Preview: Glasgow vs Dragons

Date published: March 3 2017

Lee Jones returns to the Glasgow starting XV for the Dragons’ visit to Scotstoun Stadium this Saturday.

Jones joins fellow winger Rory Hughes in committing his future to the Warriors this season and it is Hughes who starts on the other wing, with try-scorer against the Ospreys Peter Murchie once again named at full-back.

In the centres, Mark Bennett returns at 13 with Nick Grigg inside of him.

Henry Pyrgos came off the bench for Scotland in their victory over Wales at Murrayfield last weekend and he returns to club duty to captain the side.

Joining him in the half-backs is Peter Horne who once again starts the game at fly-half.

In the front-row Corey Flynn was another to get on the scoresheet in Swansea last weekend and he is flanked by Alex Allan and D’arcy Rae.

Tim Swinson returns from Scotland duty to join Brian Alainu’uese in the engine room.

Richie Vernon makes his first start of the season and switches from centre to number eight. He is joined in the back-row by Simone Favaro and Rob Harley.

On the bench Brandon Thomson and Ratu Tagive are in line to make their home debuts.

Glasgow Warriors head coach Gregor Townsend said: “Lee has been involved in some of our best performances this season and reaching 50 appearances shows how hard he has worked since joining the club.

“We are determined to get back to winning ways tomorrow and there is no better place to do that than in front of our home crowd.”

There is a change at fullback as Tom Prydie returns to the team. Adam Warren also returns to the starting XV joining Pat Howard to make up the back three.

There is one change in the centre partnership as Sam Beard is named alongside Tyler Morgan.

It’s all change in the half backs as fly-half Angus O’Brien gets the nod alongside the returning Sarel Pretorius at scrum half. Sarel made his 50th appearance last week against Leinster.

Returning fly-half Angus O’Brien, looking ahead to the trip to Glasgow, said:

“We’ve got to be confident going up there, we have to impose our game on them. We’ve identified what has worked for teams against them and what didn’t. We’ve done our homework and will be prepared.

“Glasgow are a very good team and are always in the top six or pushing for the play-offs. They’ve got a lot of strength and depth and a lot of quality.”

Reflecting on last Friday’s match against Leinster, O’Brien continued:

“It’s been quite an intense week and we had good reviews and discussion on Monday about what went wrong and what we need to work on. It’s been tough.

“It’s never nice losing, especially in front of our crowd. We weren’t expecting that and were disappointed because our Rodney Parade record has been good. It’s a big test but we are confident that we can put a few wrongs right.”

Both the front row and back row remain unchanged, with the only change in the pack coming as James Thomas joins Rynard Landman in the second row.

Among the replacements there is a return to the squad for Charlie Davies, who last played when captaining the side against Gloucester in the Anglo Welsh Cup. Will Talbot-Davies is also named, and is in line to make his PRO12 debut from the bench.

Form: Glasgow Warriors have slipped to three straight defeats in the PRO12 since beating Cardiff Blues at
Scotstoun on 7 January. The Warriors have played seven games against Welsh regions in the PRO12 this season and won just twice. Newport Gwent Dragons’ only victory in the last seven rounds of the PRO12 was when Treviso visited Rodney Parade on 6 January. Dragons have not won away from home in the Championship since a visit to Treviso in March 2015. The Warriors have won their last five matches against the Dragons since the Welshmen’s 24-23 success in Newport in February 2014. Dragons have not been victorious at Scotstoun since November 2013.

The teams:

Glasgow: 15 Peter Murchie, 14 Lee Jones, 13 Mark Bennett, 12 Nick Grigg, 11 Rory Hughes, 10 Peter Horne, 9 Henry Pyrgos(c), 8 Richie Vernon, 7 Simone Favaro, 6 Rob Harley, 5 Brian Alainu’uese, 4 Tim Swinson, 3 D’arcy Rae, 2 Corey Flynn, 1 Alex Allan
Replacements: 16 Pat MacArthur, 17 Jamie Bhatti, 18 Sila Pufasi, 19 Scott Cummings, 20 Chris Fusaro, 21 Nemia Kenatale, 22 Brandon Thomson, 23 Ratu Tagive

Dragons: 15 Tom Prydie, 14 Pat Howard, Adam Warren, 13 Tyler Morgan, 12 Sam Beard, 11 Adam Warren, 10 Angus O’Brien, 9 Sarel Pretorius; 8 Lewis Evans(c) 7 Nic Cudd, 6 Ollie Griffiths, 5 Rynard Landman, 4 James Thomas, 3 Brok Harris, 2 Elliot Dee, 1 Sam Hobbs
Replacements: 16 Rhys Buckley, 17 Thomas Davies, 18 Lloyd Fairbrother, 19 Matthew Screech, 20 Harrison Keddie, 21 Charlie Davies, 22 Dorian Jones, 23 Will Talbot-Davies

Date: Saturday, March 4
Venue: Scotstoun
Kick-off: 15:00 GMT
Referee: Andrew Brace (Ireland)
Assistant Referees: David Wilkinson (Ireland), Dunx McClement (Scotland)
TMO: Brian MacNeice (Ireland)