Russell returns to Warriors starting XV for visit of Ulster

Guinness PRO12 Rugby Editor

22 Sep 2016


Glasgow Warriors and Scotland fly-half Finn Russell will make his return from injury in tomorrow night’s GUINNESS PRO12 clash with Ulster at a sold-out Scotstoun Stadium.

Russell, who has not featured for the Warriors since last season’s Play-Off defeat to Connacht in Galway, will wear the 10 shirt on his 24th Birthday.

BT Sport Scottish Rugby Academy stage 3 player Lewis Wynne will make his first start and fourth appearance for the Warriors lining up at open-side flanker.

Namibian international Tjiuee Uanivi will also make his first start on his third competitive appearance for the club.

On the bench 18-year-old backrower Matt Fagerson, brother of Zander, and 22-year-old second-row Sam Thomson could both feature for the first time.

Stuart Hogg once again lines up at full-back, with Italian international Leonardo Sarto returning to the side and taking his place on the right wing. Tommy Seymour completes the back three.

Mark Bennett comes back into the Warriors midfield after coming off the bench against Cardiff Blues last weekend and he’ll partner the returning Alex Dunbar, who was rested last week.

Scrum-half and co-captain Henry Pyrgos also returns from injury and forms a new half-back partnership with Russell.

It’s the same front-row which started in Cardiff last Friday with Gordon Reid, Fraser Brown and Zander Fagerson all combining.

Co-captain Jonny Gray partners USA international Greg Peterson in the engine room.

In the back-row Ryan Wilson switches to Number 8, with Uanivi coming in at blind-side flanker and Wynne wearing the number 7 shirt.

All tickets for tomorrow night’s game are sold out, but the match will be shown live on BBC Two Scotland.

Glasgow Warriors head coach Gregor Townsend said: “Ulster are a quality team and have recruited very well this season. We know it’ll be a tough test but it’s a game we’re all really looking forward to.

“It’s a boost to have Finn Russell back from injury. He’s been really positive since his return to training and played well for Ayr in the BT Premiership last weekend.

“Tomorrow will be a special occasion for Lewis Wynne and Tjiuee Uanivi, who will make their first starts, and also for Matt Fagerson and Sam Thomson who could make their debuts from the bench.

“Lewis is learning every week and is working hard for the team and deserves his starting place. We’re also looking forward to seeing Tjiuee starting after some impressive appearances off the bench.

“For Matt (Fagerson) and Sam (Thomson) it’s a big opportunity to go out and take the game to Ulster.”

Glasgow Warriors team to play Ulster at Scotstoun Stadium, Friday 23 September (kick-off 7.35pm) – live on BBC Two Scotland:

15. Stuart Hogg
14. Leonardo Sarto
13. Mark Bennett
12. Alex Dunbar
11. Tommy Seymour
10. Finn Russell
9. Henry Pyrgos (Co-Captain)

1. Gordon Reid
2. Fraser Brown
3. Zander Fagerson
4. Greg Peterson
5. Jonny Gray (Co-Captain)
6. Tjiuee Uanivi
7. Lewis Wynne*
8. Ryan Wilson

16. Pat MacArthur
17. Alex Allan
18. Sila Puafisi
19. Sam Thomson*
20. Matt Fagerson*
21. Ali Price
22. Nick Grigg
23. Rory Hughes

Not available due to injury: Adam Ashe (hip / foot), Scott Cummings (shoulder), Simone Favaro (shoulder), Jarrod Firth (knee), Chris Fusaro (knees), Ryan Grant (back), Rob Harley (knee), Peter Horne (hand), D’arcy Rae (back), Josh Strauss (head), Tim Swinson (ribs) and Richie Vernon (shoulder).

* BT Sport Scottish Rugby Academy Stage 3 Player