Scottish Rugby News and Opinion


Glasgow Warriors V Cardiff Rugby: Team Selection.

Glasgow Warriors Logo

This morning at 11:45, Head Coach Franco Smith announced his matchday 23 to face the Welsh side Cardiff Rugby. He has made 4 changes to the side that lost in Treviso.

The front row sees the first change as Zander Fagerson comes in off the bench to join Jamie Bhatti and Fraser Brown is set to start after failing a last-minute fitness test last week. 

The engine room also sees a change as Scott Cummings comes in to join Richie Gray, replacing Lewis Bean. 

Another change comes in the back row as Rory Darge comes in to join Matt Fagerson and Jack Dempsey. 

George Horne and Tom Jordan reunite as the halfbacks after a strong performance last week. 

Similarly, Stafford McDowall and Sione Tuipulotu are teaming up once again in the midfield after Tuipulotu’s impressive defensive effort last week.

The back three remains unchanged as Captain Kyle Steyn is joined by Sebastian Cancelliere on the wings and Cole Forbes at fullback. 

Once again Smith has gone for a 6/2 split on the bench with a chance of a debut for JP du Preez. George Turner, Oli Kebble, and Lucio Sordoni are the front-row understudies this week. One of last week’s debutants Sintu Manjezi is joined by du Preez and Thomas Gordon as back row cover. Ali Price and Domingo Miotti round off the 23 on the bench. 

I think this week the team have a lot to prove and will need to put on a show in order to take the win. Smith has a lot to prove as he isn’t off to the best start – some of the old Danny Wilson ways were still showing especially in the second half last week. Let’s hope this week they can get the win Smith needs. 

T minus 1 day until kick off! Come on Warriors!

31 Responses

  1. This is probably Glasgows strongest pack. It will be very worrying if they cannot get dominance over the Cardiff pack.

      1. A complete turnaround , played like we have never seen them play in many years. It was relentless, ruthless rugby, they did not want the final whistle to come. New fresh attitude in broken players. Well done FS.

    1. Predictions of doom can come true. Not this time, Glasgow pack immense and Richie Gray even getting in on the loose. If Glasgow can be consistent in its line out, what a side. I think Franco should work on that stability and build confidence from there.A 50 22 will be a real threat. Then I woke up .

      1. Predictions of doom?My prediction for Glasgow is that they should achieve at least two semi finals this season, anything less would be a disappointment. I haven’t read anyone else predicting Glasgow to achieve so much. What’s your prediction coward?

      2. I predict surprises on the way for Glasgow. I even predict we might have a blast from the past. A bad day, along the way. We did last week, all part of rebuilding. I predict that you will be disappointed as they will not fulfil that expectation. It does not surprise me you feel that way however Glasgow have fallen a long way and are not top 4 in this expanded league, called the URC. So not yet and not this year is my prediction. That is why no one else is predicting 2 semis, IMO they just want to get consistent first. I am just happy if they enjoy their rugby and win at home. For now, this season is feet under the desk time for the new coach.

      3. Lol, its amazing how the same fans who were so full of vitriol and angst last season are now so understanding, measured, balanced.
        “Two quarter finals! sack him, hang him!”
        3 big ball carriers added to the pack, an international centre, a gentle ride in the diddy cup, no league expectations. What an accomodating bunch you’ve all become over the summer. Franco must be thanking his lucky stars but beware the fickle weegie. woooohh.

      4. I don’t think Glasgow fans turned on Wilson because he only got to the quarter final stages in two competitions, they turned on him because Glasgow turned in 3 months of abject performances, collapsed in the second half of almost every game in the run in, and eventually suffered one of the most humiliating results in the club’s history. If you really think Wilson was the leader to turn that situation around I think you’ve lost your bearings a little bit. Wilson was did a poor job and under him Glasgow got measurably worse.

        Franco Smith is working with largely the same squad even if they’ve added a few big lumps, far from star signings, and one test player who has been struggling to rediscover his best form for years (he is a good player but isn’t some huge filip to the squad if we’re honest). He’ll need to show improvement but I think it is reasonable to expect this season to be tough as he gets Glasgow to buy into his vision. Maybe he’ll be better, maybe not but he deserves a chance. Wilson had his chance and was found wanting.

