotland midfield or two in the shape of Sam Johnson and Nick Grigg (with Huw Jones relegated to the bench), as well as the steady hands of Tommy Seymour and Stuart Hogg. For the opposition, Sean Maitland does not play, so there goes the intermediary in a game sure to be full of fireworks (even if we still have to wait a few weeks for Zandbags).

If there is a worry, it is the inexperience of Grant Stewart and Adam Hastings in the pressure environment of Allianz Park, and the story is much the same on the bench for many of the forward replacements – Harley looks like the second row cover with Ashe and Matt Smith usually back rowers.

The result was close last time at Scotstoun and the Glasgow pack stood up to Saracens pretty well. Can they repeat that and nick a result?

Sat 19 January 2019 13:00 (GMT), Allianz Park

Saracens: 15. Alex Goode, 14. Liam Williams, 13. Nick Tompkins, 12. Brad Barritt (c), 11. Alex Lewington, 10. Owen Farrell, 9. Ben Spencer; 1. Mako Vunipola, 2. Jamie George, 3. Vincent Koch, 4. Maro Itoje, 5. George Kruis, 6. Jackson Wray, 7. Schalk Burger, 8. Billy Vunipola.
Replacements:16. Christopher Tolofua, 17. Richard Barrington, 18. Christian Judge, 19. Will Skelton, 20. Calum Clark, 21. Richard Wigglesworth, 22. Alex Lozowski, 23. David Strettle,

Glasgow Warriors: 15. Stuart Hogg, 14. Tommy Seymour, 13. Nick Grigg, 12. Samuel Johnson, 11. DTH van der Merwe, 10. Adam Hastings, 9. Ali Price; 1. Oli Kebble, 2. Grant Stewart, 3. Siosiua Halanukonuka, 4. Tim Swinson, 5. Jonny Gray, 6. Robert Harley, 7. Chris Fusaro, 8. Ryan Wilson (c).
Replacements:16. Kevin Bryce, 17. Alex Allan, 18. D’Arcy Rae, 19. Adam Ashe, 20. Matt Smith, 21. George Horne, 22. Huw Jones, 23. Niko Matawalu.

Referee: Pascal Gauzère (France)

Players unavailable: Fraser Brown (knee), Matt Fagerson (shoulder), Zander Fagerson (ankle), Bruce Flockhart (ankle), Callum Gibbins (ankle/knee), Pete Horne (knee) and George Turner (ankle).

27 Responses

  1. I recently mentioned leg injuries due to artifial turf. May mean nothing, but 6 out of 7 of the Glasgow injured mentioned as unavailable tomorrow have knee or ankle injuries. The Warriors still look like a team capable of winning if luck runs their way.

  2. Firstly, great for Edinburgh and hope Cockerill stays because plenty of big money French and English clubs will be after him. Still surprised that Ali Price has made the 6 Nations Squad ahead of Henry Pyrgos.

    Takes pressure off Glasgow tomorrow and just hope, optimistically, we don’t get injuries – wish we’d got a bonus point at home against Saracens.

  3. Excellent result! What a turnaround from two seasons ago. Well done boys.

    Saracens look like some side on paper.

    1. Yes, if they beat Saracens by more than they lost to them in the first game they will top the group and get a home QF (unless Saracens get a try bp and Glasgow don’t).

      1. Which means we still get Sarries in the qf unless we would be below Edinburgh in the seedings? At least it would be at Scotstoun!

  4. I really cant believe he’s picked Fusaro for this – he’s going to get blown away.

    Worried the Weegies are going to take a real tanking here.

  5. Hoping Hogg pulls of one of his world class performances he is capable of, he has not been at his best despite playing well this season.

    1. Hogg vs Williams.The clash of the lions fullbacks.Who would have got the jersey if Hogg had survived.I have always wondered! It is difficult to warm to Williams.He is nobodys friend.I so hope he is put in his place however Hogg has a big pay cheque if he arrives at Exeter intact.Williams is already playing for Englands top side and never holds back.Tasty game ahead.Who will man up to the challenge!

  6. Assist pass hogg in line…nice one Hogg.Great tacjle Hogg.Glasgow dont care anymore.Wonderfull.This game is calling out for Matawalu.

  7. Decent start from Glasgow but the defense is worrying.

    Price has had an excellent game 9/10 so far.

    Hoping they bring on Matawalu and Jones on early to keep changing the point of attack in the backline.

  8. Ref blows whistle , Scottish player boots ball dead after , it was a 22 drop out , not a scrum 5 sarries

  9. Saracens are definitely beatable by this glasgow team once at full strength.

    Main issue: Lineout !!!!

    Need brown/Turner back and to sort that out.

    Or borrow Gilchrist for a week.

    Surprised the scrum did so well.

    To much leadership was lost in that second half.

    1. Didn’t see the game but sounds like it was closer than the score line suggests?
      Set piece has been a big weakness for Glasgow in the games I have seen, good to hear the scrum went well. Missing first 2 hookers is a big problem for any team and is always going to cause issues unfortunately.

      If we get Saracens in the QF, it will be a very different game – knockout rugby time so it’s certainly possible we could win on a good day.

      1. It was a fun game. Glasgow nothing to be ashamed of. Did enough to show they could beat Saracens. No chance with the Tennents level pack playing today though. Hogg looked class and v strong defensively another good game from Price, Horne very sharp. Just not enough in the forwards. Hastings still looks a bit unnerved by last few weeks but clearly has the skill set. Jones very good when on. Nice lid on Matawalu. Hope Johnson just slight head knock. Third times a charm in the QF and both Scottish teams and hopefully Racing heading into international break with tails up.

    1. Another HIA fail for Johnson does not sound good – shame as he’s been good the last few weeks.

  10. For the first time ever I am supporting Leicester! Couple of shock results on the cards if things stay the same.

  11. When they scored first, Glasgow dumped the plan and showed their running game. Saracens have more to fear in a rematch than Glasgow . As for Edinburgh , no one will be looking forward to a trip to Murrayfield.

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Scottish Rugby News and Opinion