31/10/2019 – Guinness PRO14 Communications – Rugby World Cup stars return for Kings clash

Six Rugby World Cup stars will make their first appearance of the season for Glasgow Warriors on Friday night, as Dave Rennie makes seven changes to his starting XV ahead of the visit of the Isuzu Southern Kings to Scotstoun.

There are some good seats still available for tomorrow night's game, which sees the Southern Kings from South Africa visit Glasgow for only the second time. Tickets are available from glasgowwarriors.org.

Five of the club’s Scotland contingent come back into the fold for Glasgow’s first home match in three weeks, alongside club record try-scorer DTH van der Merwe.

The Canadian lines up on the wing alongside Niko Matawalu and Glenn Bryce, both of whom retain their places from last weekend’s defeat in Newport.

A new-look centre partnership sees the returning Pete Horne line up inside Huw Jones, with the former Stormer rewarded for his try-scoring impact off the bench last weekend.

George Horne and Adam Hastings start together at half-back for the first time since starring together in Scotland’s victory over Russia in Shizuoka, in which the pair combined for 41 of the men in blue’s 61 points in a resounding victory.

Up front, Zander Fagerson replaces Adam Nicol at tighthead prop, packing down alongside Oli Kebble and Grant Stewart in the front row.

Tim Swinson comes into the squad in place of Adam Ashe after the latter sustained a head knock against the Dragons, lining up alongside Kiran McDonald in the second-row.

Swinson’s inclusion means that Rob Harley reverts to the back-row, with captain Callum Gibbins and Matt Fagerson completing the staring XV.

George Turner is another in line to make his first appearance for the club since returning from World Cup duty, with the hooker lining up amongst the replacements for Friday night’s encounter.

Alex Allan and D’arcy Rae are the replacement props, whilst Andrew Davidson and Chris Fusaro will cover the second and back-rows respectively.

Jamie Dobie continues in the number 21 jersey, whilst Stafford McDowall rotates to the bench for this weekend’s fixture.

The replacements are completed by winger Ratu Tagive, who is in line to make his first competitive appearance for the club since the visit to Munster in February 2018.

Speaking about selection, Rennie said: “It’s been good having some of the Scotland boys back in training this week and competing for their place in the team.

“With experienced players like Zander (Fagerson), George (Horne), Adam (Hastings), Pete (Horne) and DTH (van der Merwe) coming into the team for the first time this season we’re looking for them to lead from the front.

“As always we make our selections based on performance. Glenn Bryce and Kiran McDonald have been rewarded for their recent efforts and retain their place in the team.

“Huw (Jones) played well when he came on last weekend and we’re looking for him to do the same tomorrow against the Kings.

“The Kings are lethal from turnover ball - our accuracy and ability to build pressure through multi-phase ball will be key."

Glasgow Warriors team to play Isuzu Southern Kings in the Guinness PRO14, Friday 1 November, kick-off 7.35pm, live on Premier Sports 1. You can follow the game in the Live Match Centre at glasgowwarriors.org. Glasgow Warriors appearances in brackets.

1: Oli Kebble (35)
2: Grant Stewart (28)
3: Zander Fagerson (81)
4: Tim Swinson (130)
5: Kiran McDonald (20)
6: Rob Harley (216)
7: Callum Gibbins (c) (38)
8: Matt Fagerson (52)

9: George Horne (42)
10: Adam Hastings (32)
11: DTH van der Merwe (115)
12: Pete Horne (159)
13: Huw Jones (24)
14: Niko Matawalu (116)
15: Glenn Bryce (23)

Replacements

16: George Turner (34)
17: Alex Allan (94)
18: D’arcy Rae (65)
19: Andrew Davidson (4)
20: Chris Fusaro (168)
21: Jamie Dobie (4)
22: Stafford McDowall (16)
23: Ratu Tagive (5)

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