      5. Well said FF and much more eloquently than me. Most measured and balanced Glasgow fans were traumatized by the run of dreadful performances and have a simple expectation and that is to see good rugby at Scotstoun. They accept that it is a long way back such was the dismantling nature of the 2021 2022 season. Franco Smith was not appointed to get the side to 2 semis, (that is just your ill conceived expectation) he was appointed to get the side out of hospital and into remission. So less of the goading for predictions , only a fool , not a coward would get involved in that immature nonsense.

      6. I canny wait for the Diddy cup, we were never going to win the Big Yin when Leinster take 70 points aff us. Bring on the diddy’s .

      7. That’s great, but your inconvinient truth is that good rugby and winning rugby go hand in hand. a QF in the league would be nothing more than maintaing the status quo. If glasgow fail to make the playoffs they will probably have to loose 9 out of 18 games. I don’t think your ideals will hold up if they throw the ball around and loose every second game.
        That awful injury to Darge shows exactly why the additional recruitment is so important and why glasgow are much better equipped now but then Maybe i’m the only one who really rates this squad of players. Then again I suppose you’re right after all Mike Blair took along time to get his feet under the table and overhaul Edinburgh philosophy, oh wait!!

      8. @Sam: ‘ good rugby and winning rugby go hand in hand.’ Do they, are you sure ?I disagree with you.

        Try telling Edinburgh fans that you cannot play well and lose. You see it doesn’t go hand in hand that good rugby is winning rugby.

        Edinburgh were up against a tough team away from home, there is every conference they will improve, they gave their fans hope.

        Last season, Glasgow played bad, bad rugby and lost. Gave fans no hope. Danny sacked, against your better judgement.

      9. well we will see how that hold up if the results start to slip. In the Benetton game Franco just threw on as many big ladd as he could and hoped that would do it, not very inivative. The jury is still out on whether Franco philosophy chimes with ‘good rugby’. but the morei think about it the more i think Edinburgh’s season last year is a good barometer of expectation for Glasgowthis season. there are plenty of parallels. a manager brought in at short notice with recruitment completed by predecessor. an attempt to change philosophy, a season without the strain of the champions cup, even so far as an influential back rower injured for a large part of the season. Maybe this is the bench mark against which to measure Franco’s success?

      10. @sam: You never give up, no one is bothered about measuring success, only you as you have a bitter grievance about how Danny Wilson was treated, while the rest of us are still traumatized by his appointment in the first place. Injury is part of the game, Rory Darge is out, we wish him a speedy and painless recovery, but he would be out come the 6N anyway and dare I say it, they always come back from the International Squad worn out. There is no shortage of emerging players. The super 6 is full of them.

      11. I never give up! the written record is right here Cassandra! all I did was make a pre-match comment on Glasgow team selection which was engaged with in a convivial, respectful manner by some fellow fans. You are the one who insisted on regurgitating an old conversation, with your pathetic and embittered name calling and childish manner. I’m happy to put this to bed, do you think you can be grown up enough to do that?

  2. Cardiff are without Faletau who turned in a class shift last week, they have retained a big midfield pairing and Matthew Morgan at Fullback (really underrated) in place of Liam Williams who is out for 16 weeks (poor lad). Josh Wiliams and Morgan are agile and I cannot see Tuipulotu making a difference on that pair.

    Cardiff have a bad away record however in true Welsh optimism, fancy their chances, while hiding behind the subterfuge of ‘Glasgow are a class side and showed metal in the second half last week boyo’. How do you know when they are lying?

    I can see Dai Young edging them closer to the side they should be, let’s hope tomorrow is not the day for their reformation to be completed.

    On paper we are a better side, peppered with internationals, unlike Cardiff who started well, we opened the Franco Era with a Danny hangover

    I like our bench, do not like Brown anywhere near the 23 think the backrow will have their work cut out but can see Gordon being a tenacious terrier when he finally steps from the bench. I will be impressed if we get back on track. Warriors to win, the hard way.

