Preview: Glasgow v Zebre

Date published: April 28 2016

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Rob Harley will captain Glasgow Warriors for their final home game of the regular season against Zebre at a sold-out Scotstoun Stadium.

A win for the Warriors would secure their place in the PRO12 play-offs for the fifth consecutive season.

A number of players could be making their final appearances for the Warriors at Scotstoun with Glenn Bryce, Taqele Naiyaravoro, Duncan Weir, Jerry Yanuyanutawa and Leone Nakarawa included in the starting XV.

Bryce comes in for Stuart Hogg at full-back, Naiyaravoro replaces Tommy Seymour on the right wing and Sean Lamont comes in for Lee Jones on the left flank.

Mark Bennett and Alex Dunbar continue their centre partnership, with Weir in for Finn Russell and Grayson Hart replacing Henry Pyrgos at stand-off and scrum-half respectively.

Yanuyanutawa, Pat MacArthur and D’arcy Rae make up an all-new front-row, with Rae making his seventh appearance for the club and first start at Scotstoun.

Greg Peterson comes in for Tim Swinson and links up with Nakarawa in the second row.

Harley once again starts at blindside flanker, with Simone Favaro returning at openside in place of Ryan Wilson and Adam Ashe coming in for Josh Strauss at number eight.
 
Glasgow Warriors head coach Gregor Townsend said: “We’ve had a good few weeks on and off the field and we’re looking forward to being back at Scotstoun tomorrow night for our final regular season home match.

“Zebre are challenging Treviso for a place in next season's Champions Cup and they'll be coming here looking for a result to get them over the line, so we'll have to be at our best to deliver a positive result. 

"It'll be a particularly special and emotional night with the likes of James Eddie and Mike Blair having announced their retirements, while a number of players could be making their final appearances in a Warriors shirt at Scotstoun.

"The contribution of our Fijian players have definitely formed some special memories here over the last few years and I'm sure our supporters will give them and our other leavers a great reception."

Meanwhile, several Zebre players will miss the game including Dion Berryman, Leonardo Sarto and Valerio Bernabò, while Matteo Pratichetti and Andrea Lovotti.

Back-row Jean Cook will miss the match having left Parma for South Africa due to a serious family matter.

Good news comes from the recovery ofd Andries van Schalkwyk; the number eight is this season's top try scorer with six tries in 12 PRO12 appearances and has prematurely recovered from his muscular problem and will sit on the bench at Scotstoun.

Form: A win for Glasgow Warriors would see them reach the play-offs for a fifth successive season and the chance to defend their title. The Scotsmen have won their last eight PRO12 encounters and another victory would equal their best ever sequence in the tournament set during the 2013/14 campaign. Zebre currently hold the Italian qualification place for next season's Champions Cup, but Treviso are only three points behind them. Zebre have lost their last nine PRO12 encounters since beating Treviso on January 3. The two sides have met on seven previous occasions with Warriors victorious each time with a try bonus in the last six. Zebre's only two losing bonus points were at Scotstoun 2012 and Parma in 2013.

The teams:

Glasgow: 15 Glenn Bryce, 14 Taqele Naiyaravoro, 13 Mark Bennett, 12 Alex Dunbar, 11 Sean Lamont, 10 Duncan Weir, 9 Grayson Hart, 8 Adam Ashe, 7 Simone Favaro, 6 Rob Harley (c), 5 Leone Nakarawa, 4 Greg Peterson, 3 D’arcy Rae, 2 Pat MacArthur, 1 Jerry Yanuyanutawa
Replacements: 16 Fraser Brown, 17 Gordon Reid, 18 Zander Fagerson, 19 Tim Swinson, 20 Ryan Wilson, 21 Ali Price, 22 Finn Russell, 23 Tommy Seymour

Zebre: 15 Ulrich Beyers, 14 Giulio Toniolatti, 13 Tommaso Boni, 12 Gonzalo Garcia, 11 Kayle Van Zyl, 10 Carlo Canna, 9 Luke Burgess, 8 Federico Ruzza, 7 Filippo Cristiano, 6 Emiliano Caffini, 5 Marco Bortolami, 4 Quintin Geldenhuys (c), 3 Dario Chistolini, 2 Oliviero Fabiani, 1 Andrea De Marchi
Replacements: 
16 Bruno Postiglioni, 17 Emiliano Coria, 18 Pietro Ceccarelli, 19 Gideon Koegelenberg, 20 Andries Van Schalkwyk, 21 Guglielmo Palazzani, 22 Giulio Bisegni, 23 Kelly Haimona

Date: Friday, April 29
Venue: Scotstoun Stadium
Kick-off: 19:35 BST (18:35 GMT)
Referee: Andy Brace (Ireland)
Assistant Referees: Graeme Wells (Scotland), Bob Nevins (Scotland)

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