European Round 5: team news

Glasgow Warriors v Exeter Chiefs

Date: Sat 11 January 2020
KO: 15:15
Venue: Scotstoun Stadium

The return of Stuart Hogg to Scotstoun could potentially overshadow the Warriors desperate need for the first of two 5 point results if they are to get out of the pool.

Trying to hide the fact he hasn’t been replaced within the club they have at least picked someone with more experience at 15 than usual in the shape of Glenn Bryce, at the back of a pacey attacking unit.

Up front there are plenty of solid customers to front up to Exeter’s mighty pack (which doesn’t yet include Sam Skinner). A big game from Matt Fagerson at Number 8 could be interesting in a Scotland context with that arguably the least settled back row slot in the national team, while Jonny Gray should want to show his employers next season why they signed him.

It’s tries or nothing for a Glasgow side that will have taken a lot of confidence from the second string picking up a bonus over in Treviso last weekend. Overall it is about as strong a side as Dave Rennie can muster with some zip on the bench, but even so, the Scotstoun faithful will be hoping rather than expecting.

Glasgow Warriors: 15. Glenn Bryce, 14. Tommy Seymour, 13. Huw Jones, 12. Samuel Johnson, 11. Kyle Steyn, 10. Adam Hastings, 9. George Horne; 1. Oli Kebble, 2. Fraser Brown, 3. Zander Fagerson, 4. Scott Cummings, 5. Jonny Gray, 6. Ryan Wilson, 7. Callum Gibbins (capt), 8. Matt Fagerson.
Replacements: 16. George Turner, 17. Aki Seiuli, 18. Adam Nicol, 19. Robert Harley, 20. Chris Fusaro, 21. Ali Price, 22. Peter Horne, 23. Niko Matawalu,

Exeter Chiefs: 15. Stuart Hogg, 14. Jack Nowell, 13. Ian Whitten, 12. Ollie Devoto, 11. Olly Woodburn, 10. Joe Simmonds (capt), 9. Nic White; 1. Alec Hepburn, 2. Luke Cowan-Dickie, 3. Enrique Pieretto Heiland, 4. Jannes Kirsten, 5. Sean Lonsdale, 6. Dave Ewers, 7. Jacques Vermeulen, 8. Matt Kvesic.
Replacements:16. Elvis Taione, 17. Ben Moon, 18. Marcus Street, 19. Will Witty, 20. Don Armand, 21. Jack Maunder, 22. Gareth Steenson, 23. Sam Hill,

Referee: Romain Poite (France)

Unavailable: Andrew Davidson (foot), Bruce Flockhart (back), Tom Gordon (chest), Siua Halanukonuka (calf), Sean Kennedy (shoulder), Kiran McDonald (hip), Robbie Nairn (knee), D’arcy Rae (hand), Brandon Thomson (calf) Nick Grigg (head) and DTH van der Merwe ( wrist)

Bordeaux-Begles v Edinburgh Rugby

Date: Sat 11 January 2020
KO: 12:45 GMT
Venue: Stade Chaban-Delmas

Richard Cockerill might pretend he doesn’t care about Europe (other than regaining access to Champions Cup rugby) but the first XV he’s picked says otherwise, which looks like a strong intent to try and nick some kind of result over in France while saving some powder for the Agen match to come.

Good news in the pack is the sight of a Scottish loosehead starting for his club, given that position is a real worry going into the Six Nations. Welcome back, Rory Sutherland. It’s not all front line troops though with Scotland players like Gilcrhist or McInally presumably rested.

The backline is pretty much first choice from 10 upwards though, so if the pack can get any sort of parity, the weapons are there to try and get a losing bonus point at the minimum.

Bordeaux are going very well in the Top14 and will be hugely physical at home. Edinburgh have a decent record away in France, and certainly some of those backs learning how to win in hostile stadiums would do Scotland no harm.

Bordeaux-Begles: 15. Nans Ducuing, 14. Geoffrey Cros, 13. Semi Radradra, 12. Rémi Lamerat, 11. Santiago Cordero, 10. Matthieu Jalibert, 9. Maxime Lucu; 1. Jefferson Poirot (c), 2. Clement Maynadier, 3. Vadim Cobilas, 4. Kane Douglas, 5. Cyril Cazeaux, 6. Alexandre Roumat, 7. Cameron Woki, 8. Scott Higginbotham.
Replacements: 16. Adrien Pélissié, 17. Ravai Kovekalou, 18. Lekso Kaulashvili, 19. Jandré Marais, 20. Mahamadou Diaby, 21. Yann Lesgourgues, 22. Ben Botica, 23. Jean-Baptiste Dubié.

