Preview: Glasgow v Ospreys

Date published: October 28 2011

Glasgow coach Sean Lineen has made six changes for his side's RaboDirect PRO12 clash against the unbeaten Ospreys.

Glasgow coach Sean Lineen has made six changes for his side's RaboDirect PRO12 clash against the unbeaten Ospreys.

Warriors are boosted by the return of a number of their World Cup stars and they'll need all their resources when they come up against the table-topping Welsh outfit.

Amongst the forwards, skipper Alastair Kellock and Richie Gray form an all-new second row combination while Pat MacArthur replaces Finlay Gillies at hooker. Ryan Wilson starts at number eight in place of Johnnie Beattie.

In the back-line, Chris Cusiter replaces Colin Gregor at scrum-half and Graeme Morrison comes in at inside centre. Morrison will be making his 150th appearance for Glasgow.

Dougie Hall and John Barclay will make their returns from the bench but Ruaridh Jackson, Moray Low and DTH van der Merwe all miss out through injury.

Lineen is well aware of the importance of the encounter, with his side having built up some momentum in past weeks.

“It's an absolutely massive game for us on Friday night, and a real opportunity for the guys to kick on from the wins they've recorded away to Cardiff and at home to Dragons in the last two games,” he said.

“I've some welcome selection headaches, because so many of the players who weren't involved with the World Cup really put their hands up and impressed in the first six games of the season.

“It's fantastic to have a good number of our leading international players back in the mix this weekend, and we'll be looking to them to lead from the front as usual.”

Meanwhile, Ospreys coach Scott Johnson is keen for his team to extend their lead at the top of the table.

“It's good to be able to go into this period of the season with six from six, but we realise that the hard work that got us to the top of the table will count for nothing if we don't follow it up with more hard work, effort and good performances,” he said.

“We have a big two months ahead of us, with some huge PRO12 games, Europe, and Welsh derbies, so it's an exciting time to be an Osprey, be it as a player, coach or supporter.

“We are looking to get the right blend over the next few weeks, between rewarding boys who've done so well in the opening weeks and introducing players coming into the environment from the World Cup.

“It's not easy, it's another challenge, but if the attitude and desire is right, then we can have a big impact in this period.

“It's going to be tough, it will be a challenge, it always is against Glasgow, and we are going to have to be at the top of our game if we are going to get something out of it. The boys will need to prepare properly, be focused, pay attention to detail, know their roles and get the basics right. Do that and the performance will follow,” added Johnson.

Form: Glasgow Warriors have won three of their last four RaboDirect PRO12 matches, although their 24-19 victory in their most recent home game against Newport Gwent Dragons on 7 October ended a four game losing streak at Firhill. The Warriors have won both their matches against Welsh sides so far this season. Ospreys have won their opening six games of the RaboDirect PRO12 season – another win would equal their own record for the best ever start to a season since the tournament went season-long in 2003/04. An Ospreys win would also be their 100th in the history of the tournament. Glasgow have won just one of their last seven encounters with Ospreys: 31-23 at Firhill on 24 October 2010.

The teams:

Glasgow: 15 Stuart Hogg, 14 Tommy Seymour, 13 Rob Dewey, 12 Graeme Morrison, 11 Colin Shaw, 10 Duncan Weir, 9 Chris Cusiter, 8 Ryan Wilson, 7 Chris Fusaro, 6 Robert Harley, 5 Alastair Kellock (c), 4 Richie Gray, 3 Michael Cusack, 2 Pat MacArthur, 1 Ryan Grant.
Replacements: 16 Dougie Hall, 17 Gordon Reid, 18 Ed Kalman, 19 Tom Ryder, 20 John Barclay, 21 Colin Gregor, 22 Troy Nathan, 23 Federico Aramburu.

Ospreys: 15 Richard Fussell, 14 Tommy Bowe, 13 Sonny Parker, 12 Andrew Bishop, 11 Eli Walker, 10 Matthew Morgan, 9 Rhys Webb, 8 Jonathan Thomas (c), 7 Joe Bearman, 6 Tom Smith, 5 Ian Evans, 4 Ian Gough, 3 Cai Griffiths, 2 Mefin Davies, 1 Duncan Jones.
Replacements: 16 Richard Hibbard, 17 Aaron Jarvis, 18 Ryan Bevington, 19 James King, 20 George Stowers, 21 Kahn Fotuali'i, 22 Ashley Beck, 23 Hanno Dirksen.

Date: Friday, October 27
Kick-off: 19:05 (18:05 GMT)
Venue:Firhill Stadium
Referee: Carlo Damasco
Assistant Referees: Andrew McMenemy, Iain Bruce
TMO: Jim Yuille