Glasgow Warriors supporters will have the opportunity to thank a number of departing players and coaches for their years of service at next Saturday’s make or break RaboDirect PRO12 match against Connacht at Firhill.
Nine members of the current squad are to head to pastures new at the end of the season, along with head coach Sean Lineen and defence coach Gary Mercer.
Forwards Johnnie Beattie, Calum Forrester, Richie Gray, Fergus Thomson and Rob Verbakel are all set to move on, as are backs Federico Aramburu, Rob Dewey, David Lemi, and Colin Shaw.
Between them, the group have made some 509 Warriors appearances, contributing 39 tries.
With the Warriors looking to seal a spot in the RaboDirect PRO12 play-offs, the Connacht clash is already set to be a fantastic occasion. As well as saluting the leavers, Glasgow fans will be saying goodbye to Firhill, the club’s home since 2007, ahead of the summer move to Scotstoun Stadium.
Warriors head coach Lineen told www.glasgowwarriors.org: “Next Saturday is shaping up to be a very memorable night in the history of the club, and it will be great for the supporters to be able to show their appreciation of a group of players who have given a lot to the cause.
“I’m sure the fans will also be looking forward to thanking Gary Mercer, who has played a major role in the improvement of our defence over the years.
“It’s the nature of professional rugby that players come and go, but it’s important to recognise the contribution of those that are moving on, and our supporters will certainly have taken a lot of pleasure from watching these guys through the seasons.
“Players like Johnnie, Calum, Richie, Fergus, Rob Dewey and Colin have been part of the furniture here for a lengthy period of time, and I’m sure will continue to hold Glasgow Warriors close to their hearts going forward.
“Even guys such as Federico Aramburu, David Lemi and Rob Verbakel, who’ve been here for a shorter spell, have really grasped and bought into what this club is all about, and have given everything to be part of our drive for success.
“From a personal point of view, it will be really nice to have the opportunity to show my own appreciation for the backing that the supporters have provided in my nine years at the Warriors.
“First and foremost, though, it’s about getting the win that would confirm our place in the play-offs and give us a shot at third place.
"We haven't beaten Connacht in our last three games against them, and they're gunning to qualify for the Heineken Cup, so it's going to be another massive test."
Warriors managing director Nathan Bombrys said: “On behalf of the club, I would like to thank all of these players for their outstanding service to Glasgow Warriors. We wish them all the best with their future careers, and we look forward to sending them off on a high next Saturday against Connacht, and possibly with two additional matches after that.”
Standalone tickets for the Connacht game are on sale now 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.
Supporters who book in advance online or over the phone will receive a £5 discount on the match-day adult price.
We’ve also put in place a super saver joint ticket covering the crucial Connacht clash and the Saturday of the Emirates Airline Glasgow 7s taking place at Scotstoun Stadium earlier in the day.
Fans can book a £2 one-way bus transfer from Scotstoun and Firhill to take the hassle out of travelling between the two great events. Seats on this service are strictly limited and are selling fast.
The joint tickets and bus transfers can be purchased via www.glasgowwarriors.org or by calling 0844 800 3490.
FEDERICO ARAMBURU – 40 Warriors appearances, 20 points (4T)
JOHNNIE BEATTIE – 136 Warriors appearances, 55 points (11T)
ROB DEWEY – 26 Warriors appearances, 20 points (4T)
CALUM FORRESTER – 46 Warriors appearances, 5 points (1T)
RICHIE GRAY – 45 Warriors appearances, 20 points (4T)
DAVID LEMI – 10 Warriors appearances, 0 points
COLIN SHAW – 72 Warriors appearances, 55 points (11T)
FERGUS THOMSON – 124 Warriors appearances, 20 points (4T)
ROB VERBAKEL – 10 Warriors appearances, 0 points