Edinburgh Rugby: 15. Blair Kinghorn, 14. Darcy Graham, 13. Mark Bennett, 12. Matt Scott, 11. Duhan Van Der Merwe, 10. Jaco van der Walt, 9. Nic Groom (capt); 1. Rory Sutherland, 2. Mike Willemse, 3. Simon Berghan, 4. Sam Thomson, 5. Lewis Carmichael, 6. Magnus Bradbury, 7. Hamish Watson, 8. Viliame Mata.
Replacements: 16. David Cherry, 17. Pierre Schoeman, 18. Pietro Ceccarelli, 19. John Barclay, 20. Luke Crosbie, 21. Charlie Shiel, 22. Simon Hickey, 23. James Johnstone.

Referee: Tom Foley (England)

Unavailable: Stuart McInally, Fraser McKenzie, Jamie Ritchie, Nick Haining, George Taylor, Chris Dean


A new one: Darryl Marfo lines up for the Ospreys against (gulp) Saracens who feature Sean Maitland in their number. Greig Laidlaw – in his final season at Clermont – is named on the bench while Finn Russell starts for Racing v Munster. Nutmegs ahoy. Rory Hutchinson continues to shine at Northampton, and with neither James Lang or Duncan Taylor in action Chris Harris also continues to stake his claim for a spot in the Scotland squad after all but pinning down the 13 shirt at Gloucester. His team mate Alex Craig could also be in line for a call-up, assuming Richie Gray doesn’t fancy it or Sam Skinner isn’t fit.

Jack Owlett is on the bench for Wasps, while Luke Hamilton starts at 8 for Bristol – no sign of Alex Dunbar for Brive though, or elsewhere Blade Thomson or Allan Dell. Rory Hughes starts for Leicester Tigers.

Mike Adamson referees La Rochelle vs Sale Sharks at the head of an all Scottish officiating team while Ben Blain takes charge of Brive v Bristol Bears. A lot of Bs there.

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46 comments on “European Round 5: team news

  1. Bazz on

    Really decent XV for Glasgow (although relativley weak at 6, 7 and 15). Really looking forward to this one.

    It is a bit of a shame though about Gordon and Flockhart. I was really looking forward to seeing them back up after great showings last week. I cant expect Harley or Fusaro will be getting much more game time for the Warriors if the aforementioned can maintain that standard.

    It’s also a bit concerning that a fit Adam Ashe cannot break into the 23 even with injuries to 2 other back-rowers. He was starting and playing well last season and even forced Rennie to drop Wilson to the bench before he got injured.

    This got me thinking about the warriors squad as a whole and I am baffled at the recruitment. We are so clearly lacking in some areas and yet have multiple players on our books (that are fit) that have yet to make an appearance or played trivial amounts.

    Capps – 0 mins
    Reid – 0 mins
    Thornton – 11 mins
    Matthews – 23 mins
    Dolokoto – 0 mins
    M. Smith – 0 mins
    Vakaloloma – 0 mins
    Ashe – 35 mins

    And that’s just the forwards!

    Why do we have 6 looseheads?
    Why do we have 10 back-rowers?
    Why do we have a 54 man squad? (for context Edinburgh and Leinster both have 46 man squads)

    Complete madness.

  2. Tam again on

    I cannot wait to see Stuart Hogg back at Scotstoun. I hope everyone makes him very welcome. He will be at his best , wanting to show off his new side, the prince returns. His finest moves coming off, just silly-ing the Warriors. I cannot wait, this has got to be classic , such a Rolls Royce, a legend back in the west end for one day only.

    Hang on , you what, you sure, what can you not wait to see! are you going soft in the head ? Too right I am not , what I cannot wait to see is Hogg shirking his tackles , all his usual tackle avoidance tactics exposed, staying well away from the big boys, Huw Jones showing what an intelligent and classy guy he is and I hope Tommy Seymour shows us why he was such a prolific try scorer by comparison.

    Yep, that is what I am paying my cash for, I am paying to watch Hogg implode. So get it on , come on ye Warriors, do not hold back. This could be our finest 80 minutes.

    • Tam again on

      Told you how this would go right down to naming the scorers. I hope that helps lift the scales from our eyes.

  3. Fraser on

    Edinburgh showing the same blindness as Scotland – if every time you put a box kick in, the opponents win the ball and make a good break, why keep doing it every time you get the ball?

    Keep possession, especially in good position on the pitch, or try something different at least.

    Don’t deserve to be in the game – defence has been good, but tactically awful.

