Preview: Glasgow v Scarlets

Date published: March 21 2014


Glasgow begin the defence of their PRO12 title at home to the Scarlets on Saturday and Gregor Townsend has given a start to lock Scott Cummings.

The 18-year-old, who is part of the BT Sport Scottish Rugby Academy Stage 3 group, makes his first competitive appearance in the engine room, after coming off the bench against Clermont and Canada during pre-season. He starts alongside Rob Harley, who returns from the Scotland squad.

In total there are ten internationals named in the XV and five on the bench.

Glenn Bryce moves from centre to full-back to make his first competitive start, with captain Peter Murchie partnering Fraser Lyle in midfield.

Scotland internationals Rory Hughes and Lee Jones line up on either wing, while the returning Scott Wight starts at fly-half and Grayson Hart makes his competitive debut for the club at scrum-half, after joining from Edinburgh.

In the front-row Jerry Yanuyanutawa starts at loosehead, with Mike Cusack given the nod at tighthead and Pat MacArthur at hooker.

Harley and Cummings combine in the second-row, while Adam Ashe returns from Scotland duty and starts at number eight. Josh Strauss, who has been named in Scotland's 31-man Rugby World Cup squad, moves to blindside flanker, with Chris Fusaro continuing at openside.

"We're excited about playing at Scotstoun for the first time this season and we're expecting a capacity crowd to get behind the team," said Glasgow Warriors head coach Gregor Townsend.

"Scarlets are a tough side and we know we'll need to be at our best tomorrow night in order to start the season with a positive result. 

"Scott (Cummings) has worked really hard during pre-season and has earned his start and Robbie (Fergusson) has also done really well over the last few weeks and could feature at some point.

"We have real depth to our squad and the Rugby World Cup period is an opportunity for our players to show what they can do and we're looking forward to seeing them all represent the club."

Meanwhile, Scarlets' Scottish international back-rower, and former Glasgow Warrior John Barclay, has been named in the starting XV to take on his former side in the opening round of the campaign.

Barclay is named in a strong Scarlets side to take on the champions with fellow international Rob Evans named on the bench having returned from Wales' Rugby World Cup training camp.

With captain and vice captain Ken Owens and Scott Williams on international duty Hadleigh Parkes has once again been handed the captain's armband by head coach Wayne Pivac.

Parkes is joined in the back three by Steffan Evans and former flying Fijian winger Michael Tagicakibau.

Experienced centre Regan King is joined in the centre by Gareth Owen with Aled Davies and Wales U20s fly-half Daniel Jones making up the half-back pairing.

The pack has a wealth of experience starting with a front-row of Phil John, Emyr Phillips and Peter Edwards who have amassed nearly 450 appearances between them. Newcomer Tom Price and Lewis Rawlins pair up in the second-row with Aaron Shingler making a return to the back-row after a pre-season injury as he links up with Barclay and James Davies.

Form: Champions Glasgow Warriors' only defeat in their last eight Guinness PRO12 fixtures was 10-21 to Ospreys at Liberty Stadium in Round 21. The Scotsmen have begun the last two seasons with an opening weekend victory at Scotstoun Stadium. The Warriors have won their last twenty encounters at the venue in the PRO12 since the Dragons won there in November 2013. Scarlets won their final four games of the 2014/15 season but have not won five in a row since April 2013. The Welshmen play away from home in round 1 for the first time since 2010, when they visited Treviso and lost 28-34. Scarlets' only victory over Glasgow in their last four meetings was 19-9 at Parc y Scarlets last November whilst their only previous victory at Scotstoun was 18-13 in September 2012.

The teams:

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

Scarlets: 15 Steffan Evans, 14 Hadleigh Parkes (c), 13 Regan King, 12 Gareth Owen, 11 Michael Tagicakibau, 10 Daniel Jones, 9 Aled Davies, 8 John Barclay, 7 James Davies, 6 Aaron Shingler, 5 Lewis Rawlins, 4 Tom Price, 3 Peter Edwards, 2 Emyr Phillips, 1 Phil John.
Replacements: 16 Kirby Myhill, 17 Rob Evans, 18 Will Taylor, 19 George Earle, 20 Rory Pitman, 21 Rhodri Williams, 22 Aled Thomas, 23 Tom Williams.

Date: Saturday, September 5
Venue: Scotstoun Stadium
Kick-off: 17:15 local (16:15 GMT)
Referee: Gary Conway (Wales)
Assistant referees: Neil Paterson (Scotland), Bob Nevins (Scotland)
Television match official: Jim Yuille (Scotland)
Timekeeper: John McLaughlin (Scotland)
Assessor: Jim Fleming (Scotland)