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Co-captain Gray returns for Cardiff Blues clash

Jonny Gray

Jonny Gray returns to the Glasgow Warriors starting XV, captaining the side in the Guinness PRO12 game against Cardiff Blues at a sold-out Scotstoun tomorrow evening.

Warriors come into the game off the back of four wins, the most recent away to Benetton Treviso on Hogmanay and Gray is one of nine returning players who did not play in that game.

Peter Murchie and Tommy Seymour retain their place in the back three and are joined by Lee Jones who starts on the left wing after recovering from injury.

In the centres Alex Dunbar and Mark Bennett both return, the duo last combined in Glasgow’s Boxing Day victory over Edinburgh at BT Murrayfield.

Ali Price and Finn Russell start in the half-back positions, with their last outing together coming in the victory over Racing 92 at Scotstoun last month.

It is an unchanged front-row from the Treviso match with Gordon Reid, Pat MacArthur and D’arcy Rae packing down together.

Tim Swinson joins Gray in the second-row and will be flanked by the returning Josh Strauss at blind-side, Simone Favaro at open-side, while Ryan Wilson is at Number 8.

On the bench James Malcolm and Grayson Hart are included in the matchday 23.

Glasgow Warriors head coach Gregor Townsend said: “This will be our last Guinness PRO12 fixture for over a month, so it’s a very important game for us.

“We have built up some good momentum in recent weeks through the hard work of our playing squad, and we face another tough challenge tomorrow night.

“Cardiff have been in the top half of the table for the last 18 months and had a great start to the season, including a win against us.

“They like to play attacking rugby and like us they are used to playing on a fast pitch, so it should be a great occasion in front of another capacity crowd at Scotstoun.”
 
Glasgow Warriors team to play Cardiff Blues in the Guinness PRO12 at Scotstoun Stadium, Saturday 7 January, live on BBC ALBA (kick-off 7.35pm). You can also follow the action on Twitter @GlasgowWarriors. Glasgow Warriors appearances in brackets:

15. Peter Murchie (109)
14. Tommy Seymour (94)
13. Mark Bennett (61)
12. Alex Dunbar (91)
11. Lee Jones (44)
10. Finn Russell (56)
9. Ali Price (34)

1. Gordon Reid (106)
2. Pat MacArthur (145)
3. D’arcy Rae (14)
4. Tim Swinson (89)
5. Jonny Gray CAPTAIN (66)
6. Josh Strauss (101)
7. Simone Favaro (27)
8. Ryan Wilson (122)

Replacements:

16. James Malcolm (15)
17. Alex Allan (38)
18. Zander Fagerson (44)
19. Rob Harley (150)
20. Adam Ashe (31)
21. Grayson Hart (28)
22. Rory Clegg (14)
23. Sean Lamont (107)

Not available due to injury: Scott Cummings (shoulder), Jarrod Firth (neck), Peter Horne (knee / ankle), Rory Hughes (knee), Greg Peterson (shoulder), Sila Puafisi (concussion), Leonardo Sarto (shoulder), Matt Smith (shoulder), Tjuiee Uanivi (shoulder) and Richie Vernon (shoulder).

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