    Bordeaux are constantly offside and the ref is very passive and poor, but it isn’t the reason Edinburgh are losing.

    • TeamCam on

      The referee is actively telling Edinburgh to get back whilst completely ignoring Bordeaux’s continual offsides. Not to mention two tries awarded despite double movements. Both cases you can see clear leg drive from the try ‘scorer’. It’s a pretty poor refereeing performance. Not as poor as Edinburgh’s lineout, however. As I type that, Bordeaux commit an intentional knock on and he only awards a scrum.

      You’re right, though – Edinburgh’s tactics needed to change at half-time.

      • Dudload on

        What are the lineout stats in this game. Must be over 6 own lost – shocking. Ref having a total mare too

      • TeamCam on

        Edinburgh lost 1 in 3 lineouts – 9 out of 14. Interestingly, they only beat two fewer defenders, despite having 38 fewer runs. Bordeaux’s offside defence just put them under too much pressure.

      • BorderBadger on

        Glad someone else saw the double movements. Thought I was going mad! The first try they checked the grounding and he’s clearly up driving himself forward on his knees.

    • TeamCam on

      Christ, Poite is doing everything he can to help Exeter. Got the scrum call totally wrong, missed a forward pass, missed obstruction, ignored sealing off… he’s been dreadful.

      Also, someone needs to tell Huw Jones just to kick it! Two really unlucky bounces.

      • TeamCam on

        Which one?! They left three tries out there and were the better team, but only slightly. I’m furious with Poite, he bottled so many calls against Exeter that it boggles the mind, and his interpretation of the scrum was pitiful. Chiefs should have had a red for the swinging forearm, a yellow for the hit on Matawalu and possibly even another yellow for their cynical play. And Poite’s attitude to the Glasgow captains was awful, especially regarding the YC for Brown and the free kicks he awarded at lineouts. I can’t fathom the criteria WR use to decide that he should ref games like the RWC final.

  4. Busy Little Bee on

    Looks like Glasgow have an upgrade at 15 at a fraction of the cost.

    Classic Huw Jones. If only he could catch, kick, pass, tackle, position himself well, ruck…..and pick the ball up. Superb athlete/strike runner.

    Great match.

    • TeamCam on

      Huw Jones is a superb rugby player. You think he can’t pass? Did you even watch the game against Treviso when he delivered an inch-perfect, Russell-style pass to set up a try?

      • Not rocket science on

        Completely agree. Two back door passes against SA for try are another highlight. O Halloran saying he has rounded skill set for 12 or 13. Given a few games (no doubt pressure has been put on Rennie) already showing what can do. Amazing the tolerance for errors from some players (Horne, Grigg) and lack of tolerance for other better players (Jones, Hogg).

  5. Neil on

    So many whiners right now complaining about the ref for both games today it’s unreal, Just accept our teams were not good enough and move on.

    Jones is a starter at 13 come six nations now, he has done well against a few of the strongest defences in europe now in Edinburgh and Exeter.

  6. JohnMc on

    Disappointing result for Warriors so far as potential qualification from the group goes, and now so many results need to go their way for there to be any chance of getting to the knock-outs. And yet a good performance against a very strong English Premier side that’s among the best ( well, most effective, because they’re quite boring really) in European club rugby. Second half facing that wind and rain in particular was excellent for long periods and probably took Exeter by surprise.
    Leaving aside his butterfinger moments, Huw Jones really does look like he’s rediscovered confidence and form and it’s likely we could see a Scott/Jones combination at the Aviva on 1 February – though Sam Johnson looked good too this evening.
    Pack fronted up well in the second half.

  7. Fifer39 on

    Exeter look like Saracens did 5 years ago – effective but very boring to watch. Hardly heard Hogg’s name mentioned at all. The money might be decent but it’s hard to believe he can be enjoying his rugby in that system. What a waste…

  8. Tam tm on

    But arguably it will mean that Hoggy will have learnt to consider his options a little more than he had when he was getting over excited over and prior to Japan. With a more open game plan with Scotland we’ll possibly see more balanced and patient performances.

    • Bass Rock on

      All those calling for a Hogg captaincy should start to think is he a nailed on starter? could he lead by example ? It must be a while since Hogg scored a try now! None on the RWC, none at Exeter. As for tackles , 8 made in the RWC success rate only 67%.

      Even Gordon Reid manged 12 tackles and success rate 100% and he is in the Super 6. Cummings 19 and 90%. Maybe we should consider a back , his old Lions mate Tommy Seymour who has slumped in form , 10 tackles , 91% success rate and he even got a try in the RWC and one over on Hogg on Saturday. Why do Scotland fans not look at this objectively ! Step up Kinghorn, this has got to be your time.

