Preview: Glasgow v Connacht

Date published: September 25 2014

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Gregor Townsend has handed a competitive debut to winger Junior Bulumakau for the visit of Connacht in the PRO12.

The 24-year-old joined the club last month and scored against both Clermont and Canada during pre-season.

He comes into the team for the injured Rory Hughes, and will play on the right wing with Lee Jones moving to the opposite side.

Glenn Bryce once again starts at full-back, with Peter Murchie and Fraser Lyle forming the centre partnership. Rory Clegg and Mike Blair make their first starts for the club at fly-half and scrum-half respectively.

After coming on as a second-half replacement last Saturday, Alex Allan starts the game at loosehead, Pat MacArthur returns from illness at hooker and Mike Cusack is once again named at tighthead.

After an impressive debut last weekend, Scott Cummings continues in the engine room and partners Kieran Low, who makes his first start for the club after featuring off the bench in the defeat to Scarlets.

Rob Harley moves to blindside flanker in place of Josh Strauss, with Adam Ashe and Chris Fusaro continuing at number eight and openside respectively.

Back-row Hugh Blake has been named amongst the replacements and could make his first appearance in a Warriors shirt.

Glasgow Warriors head coach Gregor Townsend said: "We were disappointed to lose our opening game against the Scarlets, but the effort in the second half last week was really encouraging and much more what we expect from our players.

"For those selected to play Connacht, it's an opportunity to put what we've learned last week and what we've been working on in training this week into a much-improved performance."

Meanwhile, Connacht head coach Pat Lam has made one change to his side that defeated the Dragons.

Scrum-half John Cooney will start in the number nine shirt against the defending champions while Kieran Marmion, who was absent from training sessions this week while he recovered from a minor hip injury, is named on the bench.

Up front, captain John Muldoon will line out for his 250th game with his home province and is joined in the back row with the first try scorer of the season Nepia Fox-Matamua and Academy graduate Eoghan Masterson.

Ultan Dillane comes on to the bench to replace the injured Eoin McKeon while Ben Marshall will now cover the back row as well as lock.

Commenting on the team selection and the upcoming game, Lam said: "We understand the enormity of the challenge we have before us against a well-coached Glasgow side stacked full of quality players. We have yet to win at Scotstoun and we're playing the defending champions who will be fired up after last week's defeat.

"But our focus for the growth of our young squad is to compete and perform in challenges like this.

"We have trained well this week and we know only performing as a collective will give us a chance."

Glasgow Warriors: 15 Glenn Bryce, 14 Junior Bulumakau, 13 Peter Murchie (c), 12 Fraser Lyle, 11 Lee Jones, 10 Rory Clegg, 9 Mike Blair, 8 Adam Ashe, 7 Chris Fusaro, 6 Rob Harley, 5 Kieran Low, 4 Scott Cummings, 3 Mike Cusack, 2 Pat MacArthur, 1 Alex Allan
Replacements: 16 Kevin Bryce, 17 Jerry Yanuyanutawa, 18 Zander Fagerson, 19 James Eddie, 20 Tyrone Holmes, 21 Hugh Blake, 22 Grayson Hart, 23 Scott Wight

Connacht: 15 Tiernan O'Halloran, 14 Danie Poolman, 13 Rory Parata, 12 Bundee Aki, 11 Matt Healy, 10 Jack Carty, 9 John Cooney, 8 Eoghan Masterson, 7 Nepia Fox-Matamua, 6 John Muldoon (c), 5 Andrew Browne, 4 Quinn Roux, 3 Rodney Ah You, 2 Tom McCartney, 1 Denis Buckley

Replacements: 16 Dave Heffernan, 17 JP Cooney, 18 Finlay Bealham, 19 Ultan Dillane, 20 Ben Marshall, 21 Kieran Marmion, 22 Craig Ronaldson, 23 Fionn Carr

Date: Friday, September 11
Kick-off: 19:35 local (18:35 GMT)
Venue: Scotstoun Stadium, Glasgow
Referee: Ian Davies (Wales)
Assistant Referees: Sam Groves-White (Scotland), Mike Adamson (Scotland)
TMO: Iain Ramage (Scotland)

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