Preview: Glasgow Warriors v Racing 92

Date published: December 15 2016

Josh Strauss will make his 100th appearance for Glasgow Warriors in Friday’s Champions Cup clash with Racing 92 at Scotstoun.

Stuart Hogg continues at full-back and Tommy Seymour and Lee Jones complete the back-three. Alex Dunbar, who scored one of the tries last weekend, links up with Sam Johnson in midfield.

Last week’s Man of the Match Finn Russell is at fly-half and Ali Price, who scored Glasgow’s second try in Paris, starts at scrum-half.

In the pack, Gordon Reid, Fraser Brown and Zander Fagerson pack down in the front-row, with Tim Swinson and captain Jonny Gray in the engine room. The back row trio of Rob Harley, Strauss and Ryan Wilson complete the starting line-up, with Simone Favaro missing out through injury.

Chris Fusaro comes onto the bench and Henry Pyrgos, who signed a new two-year deal with the club this week, is once again named amongst the replacements.

Glasgow Warriors head coach Gregor Townsend said: “Both teams will know each other better and the players will have more of an understanding of each other of what is required to win.

“Racing 92 are a quality side and played some excellent rugby against us last weekend. We’ve got to ensure that we deliver an even better performance against them tomorrow.

“It will be a special night for Josh (Strauss) and his family with him making his 100th appearance for the club.

“We can’t wait to get out in front of a sold-out crowd who can bring their energy into our performance and we’re hoping for a really noisy atmosphere tomorrow night.”

Meanwhile, Racing 92 boss Laurent Labit has rung the changes after his side’s 23-14 loss to the Warriors in the corresponding fixture in Paris last weekend.

In the back-line, there are two changes with Teddy Thomas and Marc Andreu coming in for Joe Rococoko and Juan Imhoff on the wings respectively.

Labit has wielded the axe in the forwards with several changes made as his side try to exact revenge on their hosts. Leone Nakarawa shifts from lock to number eight, where he replaces Antonie Claassen while Chris Masoe comes in for Yannick Nyanga on the openside flank.

There’s a brand new second row with South African duo Francois van der Merwe and Gerbrandt Grobler taking over from Nakarawa and Manuel Carizza.

Labit has also named a new front row with Ben Tameifuna and Viliamu Afatia replacing Cedate Gomes Sa and Eddy Ben Arous as the starting props while Camille Chat is preferred to Dimitri Szarzewski at hooker.

Form: Glasgow Warriors earned a historic 23-14 triumph over last season’s finalists at Stade Yves-du-Manoir to boost their push towards the knockout stages. Their third victory on French soil saw them keep pace with Munster in the Pool 1 race. The Warriors are just one point adrift of Munster at the top of the table. Prior to last week’s win over Racing, Glasgow beat Leicester Tigers in their tournament opener before suffering a defeat at Munster. Racing’s opening fixture, against Munster in Paris, was postponed due to the death of the Irish province’s head coach, Anthony Foley, shortly before that fixture. They lost away at Leicester Tigers in their second match before last weekend’s loss at home against the Warriors.

The teams:

Glasgow Warriors: 15 Stuart Hogg, 14 Tommy Seymour, 13 Alex Dunbar , 12 Sam Johnson, 11 Lee Jones, 10 Finn Russell, 9 Ali Price, 8 Josh Strauss, 7 Ryan Wilson, 6 Rob Harley, 5 Jonny Gray (c), 4 Tim Swinson, 3 Zander Fagerson, 2 Fraser Brown, 1 Gordon Reid
Replacements: 16 Corey Flynn, 17 Alex Allan, 18 Sila Puafisi, 19 Brian Alainu’uese, 20 Chris Fusaro, 21 Henry Pyrgos, 22 Mark Bennett, 23 Sean Lamon

Racing 92: 15 Brice Dulin, 14 Teddy Thomas, 13 Casey Laulala, 12 Anthony Tuitavke, 11 Marc Andreu, 10 Dan Carter, 9 Maxime Machenaud, 8 Leone Nakarawa, 7 Chris Masoe, 6 Wenceslas Lauret, 5 Francois van der Merwe, 4 Gerbrandt Grobler, 3 Ben Tameifuna, 2 Camille Chat, 1 Viliamu Afatia
Replacements: 16 Dimitri Szarzewski, 17 Eddy Ben Arous, 18 Cedate Gomes Sa, 19 Thibault Dubarry, 20 Antonie Claassen, 21 Xavier Chauveau, 22 Benjamin Dambielle, 23 Joe Rokocoko

Date: Friday, December 16
Venue: Scotstoun
Kick-off: 19:45 GMT
Referee: George Clancy (Ireland)
Assistant Referees: Leo Colgan (Ireland), John Carvill (Ireland)
TMO: Olly Hodges (Ireland)

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