      • Busy Little Bee on

        Glenn Bryce is better than Hogg these days and he looked sharp as old boots yesterday, I’d put him in the test squad and ship Hogg out to the 7s team if Exeter are cool with that, see if he can score a try there to get his confidence back.

      • Kevin Millar on

        Hogg has scored for Exeter. Tackle rates and completion percentages aren’t really comparable between tight 5 forwards and back 3 players – wings and full backs are always much lower (with the exception of Sean Lamont). For example Blair Kinghorn has made a tackle every 35 minutes in the PRO14 this season at a completion rate of 69%.

      • TeamCam on

        Glenn Bryce was good yesterday, but made only 50% of his tackles. Hogg, by comparison, made 100% of his tackles. And made more metres from fewer runs. And is one of the few Scots selected for the Lions by Warren Gatland. And he is clearly one of the best players in the world. And remember that Hogg is a marked man because he is infamously good, whereas Bryce has the relative advantage of being an unknown and not highly rated quantity, rightly or wrongly. When Hogg plays, it forces the opposition to double-check their tactics. When Bryce plays it doesn’t.

        I do not understand Scottish rugby fans slagging Hogg off at all. And I really hope Bryce uses this as a springboard, because he looked very sharp in attack yesterday.

      • Fraser on

        Couldn’t agree more TeamCam.

        Don’t get the hate towards Hogg at all. He is not perfect, but to say he isn’t a very high quality player seems very bizarre.

        As far as stats go, Hogg might not score so many tries these days – but he makes an awful lot for other people, which you would think people would appreciate given how much they accuse him of being selfish….

        Everyone can have their opinion on players, but we should at least try to keep it sensible.

        For example, I really rate Huw Jones, but can’t deny he had a poor period over the last year and made some pretty bad mistakes. Thankfully, he seems to be past it now and getting back on form – still a few mistakes, but some moments of class as well.

      • TeamCam on

        Spot on Fraser, Hogg seems to be damned if he does and damned if he doesn’t. He’s also learning an entirely new set of systems at Exeter.

        Jones is another class player whom people frequently denigrate. He’s had a bad run, but how much of that was down to injuries, failure to get a run of games and confidence? You don’t score 10 tries in 13 tests if you’re keich. I’m really glad to see him getting his form back, and it oddly coincides with an absence of injuries and a run of games. To me, he’s our best 13. Bennett’s great, Dunbar was great, I’m sure Scott did a job there, Taylor was great, Harris and Grigg are good, Hutchinson has loads of potential. But none of those players have torn it up like Jones. He’d probably be a Lion had he not been injured against Italy in 2017, even with Gatland in charge. His interview in the Times (available free of charge on the Warriors fan forum!) is enlightening.

    • Not rocket science on

      Watched every Exeter game this season and Hogg has been excellent. For example, put Sale to the sword away scoring a beauty in turnkey Champions Cup game, great against newly full strength Leicester away, strong against Saracens at home. He has been defensively rock solid, slotted into the systems and kicked reliably and with distance. A lot of minutes and a lot of big games – Exeter on top of the world. No significant errors. The anti Hogg agenda of some on here is embarrassing for them. Exeter are boosted by him, Baxter and other players have said it to the media. No doubt his immediate success had factored into Gray move. Hogg, with Russell moving into same bracket at Racing, are streets away in being the most important and impressive players for Scottish rugby.

      • Stu2 on

        My concern with Hogg is he’s started every game since coming back from Japan.

        Lets hope he lasts a 6Ns as he clearly our best option at 15.

  9. Johnny b on

    Glasgow have been unsettled this season, chopped and changed from one game to the next with key players like Jones in the squad, on the bench, starting then dropped.
    A tall order to beat a much more settled Exeter team who have been beating everyone in Europe and their league, so this result didnt surprise me and wasn’t bad in context.
    Hopefully a stepping stone back to form and confidence.

    • Upandunder on

      Johnny b couldn’t agree more. Some strange selections by Rennie. I’m still at a loss to understand what is happening with Adam Ashe. I feel he is getting a raw deal. He is a far more natural number 8 than Matt Fagerson who should be played at 7

  10. Bass Rock on

    I agree , I am being a bit naughty comparing Hogg to a prop. Let’s try harder : Full backs Hayward of Italy, 17 tackles and 81% success rate , Padovani 5 tackles 100%. They never scored any tries either. But Williams and Kearney scored 2 tries each and Daly 1.

    Blair Kinghorn, 67 Edinburgh appearances and 22 tries. That’s roughly one every 3 matches, and well, most of that was when Edinburgh were punchbags.

