Glasgow Warriors have today confirmed the match 23 that will look to record a seventh win in eight home games when Scarlets come to Firhill on RaboDirect PRO12 business tomorrow (kick-off 7.05pm).
The Warriors’ sole defeat at the Maryhill ground in all competitions since September 2011 came against reigning European champions Leinster in the Heineken Cup last month.
Thursday’s game marks the start of a series of crunch games in the club’s attempt to stay in the top four of the RaboDirect PRO12 and remain on course for the end of season play-offs.
The Warriors pack for the fixture features seven forwards who comprehensively dominated their England Saxons counterparts in a 35-0 success for Scotland A last Friday night.
Four members of the wider Scotland squad for the first two matches of the RBS 6 Nations Championship will be part of the Glasgow front eight: Dougie Hall, Jon Welsh, Tom Ryder and Rob Harley.
Welsh will start at tight-head prop, having moved to the right hand side of the scrum to positive effect in the Warriors’ Heineken Cup matches against Leinster and Bath as well as for Scotland A in Galashiels.
Behind the scrum, meanwhile, there is a welcome return for stand-off Ruaridh Jackson, who has recovered well from a recent upper leg injury to make his first appearance since 6 January, when Glasgow were narrowly edged out by Scarlets in the first part of what is effectively a RaboDirect PRO12 double header.
Jackson will be partnered by scrum-half Henry Pyrgos, who yesterday became the 11th player to sign a long-term contract extension with the club in recent months.
The side will be captained by inside centre Graeme Morrison, who is the fifth member of the Scotland squad to be made available to the Warriors.
On the bench, there are spots for three members of the club’s Elite Development programme, from which full-back/centre Stuart Hogg has emerged to such impressive effect this season.
Tight-head prop George Hunter stands to make his debut and scrum-half Murray McConnell only his second appearance, while lock Nick Campbell is in line for his first taste of action since September, having recovered from a knee injury.
Head coach Sean Lineen told www.glasgowwarriors.org: “We’re really happy with our 23 for tomorrow night. The core of the pack is made up of guys who have done very well as a unit for both Glasgow and Scotland A, we’ve got a quality international stand-off and some real finishing ability in the shape of David Lemi and Tommy Seymour.
“I’m also really pleased to be able to call on Graeme Morrison’s experience and leadership for this game. He’s clearly very disappointed not to be involved with Scotland, but he’ll use that frustration to our benefit and put in his usual committed, passionate performance.
“As I’ve underlined many times already this week, the Scarlets game is huge for us. They’re a very talented and savvy team who have their own play-off aspirations. It’s vital we kick off this next phase in our season in the best possible fashion, and it’s going to take a big performance from every single player to achieve that.”
Tickets for Thursday’s showdown are available via www.glasgowwarriors.org, by calling 0844 800 3490 or in person at the Gordon Street and Sauchiehall Street branches of Greaves Sports, our official retail partner.
Adult tickets purchased before 2pm on Thursday offer a £5 saving on the match-night price of £20.
Students/senior citizens £10, under-18s £5.
GLASGOW WARRIORS TEAM TO PLAY SCARLETS IN THE RABODIRECT PRO12 AT FIRHILL ON THURSDAY 9 FEBRUARY (KICK-OFF 7.05PM, LIVE ON BBC ALBA)
15 Peter Murchie
14 Tommy Seymour
13 Troy Nathan
12 Graeme Morrison (Captain)
11 David Lemi
10 Ruaridh Jackson
9 Henry Pyrgos
1 Ryan Grant
2 Dougie Hall
3 Jon Welsh
4 Rob Verbakel
5 Tom Ryder
6 Rob Harley
7 Chris Fusaro
8 Ryan Wilson
16 Fergus Thomson
17 Gordon Reid
18 George Hunter
19 Nick Campbell
20 Calum Forrester
21 Murray McConnell
22 Alex Dunbar
23 Scott Wight
Not considered for selection due to injury: Federico Aramburu (shoulder), Johnnie Beattie (elbow), Mike Cusack (ankle), Rob Dewey (shoulder), Moray Low (knee), DTV van der Merwe (shoulder).