25/10/2019 – Guinness PRO14 Communications – Matawalu returns for Dragons clash

Niko Matawalu makes an immediate return to Glasgow Warriors action after his Rugby World Cup exploits, with the Fijian named on the wing by Dave Rennie for Saturday’s visit to the Dragons.

The club centurion is one of four changes to the starting XV from the side that claimed victory over Cardiff Blues last time out, as the Warriors go in search of a first away win of the new campaign.

Glenn Bryce comes into the side at full-back, as Kyle Steyn joins Matawalu on the wings.

Stafford McDowall and Nick Grigg continue as the centre partnership, with Nick Frisby and Brandon Thomson once again named as the starting half-backs.

Having missed the victory over Cardiff due to a head knock, Oli Kebble returns to pack down at loose-head prop having successfully completed the return-to-play protocols.

Grant Stewart and Adam Nicol join Kebble in the front-row, with Rob Harley and Kiran McDonald continuing in an unchanged second-row.

The final change to the starting line-up comes in the back-row, as Adam Ashe lines up at blindside flanker for his first appearance of the new campaign.

Callum Gibbins will once more captain the side from the openside flank, with Matt Fagerson starting at number eight.

Andrew Davidson could make his first appearance since suffering a head injury in the opening match of the season in Bloemfontein, after the second-rower was named amongst the replacements by Rennie and his coaching team.

Alex Allan and Ruaridh Jackson rotate to the bench after starting against the Blues, with Jamie Dobie and Johnny Matthews continuing as scrum-half and hooker cover respectively.

D’arcy Rae, Chris Fusaro and Huw Jones round out the replacements, as the Warriors look to secure a first victory at Rodney Parade since September 2016 after a 15-15 draw in 2017.

Speaking ahead of the trip to Newport, Rennie said: “Niko (Matawalu) has been bouncing out of his skin to play since he came back. He brings a lot of energy and we’re looking forward to seeing him back out there.

“Glenn (Bryce) is also back in – he’s looking really sharp with ball in hand and we want to make sure he’s in the game a lot.

“It’s good to have Adam (Ashe) back in too – we’d planned to start him against the Scarlets, but he suffered a concussion in the build-up.

“We’re well aware of the challenge ahead at Rodney Parade. They’re a handful, a tough pack with genuine game breakers out wide.”

Glasgow Warriors team to play Dragons in the Guinness PRO14, Saturday 26 October, kick-off 3pm, live on Premier Sports 2.

Glasgow Warriors appearances in brackets:

1. Oli Kebble (34)
2. Grant Stewart (27)
3. Adam Nicol (12)
4. Rob Harley (215)
5. Kiran McDonald (19)
6. Adam Ashe (71)
7. Callum Gibbins (C) (37)
8. Matt Fagerson (51)

9. Nick Frisby (16)
10. Brandon Thomson (23)
11. Niko Matawalu (115)
12. Stafford McDowall (15)
13. Nick Grigg (58)
14. Kyle Steyn (13)
15. Glenn Bryce (22)

Replacements

16. Johnny Matthews (2)
17. Alex Allan (93)
18. D’arcy Rae (64)
19. Andrew Davidson (3)
20. Chris Fusaro (167)
21. Jamie Dobie (3)
22. Huw Jones (23)
23. Ruaridh Jackson (154)

Not available due to injury: Siua Halanukonuka (calf), Lee Jones (Hamstring), Sean Kennedy (foot), Ali Price (foot), Tim Swinson (head) and Jale Vakaloloma (shoulder).