Preview: Canada v Glasgow

Date published: August 28 2015

Glasgow have made the journey to Novia Scotia this week as they take on Canada, who will be desperate to end their losing run ahead of the RWC.

In an unexpected tweak, the venue for this Saturday's game has been changed from the Wanderers Ground to Graves-Oakley Memorial Park in Nova Scotia.

Despite missing a whole host of international players, the visiting Warriors will boast a strong line-up as former Scotland captain Mike Blair makes his debut.

The experienced scrum-half joined from Newcastle in the off-season along with fly-half Rory Clegg, and the duo will form the half-back pairing on Saturday.

Newly appointed captain Peter Murchie starts at full-back, while Rory Hughes, fresh from his Scotland debut last week, lines up on the left wing, with Lee Jones on the opposite sideline. Glenn Bryce and Fraser Lyle will form the centres.

In the front-row Jerry Yanyanutawa, Pat MacArthur and Zander Fagerson start, while Tim Swinson returns from injury in the locks, alongside Kieran Low.

Josh Strauss is at number eight, with Chris Fusaro and Simone Favaro making up the back-row.

"We've had a really productive few days of training in Halifax and we're looking forward to our final pre-season game against Canada tomorrow," head coach Gregor Townsend told the Glasgow Warriors website ahead of the fixture.

"This is an opportunity for us to work on what we learned against Clermont and build on the work we've put in since that game a fortnight ago.

"We're expecting a tough match against an international side, who will be playing at the Rugby World Cup next month, however we've prepared well and we're excited about the challenge which lies ahead."

Meanwhile, Canadian international DTH Van der Merwe will face his former club side on Saturday. 

Van der Merwe spent the past six seasons with the Warriors and is their all-time leading try scorer. This past season, Van der Merwe along with Connor Braid, who also starts, helped the Warriors secure their first ever PRO12 title. 

Van der Merwe will be joined on the wing by Jeff Hassler with Matt Evans at full-back.

Jamie Cudmore will captain Canada in his return to the national side and will start at lock alongside Evan Olmstead. Saturday's game should also see the return of Jebb Sinclair, who along with Cudmore missed the Pacific Nations Cup. Sinclair is named as a replacement.

Benoit Piffero will get the start at hooker and will be flanked by Djustice Sears-Duru and Andrew Tiedemann on either side. Nanyak Dala and Kyle Gilmour get the nod at flanker with Richard Thorpe playing number eight.

Phil Mack and Nathan Hirayama start as the half-backs with Braid and Ciaran Hearn manning the centre positions.

The teams:

Canada: 15 Matt Evans, 14 Jeff Hassler, 13 Ciaran Hearn, 12 Connor Braid, 11 DTH van der Merwe, 10 Nathan Hirayama, 9 Phil Mack, 8 Richard Thorpe, 7 Nanyak Dala, 6 Kyle Gilmour, 5 Jamie Cudmore (c), 4 Evan Olmstead, 3 Andrew Tiedemann, 2 Benoit Piffero, 1 Djustice Sears-Duru.
Replacements: 16 Hubert Buydens, 17 Ray Barkwill, 18 Doug Wooldridge, 19 Jebb Sinclair, 20 Aaron Carpenter, 21 Jamie Mackenzie, 22 Liam Underwood, 23 Harry Jones, 24 Brett Beukeboom, 25 Phil Mackenzie.

Glasgow: 15 Peter Murchie (c), 14 Lee Jones, 13 Glenn Bryce, 12 Fraser Lyle, 11 Rory Hughes, 10 Rory Clegg, 9 Mike Blair, 8 Josh Strauss, 7 Chris Fusaro, 6 Simone Favaro, 5 Kieran Low, 4 Tim Swinson, 3 Zander Fagerson, 2 Pat MacArthur, 1 Jerry Yanuyanutawa.
Replacements (from): George Hunter, Kevin Bryce, Mike Cusack, Scott Cummings, James Eddie, Will Bordill, Jason Hill, Grayson Hart, Scott Wight, Mark Robertson, Robbie Fergusson and Junior Bulumakau.

Date: Saturday, August 29
Venue: Wanderers Ground, Halifax
Kick-off: 14:00 local (19:00 BST, 18:00 GMT)
Referee: Chris Assmus (Canada)
Assistant referees: David Crisp (Canada), Rose Labreche (Canada)