    My apologies readers , Hogg has scored 1 try (ESPN not up to date) in 11 appearances at Exeter. I like statistics, they can be very helpful. In summary Kinghorn has a similar tackle completion success in the RWC but in club space can score 1 in 3 versus Hogg’s 1 in 11.

    • TeamCam on

      You’re still not comparing like-for-like, though. And your stats are wrong: Kinghorn made two tackles and completed zero, and half of his tackles were made against a team we nilled whilst putting 61 points on them. Hogg also scored 30 tries for Warriors, and created many more. And that was in a team with try-scoring threats all over the park.

      I agree (as I’m sure Kevin does!) that stats are great, but surely you’ve got to compare like-for-like and factor in the context of those stats. Otherwise you’re just proving Homer Simpson right.

      • Bass Rock on

        I wont entirely disagree with you however , can you ever compare like for like ? it is not a laboratory! So many outside influences (a known factor in statistics) in rugby. That is why I only compared Kinghorn and Hogg’s world cup tackle statistics and completion rates and those stats are right and recorded, those are fact.

        I agree , there are numerous outside factors even in that comparison. I did expect people to come back with relevant factors and a few excuses .

        But one Italian full back made 17 tackles and 81% completion and that would be in a different pool , mind you it included South Africa, the eventual winners. But you will say, they never played the All Blacks so his stats look good and we could go on, it is not perfect. None the less a full back to full back comparison playing in another group that was selected and balanced by ratings (another form of statistics), paints a picture.

        Of course statistics are great it is how you interpret them. I chose to make my case which you can ignore ,accept or argue.

      • TeamCam on

        My issue – not with you, with rugby! – is that the stats to which we have access are so basic, and generally need to be manually processed in order to provide a meaningful long-term picture which is why we all adore, Kevin so much. Looking at the Warriors page for Hogg and the Exeter page for Hogg was enlightening – Exeter’s was miles ahead from a stats perspective.

        In addition to the variables you mention, there’s also the defensive systems in place, the abilities of other players within the system etc.. It’s a shame that rugby is so far behind American football in this regard.

  11. Fraser on

    Looking at the permutations – Glasgow have a fair chance of going through if they beat Sale (ideally with a BP) judging by the remaining games.

    Pool 3 – 2 teams almost certainly going through.

    Pool 1 – Northampton will probably end up going through (Benetton at home and Lyon away) and 1 or 2 points above Glasgow.

    Pool 4 – Racing should win both remaining matches, likely putting Saracens/Munster out of contention – bonus points may play a part.

    Pool 5 – Gloucester away to Toulouse asking a lot.

    Obviously there are a lot of ifs there, and there’s bound to be an upset somewhere, but certainly not out of the running.

    • Johnny b on

      What kind of questions is that and what answer do you want?
      Cos we bottle it?
      Lack of confidence?
      Losing mentality?

      Our teams have qualified quite a few times and last season they both did. They both got momentum, were both settled, both had confidence and both got through.
      Our teams have only got past the qfs once between them tho.
      I’d say a lot of it has to do with confidence but you could pick your answer and add in a couple of your own and you’d have as good an idea as any of us.

  12. Sam Laycock on

    Some random thoughts, firstly not that I want to be defeatest but regardless of the results I think it’s very encouraging that with the 2 x European games in December plus 2 x 1872, plus another European round, the majority of the Scotland squad have a Bank of high intensity Rugby under their belts this close to the start of the 6N.
    I’m delighted with Glasgow upswing in form. Say what you like about Rennie but he’s getting a hell of a lot out of the squad he has at the moment. In all honesty the champions Cup was probably gone after the La Rochelle home game but they will continue to derive momentum and confidence from great performances like Exeter.

    On an entirely different note regarding Rory Hutchinsons position while in his first two seasons he was used predominantly at 13 (but coming in at 12 for set piece plays). This season he has started 8 games at 12 compared to 4 at 13. Showing he is fully interchangeable.

    Also bolters for the Scotland squad I’m pretty sure Fraser Dingwall, Hutchinsons midfield partner at Northampton is Scotland qualified at what about the Harry Mallinder Rumour? Is there a pro team in Scotland in need of a good young full back/10?

    • FF on

      Fraser Dingwall is SW and played in the Scotland u-18s with Cam redpath before they both opted for England at u20.

      Apparently both have said their intention is to win England selection but you never know – it ain’t over till it’s over.

      • Neil on

        Don’t want them, let England have them… we really don’t need more turncoats in the squad.. it’s bad for team spirit and passion

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