Guinness Pro12: Glasgow name strong squad for London Scottish clash

Guinness Pro12: Glasgow name a strong squad packed for their final pre-season clash against London Scottish

By Gareth Llewellyn

Glasgow Warriors have named a strong squad packed with Scottish internationals for their final pre-season clash against London Scottish in Richmond on Saturday.

Tommy Seymour, Alex Dunbar and Henry Pyrgos, who captains the team from scrum-half, return among the backs, while Gordon Reid, Kevin Bryce, Tim Swinson, Chris Fusaro and Adam Ashe are included among the forwards.

For Ashe, it will be his first start for last season’s Pro12 finalists, which comes after he won his first Scotland cap against South Africa in June.

Peter Murchie retains his place at full-back from last weekend’s 24-23 defeat to Harlequins in Glasgow, with and Mark Bennett at outside centre and Dunbar returning from injury to join him in the midfield.

Seymour starts on the right wing with Lee Jones on the left wing, while Duncan Weir continues at outside-half with Canadian Connor Braid providing cover at 10 from the bench.

A new-look front row sees Gordon Reid pack down alongside hooker Kevin Bryce and the Warriors’ new tighthead prop Rossouw de Klerk.

Swinson is joined in the engine room by Leone Nakarawa with Ashe joined in the back row by Tyrone Holmes on the blindside and Chris Fusaro at openside.

Joining Braid among the 11 replacements named by head coach Gregor Townsend are Warriors centurion flanker James Eddie, number 8 Josh Strauss, centre James Downey and flying Fijian Niko Matawalu.

“This is a good opportunity for us to continue our pre-season preparations, ahead of the GuinnessPRO12 opener against Leinster next Saturday at Scotstoun,” said Townsend.

“It also enables more players to get some game time and to transfer their hard work from the training field into a full blown rugby match.

“Although we were pleased with many aspects of our performance against Harlequins there were a number of areas to improve.

“It’s given us plenty to work on in training this week and tomorrow is an opportunity for us to build on the positive aspects of last week’s performance.

“Henry gets the opportunity to captain the side and after performing well for Scotland in the summer we’re looking forward to seeing him back in a Warriors shirt.

“London Scottish finished fifth in a very competitive English Championship so we are under no illusions that we will have to play well to deliver a winning performance.”

In their biggest test ahead of the new IPA Greene King Championship season, London Scottish director of rugby Mike Friday has named Scots duo Lee Millar and Jamie Stevenson in his starting XV, with international experience coming from Irish flanker Neil Best and American lock Tai Tuisamoa.

Among the replacements, former Glasgow Warriors trio Ben Prescott, Ross and Mike Doneghan, will are expected to get a run out, while former Currie hooker David Cherry, and Harlequins dual-registered prop Darryl Marfo could also make an appearance.

“The boys are feeling good. We are building towards the Rotherham Titans game, our opening league fixture, but nonetheless Saturday is going to be a great event playing last season’s Pro12 finalists,” said Friday.

“Glasgow Warriors are a very strong, competent team who will certainly challenge us. But it’s a challenge we are up for.

“The boys are relishing the chance to come up against a side full of quality international players.”

London Scottish: Peter Lydon; Miles Mantella, Lee Millar, PJ Gidlow, Matt Williams; Dan Newton, Jamie Stevenson; James Hallam, Adam Kwasnicki (captain), Max Maidment, Tai Tuisamoa, Adam Preocanin, Freddie Clarke (trialist), Neil Best, James Phillips.

Replacements (13): Darryl Marfo, Mark Lilley, David Cherry, Ben Prescott, Stewart Maguire, Sam Twomey, Chevvy Pennycook, Ross Doneghan, Ben Calder, Sam Stuart, Mike Doneghan, Errie Claassens, Alec Coombes (trialist).

Glasgow Warriors: Peter Murchie; Tommy Seymour, Mark Bennett, Alex Dunbar, Lee Jones; Duncan Weir, Henry Pyrgos (captain); Gordon Reid, Kevin Bryce, Rossouw de Klerk, Tim Swinson, Leone Nakawara, Tyrone Holmes, Chris Fusaro, Adam Ashe.

Replacements (11): Fraser Brown, Jerry Yanuyanutawa, Alex Allan, George Hunter, James Eddie, Will Bordill, Josh Strauss; Niko Matawalu, Connor Braid, James Downey, Rory Hughes.

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