    I expect extreme comments tomorrow if they recycle the garbage they showed last season.

  3. I’d like to see Jordan launch a few well-placed Garry Owens in Mathew Morgans direction, he’s very exciting but not the biggest and (IMO) can be got at.
    Will be very interesting to witness 1st home game of the season, basic ask – to firmly put last week’s debacle behind them

  4. Cardiff’s half backs are v good, Glasgow’s are among the weakest in the league with Thompson and Price injured and benched respectively. We definitely need to dominate the game up front to give Jordan and Horne a bit of breathing space and front foot ball.

    Glasgow’s loss in Treviso was their third loss in a row there and Smith has only been with the squad for a month. We need to see improvement but this looks like something less than a banker. Big shifts needed by our experienced players.

  5. Just seen the Edinburgh team for the Bulls game; probably the strongest 23 they’ve picked for some time and with good reason. Both pro teams need to lay down a marker this weekend, though don’t know which one gives me more trepidation but for different reasons. Smith really has to show he’s given Glasgow some backbone and Blair needs a win against a Saffer side to show champion crudentials.
    Looking at Glasgow’s injury list, they might need to hire a good chiropractor…

  6. “George Horne and Tom Jordan reunite as the halfbacks after a strong performance last week.”

    I thought they were both poor tbh. Horne is really out of form and low on confidence. Seems to almost be having a bit of an identity crisis between how he wants to play and how he’s being told to and Price was much better when he came on. Jordan had some nice touches but his kicking was poor and couldn’t get the backline going at all.

    Nice preview though. Hopefully see something better from Glasgow (they can’t get worse surely?)

    1. Interesting comment on the Horne/Price situation.

      I think Price definitely performed better than Horne, however i think it’s important to keep in mind, that Fagerson, Cummings and Darge all came on around the same time Price did. That is a big momentum changer with more leaders on the field and getting quick ball and a pack going forward.

      With arguably our strongest pack now starting (and assuming) we at least have parity in going forward in attack, it will make a huge difference to Hornes game i hope.

  7. Firstly wish Rory Darge all the best, looked bad.
    Glasgow were excellent last night, Tuipulotu and Horne had their best games for ages, aggressive and enthusiastic throughout the highlights for me was the sensational Forbes try and the Dempsey handoff (leading to the Gordon try). Shows the difference a full strength Glasgow makes. Tom Jordan looked very promising indeed strong and confident. (Maybe lucky not to have received a red card)
    Superb result

    1. TOL suggested he’ll probably not be back this side of the new year but looks like around then is best guess. Hope for 6N at least.

      “I’m devastated for Darge,” said head coach Franco Smith. “He’s a top player. It was an ankle injury and he will [likely] be operated on in the morning.

      “It was a dislocation of the ankle. It’s not a season-ending injury, but I don’t want to put an exact timeline on when he will be back.”

      Opportunity for Crosbie or Boyle to back up Watson in Scotland squad? Possibly Christie with some shuffling of back row?

  8. FF for me presently the Scotland back row reads Dempsey Crosbie Ritchie, this is with an eye on rhe World Cup where we need to really physically challenge the Irish and the Saffers

  9. Tremendous effort by Edinburgh, missed kicks the difference, Ritchie superb throughout, Crosbie showed exactly what he brings to the back row, very unfortunate to be injured by Schoeman. Graham phenomenal, Bennett just class (must start at 13 in front of Harris). Edinburgh a joy to watch despite the defeat.

You might also like these:

World Rugby has taken steps to ban Dupont's Law amongst three new law changes to be brought in in July.
Scotland came up frustratingly short in their final Six Nations match against Ireland, losing out on a place in WXV1 in the dying minutes. It was a disappointing end to what has been a very good, if not spectacular, tournament from Scotland. Eleanor has the talking points.
Scotland's Womens Six Nations came to a frustrating end with an eminently achievable third place slipping out of their fingers in the final minutes. Skye rates the players.
Scotland Women travel to Ireland this weekend to face down the chance of their first 3rd place finish in the Six Nations since 2005.

Scottish Rugby News and Opinion