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December 07, 2023

Glasgow team to take on Northampton

Posted by Editor on December 7, 2023 12:13 PM | No comments | Print | E-mail author

Matt Fagerson makes his 100th appearance for Glasgow
Franco Smith has named his Glasgow Warriors team for tomorrow night's Investec Champions Cup opener against Northampton Saints at Scotstoun (ko 8.00pm).

Matt Fagerson will become the 55th player to reach 100 appearances for Warriors when he takes to the field this weekend, joining brother Zander in reaching the century mark. The Fagersons are the third set of brothers - following the Bullochs and Hornes - to reach the milestone in Glasgow colours.

Fagerson is one of seven changes to the starting XV that ran out in Cork last weekend, as Franco Smith's men prepare to open their campaign - and indeed the competition overall - against the high-flying English outfit.

Jamie Bhatti and Zander Fagerson come into the starting front-row, packing down either side of Johnny Matthews to make it an all-international trio.

Richie Gray returns after being rested for the trip to Munster last time out, coming into the second-row to partner Sintu Manjezi, who makes his Investec Champions Cup debut for the Warriors.

Gray's inclusion sees Scott Cummings shift to the blindside flank, where he joins impending centurion Fagerson and Rory Darge in the back-row triumvirate.

Behind the scrum, Tom Jordan is another to make his first appearance for Glasgow in Europe's top tier, whilst Sean Kennedy runs out for his first Investec Champions Cup outing in Glasgow colours since 2012.

Huw Jones returns from injury to start at outside centre, joining captain Stafford McDowall in the midfield for the first time since the BKT URC Round Two clash away to Connacht.

Having made more clean breaks than any other Warrior this season, Sebastian Cancelliere returns to start on the wing in an otherwise unchanged back three, meaning Ollie Smith and Josh McKay once again start in tandem in the back-line.

The club's two most recent debutants could each make their European debuts off the bench tomorrow night, after Max Williamson and Ben Afshar were both selected in the matchday 23 for this weekend's clash.

An all-international trio of front-rowers provide cover at the coal-face, with George Turner joining Oli Kebble and Lucio Sordoni amongst the replacements.

Sione Vailanu rotates to the bench after an all-action showing against Munster last weekend, whilst Ally Miller comes into the matchday 23 as part of a six-two split of forwards and backs.

The replacements are rounded out by Ross Thompson, the fly-half coming into the squad for the first time since coming off the bench at home to Benetton just over a fortnight ago.

Speaking following selection, Head Coach Smith told glasgowwarriors.org: "The Investec Champions Cup presents us with a new challenge - it's one we're proud to be a part of and we're looking forward to this weekend.

"Northampton arrive at Scotstoun in excellent form having won away to Saracens last weekend; they are a dangerous team with ball in hand and run a tight ship defensively, making them a very tough opponent.

"We're looking forward to running out at home once more, and hearing the Warrior Nation get behind their team."

Glasgow Warriors

15 Josh McKay (32)

14 Sebastian Cancelliere (30)
13 Huw Jones (61)
12 Stafford McDowall (Captain) (64)
11 Ollie Smith (36)

10 Tom Jordan (31)
9 Sean Kennedy (28)

1 Jamie Bhatti (93)
2 Johnny Matthews (57)
3 Zander Fagerson (133)
4 Sintu Manjezi (15)
5 Richie Gray (106)
6 Scott Cummings (111)
7 Rory Darge (37)
8 Matt Fagerson (99)

Substitutes

16 George Turner (93)
17 Oli Kebble (90)
18 Lucio Sordoni (22)
19 Max Williamson (2)
20 Ally Miller (18)
21 Sione Vailanu (26)
22 Ben Afshar (2)
23 Ross Thompson (40)

Unavailable for selection: Fraser Brown (knee), Facundo Cordero (ankle), Jack Dempsey (face), Jamie Dobie (ankle), JP du Preez (knee), Kyle Steyn (ankle)