Preview: Connacht v Glasgow

Date published: February 17 2011

Scotland fly-half Ruaridh Jackson will start for Glasgow Warriors in Friday's Magners League clash against Connacht at the Sportsground.

Scotland fly-half Ruaridh Jackson will start for Glasgow Warriors in Friday's Magners League clash against Connacht at the Sportsground.
The 23-year-old, who came off the bench in Scotland's opening Six Nations loss to France and was an unused substitute in the defeat to Wales, is the only change to the Warriors team from the side which lost 26-15 to Cardiff Blues last Friday.
Duncan Weir will move to the bench in place of Colin Shaw, who drops out of the 23 altogether for the match at the Galway Sportsground.
“It's great to have Ruaridh back because he's been playing so well for us,” said Glasgow coach Sean Lineen.
“Obviously Duncan had a solid game last weekend so it's fantastic to have both young 10s back together and battling it out.”
Glasgow lie tenth in the 12-team table, with Connacht a place below them.
“Don't underestimate Connacht. We have a lot of respect for them because Connacht is a difficult place to go, they don't lose many games at home,” added Lineen.
“There is a lot of pressure on us to get the result we need. We have to get back to our winning ways and we know that.
“There are nine games to go and we are in charge of those. It's how we perform in these games that will depend on how we go into what is a World Cup season.”
Meanwhile, after last weeks victory over the Scarlets, Connacht coach Eric Elwood has made only two changes to the starting line-up.

Hooker Sean Cronin returns from international duty and replaces Adrian Flavin while Ray Ofisa starts at number eight ahead of Mike McComish.

The back-line remains unchanged with Troy Nathan and Niva Ta'auso making up the centre partnership and Fionn Carr, Brian Tuohy and Gavin Duffy completing the back three.

Johnny O'Connor continues to captain the side from flanker and is joined on the otherside of the scrum by fellow Galway native Andrew Browne.

Form: Connacht beat Glasgow 19-17 at Firhill in round three and have never before achieved a season's double over the Scotsmen. Connacht have won their last three matches in all competitions, since their 16-17 reversal at Newport Gwent Dragons in the Magners League on 6 January. Connacht have lost just one of their last four matches against Scottish opponents. Glasgow Warriors have lost their last three games in the Magners League, since beating Edinburgh at Firhill on 27 December. The Warriors 23-16 victory at the Dragons in the European Cup ended a nine game losing run on the road in all competitions.

The teams:

Connacht: 15 Gavin Duffy, 14 Brian Tuohy, 13 Niva Ta'auso, 12 Troy Nathan, 11 Fionn Carr, 10 Ian Keatley, 9 Frank Murphy, 8 Ray Ofisa, 7 Johnny O'Connor (c), 6 Andrew Browne, 5 Mike McCarthy, 4 Michael Swift, 3 Jamie Hagan, 2 Sean Cronin, 1 Brett Wilkinson
Replacements: 16 Adrian Flavin, 17 Ronan Loughney, 18 Rodney Ah You, 19 Bernie Upton, 20 Mike McComish, 21 Cillian Willis, 22 Mia Nikora, 23 Shane Monahan.

Glasgow: 15 Bernardo Stortoni, 14 Hefin O'Hare, 13 Federico Aramburu, 12 Peter Murchie, 11 DTH van der Merwe, 10 Ruaridh Jackson, 9 Colin Gregor (c), 8 Johnnie Beattie, 7 Calum Forrester, 6 Robert Harley, 5 Tom Ryder, 4 Aly Muldowney, 3 Ed Kalman, 2 Fergus Thomson, 1 Ryan Grant
Replacements: 16 Finlay Gillies, 17 Jon Welsh, 18 Kevin Tkachuk, 19 Ryan Wilson, 20 Chris Fusaro, 21 Henry Pyrgos, 22 Duncan Weir, 23 Peter Horne

Date: Friday, 18 February
Venue: The Sportsgound
Kick-off: 19.00 GMT