Glasgow Warriors scrum-half Chris Cusiter will start this Saturday’s Magners League clash against Benetton Treviso at the Stadio Monigo (kick-off 3pm local time/2pm BST).
Although Cusiter’s return to the squad was announced earlier this week, it was confirmed today that he will be on the field from the outset – a prospect that has the players, supporters and coaching staff brimming with excitement, none moreso than head coach Sean Lineen.
“Having Chris back is massive not only for us, but for him,” said Lineen. “It’s been a hard 11 months for Chris but he’s always kept his head high and we’ve always supported him.
“He’s a world class player and has been buzzing around the field all week. The whole squad has been buoyed by his return.
“The medical staff have been excellent and shown real patience as he has. It’s all about getting him on the field now and giving him every opportunity of being involved at the World Cup.”
Cusiter is among four personnel changes from the team that beat Aironi almost a fortnight ago, with one further positional switch.
In addition to the British & Irish Lion’s inclusion in the backs, Hefin O’Hare replaces Alex Dunbar on the right wing and DTH van der Merwe moves over to the left as a result.
The pack sees hooker Dougie Hall promoted from a bench appearance last time out to a starting berth this week as he continues his recovery from a shoulder injury.
Following an improved performance against Aironi, Johnnie Beattie is re-instated to the back-row in place of Ryan Wilson.
Ahead of the squad’s maiden trip to the Stadio Monigo, Lineen continued: “Treviso have been around for a few years and are well-versed in the Heineken Cup. They are also very difficult at home.
“It’s important that we give good performances in these last three games. The players know what it’s all about – we need to finish on a winning note.”
Glasgow Warriors team to play Benetton Treviso in the Magners League at the Stadio Monigo on Saturday 16 April (kick-off 3pm local time/2pm BST)
15 Peter Murchie
14 Hefin O’Hare
13 Federico Aramburu
12 Graeme Morrison CAPTAIN
11 DTH van der Merwe
10 Ruaridh Jackson
9 Chris Cusiter
1 Ryan Grant
2 Dougie Hall
3 Moray Low
4 Aly Muldowney
5 Tom Ryder
6 Robert Harley
7 Richie Vernon
8 Johnnie Beattie
Substitutes: 16 Fergus Thomson, 17 Kevin Tkachuk, 18 Jon Welsh, 19 Chris Fusaro, 20 Ryan Wilson, 21 Colin Gregor, 22 Duncan Weir, 23 Peter Horne
Unavailable for selection: John Barclay (rest), Rob Dewey (knee), James Eddie (illness), Max Evans (elbow), James Fleming (knee), Calum Forrester (knee), Richie Gray (rest), Ed Kalman (back), Alastair Kellock (rest), Murray McConnell (back), Colin Shaw (knee).
BE THE EXTRA MAN NEXT SEASON
Glasgow Warriors’ adult, student and concession season ticket prices have been frozen once again and under-18s can enjoy all the thrills of the Magners League and Heineken Cup from just £35.
Those who sign up to any of the club’s over-18 season ticket options will be entered into an exclusive prize draw to win an all expenses paid trip to travel with the squad, with a friend, to the Warriors’ premier European fixture next season. Season tickets go on sale this Friday so keep an eye on the club’s website – www.glasgowwarriors.org – for more details.