Preview: Glasgow v Leicester

Date published: October 13 2016

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Scotland loosehead prop Gordon Reid will make his 100th appearance for Glasgow in their Champions Cup opener against Leicester on Friday.

Reid continues at loosehead following the bonus-point win in Parma last weekend, with Zander Fagerson coming in at tighthead and Fraser Brown keeping his place at hooker.

Fresh from signing a new contract with Glasgow through until May 2019, Stuart Hogg returns at full-back, with Italian international Leonardo Sarto coming in on the right wing and Rory Hughes will make his European debut for the club on the opposite side.

Alex Dunbar and Sam Johnson combine in midfield, with Finn Russell returning at fly-half and Henry Pyrgos coming back in at scrum-half.

Tim Swinson returns from injury and will partner Jonny Gray in the engine room, after the Scotland international was rested last weekend.

Rob Harley moves from second-row to blindside flanker, with Ryan Wilson and Josh Strauss switching places, with Wilson starting at openside and Strauss at number eight.

Meanwhile, Matt Toomua will make his Leicester Tigers debut in the fixture at Scotstoun.

Australia international Toomua lines up at centre as the Tigers kick-off a 20th season in Europe’s elite club competition.

Tom Brady makes his first European appearance for the club after scoring a try in the Premiership win over Worcester Warriors at Welford Road last weekend.

In the forward pack, Mike Fitzgerald starts in the back-row as Mike Williams is ruled out with a broken arm.

Ed Slater returns from an ankle injury to join the matchday squad and Freddie Burns is also fit to return this weekend.

Form: The clubs have met five times previously in Europe with Leicester winning four, however, their last clash was back in January 2001. All five previous matches have been decided by margins of 12 points. The first encounter was won by Leicester by a 71-point margin which still stands as Tigers’ biggest win and Glasgow’s biggest defeat in Europe. Glasgow won two of their three pool stage games at home last season, restricting the opposition to six points or fewer on each occasion. Leicester Tigers scored 3.9 tries per game on average in last season’s Champions Cup, more than any other club. Glasgow had the best scrum success last season (97%), losing just one of 34 scrums on their own put-in. Glasgow need just 10 points to reach 2,000 in the European Cup history. They’ve scored 1,990 to date in 103 games at an average of 19.3 points per game. Glasgow conceded 52 penalties in last season’s competition at an average of 8.7 per game, fewer than any other club. Tigers captain, Tom Youngs, was the top lineout thrower in the competition last season hitting his man with 66 of his 70 throws. Leicester’s Peter Betham made 12 offloads in last season’s competition, the joint most of any player and level with Wasps’ number eight Nathan Hughes.

The teams:

Glasgow: 15 Stuart Hogg, 14 Leonardo Sarto, 13 Alex Dunbar, 12 Sam Johnson, 11 Rory Hughes, 10 Finn Russell, 9 Henry Pyrgos (cc), 8 Josh Strauss, 7 Ryan Wilson, 6 Rob Harley, 5 Jonny Gray (cc), 4 Tim Swinson, 3 Zander Fagerson, 2 Fraser Brown, 1 Gordon Reid
Replacements: 16 Pat MacArthur, 17 Alex Allan, 18 Sila Puafisi, 19 Matt Fagerson, 20 Lewis Wynne, 21 Ali Price, 22 Mark Bennett, 23 Sean Lamont

Leicester: 15 Telusa Veainu, 14 Adam Thompstone, 13 Mathew Tait, 12 Matt Toomua, 11 Tom Brady, 10 Owen Williams, 9 Ben Youngs, 8 Lachlan McCaffrey, 7 Brendon O’Connor, 6 Mike Fitzgerald, 5 Graham Kitchener, 4 Dom Barrow, 3 Dan Cole, 2 Tom Youngs (c), 1 Ellis Genge
Replacements: 16 Harry Thacker, 17 Logovi’i Mulipola, 18 Greg Bateman, 19 Ed Slater, 20 Will Evans, 21 Sam Harrison, 22 Freddie Burns, 23 Peter Betham

Date: Friday, October 14
Venue: Scotstoun Stadium
Kick-off: 19:45 BST (18:45 GMT)
Referee: Mathieu Raynal (France)

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