Glasgow Warriors head coach Gregor Townsend is able to bring a number of players back to the front line with hooker Pat McArthur, prop Moray Low and winger DTH van der Merwe all returning from injury and included in the Warriors squad to face Leinster at Scotstoun Stadium this Friday (23 November, kick-off 7.35pm).
Townsend is also able to call on the bulk of the players who were called up for international duty over the last two weeks with Peter Murchie, Tommy Seymour, Alex Dunbar, Tom Ryder and Ruaridh Jackson all starting for the Warriors.
With Henry Pyrgos and Niko Matawalu playing for Scotland and Fiji respectively this weekend, and Chris Cusiter and Murray McConnell not match-fit, the Elite Development scrum-half Sean Kennedy will start for the first time, pairing with Jackson at number 10.
As all other scrum-halves are unavailable for selection, Gala’s George Graham has been training with the squad this week and will take his place on the bench for the visit of Joe Schmidt’s side.
Townsend told www.glasgowwarriors.org : “It’s certainly unusual to have all our four scrum-halves unavailable at the same time but I’ve been very impressed with Sean since he joined us.
“His work ethic and attitude in training are excellent and, even with those other players available, he would be pushing for a starting place.
“George has come in and been very professional in his approach to training. It's a great experience for him as he has impressed a lot of people this year with his performances for Gala.
“In our last game here at Scotstoun we kept up our winning run through some ambitious attacking play allied to strong defence, and that was a great way to enter the international break. But we know as we enter the middle third of the season that it’s going to get much tougher, starting with Leinster.
“They are an exceptionally good side and will be desperate to close the gap in the table to the top four.”
Gregor Townsend’s side are bidding to make it seven wins in a row in the RaboDirect PRO12, and cement their place in the top four of the competition.
MacArthur will line up in the front row with Mike Cusack, who has played in every game so far in the RaboDirect PRO 12, and Gordon Reid who scored against the Dragons in the bonus point win.
Tom Ryder and Tim Swinson are able to renew their second row pairing while the same back-row – as lined up against the Dragons – of Fusaro, Strauss and Harley are also in place. Fusaro once again captains the team.
Townsend continued: “We’ve obviously had a number of players who have been out injured so to be able to bring back Pat and Moray in the front row and have our top try scorer in DTH back as well is great news for the club.
“We can also call on a number of men who have been involved with the Scotland squad over the past few weeks and they’ll all be desperate to prove that they merit involvement with the national side again. I am really looking forward to seeing the team play after an excellent week of training.”
Great Main and North stand seats for the game are now on sale online via www.glasgowwarriors.org and by calling 0844 800 3490. Tickets are also available for the covered East Terrace that was put in place for the recent Ulster match.
Book before midnight on match-day (i.e. Thursday night into Friday morning) to save £5 on match-day adult, student and senior citizen prices.
GLASGOW WARRIORS TEAM TO PLAY LEINSTER IN THE RABODIRECT PRO12 AT SCOTSTOUN STADIUM ON FRIDAY 23 NOVEMBER (kick-off 7.35)
15. Peter Murchie
14. Tommy Seymour
13. Alex Dunbar
12. Peter Horne
11. DTH Van Der Merwe
10. Ruaridh Jackson
9. Sean Kennedy
8. Josh Strauss
7.Chris Fusaro (Capt)
6. Rob Harley
5. Tom Ryder
4. Tim Swinson
2. Pat MacArthur.
1. Gordon Reid
16. Finlay Gillies
17. Ofa Fainga’anuku
18. Moray Low
19. James Eddie
20. Ryan Wilson
21. George Graham
22. Scott Wight
23. Byron McGuigan.
Tickets are available via www.glasgowwarriors.org , by calling 0844 800 3490 (Monday-Friday 9am-5pm) and in person at the Gordon Street and Sauchiehall Street branches of Greaves Sports, our official retail partner.
Book before midnight on Thursday and save £5 on match-day adult, student and senior citizen prices.
The Ticket Centre behind the Main stand at Scotstoun will be open from 10am on Friday.