Glasgow Warriors captain Alastair Kellock will make his eagerly awaited return to action tomorrow night (Friday 5 November, kick-off 7.30pm) in what will be the club’s first ever Magners League match against Italian opposition.
Kellock has not played since he captained Scotland to an historic two-test series victory over Argentina in the summer. However, he will lead the Warriors against Aironi in the final match before the break for the autumn internationals.
On his return to the team, he said: “It’s been a tough time for me over the past few months trying to get back fit again.
“I’m not a very good spectator because I’d much rather be on the park with the boys, so I’m delighted to get back involved.
“I now hope I can use all the hard work I’ve put in with the physio and fitness staff to my benefit and the team’s benefit.”
Warriors head coach, Sean Lineen, added: “We’re delighted to have him back. He’s a world class leader and captain of Glasgow.
“He’s been stomping around Scotstoun the last couple of weeks desperate to be involved, so he’s got a smile on his face now.
“He knows the job he has to do tomorrow night. It’s not going to be easy in the boiler house amongst the experience that the Italians will have.”
Aironi are one of two new Italian teams to enter the Magners League this year (the other being Benetton Treviso), and are an amalgamation of clubs Viadana, Colorno, Gran Parma, Mantova, Parma 1931 and Noceto.
Lineen continued: “We’re looking forward to the visit of Aironi. Although they’ve struggled a bit so far, they’ve got some quality players.
“Every game we’ve seen of them, it’s been a real struggle for the opposition. They’re very stuffy and their forward pack is very dangerous.”
Last weekend saw Glasgow outscore Llanelli Scarlets in the try count before succumbing to fundamental errors. However, the memory of their last outing at Firhill, in which they came from 11-16 down to beat reigning Magners League champions Ospreys 31-23, is one which they are keen to emulate.
“We’ve got to make sure we continue the form we’ve shown,” Lineen continued, “especially against the Ospreys at home, before the international break.
“It’s lapses in defence and lapses in discipline that is costing us big time.
“We scored two tries to nil against one of the best attacking teams in the league. So we’re doing something right.
“We need a result. There’s nothing else for it. But we’ve got to look at the performance first.”
Glasgow Warriors team to play Aironi in the Magners League at Firhill on Friday 5 November (kick-off 7.30pm)
15 Bernardo Stortoni
14 Colin Shaw
13 Federico Aramburu
12 Rob Dewey
11 DTH van der Merwe
10 Duncan Weir
9 Henry Pyrgos
1 Jon Welsh
2 Dougie Hall
3 Ed Kalman
4 Tom Ryder
5 Alastair Kellock CAPTAIN
6 Robert Harley
7 Calum Forrester
8 Ryan Wilson
Substitutes: 16 Pat MacArthur, 17 Kevin Tkachuk, 18 Moray Low, 19 Aly Muldowney, 20 Chris Fusaro, 21 Colin Gregor, 22 Peter Murchie, 23 Hefin O’Hare