Preview: Zebre v Glasgow

Date published: April 7 2016

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Glasgow have made several changes to their starting XV for Friday's rearranged PRO12 meeting with Zebre at Stadio Sergio Lanfranchi.

Nine players who weren't involved in the win over Treviso last weekend have been included in the Warriors squad.

Alex Dunbar, Tommy Seymour, Duncan Weir, Ali Price, Rob Harley and Ryan Wilson are named in the starting XV, while Pat MacArthur, Zander Fagerson and Greg Peterson are included on the bench.

The game was due to be played in January, but was postponed so the Warriors could play their rescheduled European Rugby Champions Cup fixture with Racing 92.

At full-back Glenn Bryce replaces Stuart Hogg, with the Scotland international not involved this week.

Taqele Naiyaravoro continues on the right wing, while Seymour replaces Sean Lamont on the opposite side.

Dunbar comes in for Mark Bennett at outside centre and Peter Horne once again wears the number 12 shirt, after he scored one of the six tries in the win over Treviso.

It's a new half-back pairing with Weir starting at fly-half and Price named at scrum-half.

Gordon Reid, Fraser Brown and Sila Puafisi once again pack down in the front-row, while Leone Nakarawa replaces Tim Swinson in the second-row and partners club captain Jonny Gray.

Harley comes in for Josh Strauss on the blindside, Wilson replaces Adam Ashe at number eight and Italian international Simone Favaro continues at openside.

Included on the bench is hooker MacArthur, who could feature for the first time in two months after recovering from a hamstring injury.

Glasgow Warriors head coach Gregor Townsend said: "It's been good to have most of the squad together in Italy this week and we've had a productive few days preparing for the game tomorrow night.

"Zebre have beaten Edinburgh, Cardiff and Treviso at home this season and they've also run a number of sides close, so we're expecting a very tough match.

"They have several Italian internationals in their squad and are competing hard with Treviso for a European Rugby Champions Cup place, so we’ll have to be at our best if we’re to come away with a positive result."

Meanwhile, Zebre are boosted by the return of wing Dion Berryman as he lines up alongside Leonardo Sarto and Kayle van Zyl in the back-three.

Guglielmo Palazzani and Carlo Canno form the half-back combination while Gideon Koegelenberg starts at number eight, with Federico Ruzza and Emiliano Caffini on the flanks. Marco Bortolami captains the Zebre side from lock and is joined in the engine room by Quintin Geldenhuys.

Form: This game was rearranged from its original date in January to allow for the completion of the pool phase of the European competitions. Zebre have not won since overcoming Worcester Warriors at Sixways in the European Challenge Cup in January, whilst their most recent Guinness PRO12 victory was in Treviso on 3 January. Defending champions Glasgow Warriors have won their last six Guinness PRO12 encounters since tripping up to Ulster in Belfast on 12 February. The Warriors only previous PRO12 defeat in Italy came on a visit to Treviso in April 2011. The two sides have met on six previous occasions with Glasgow victorious in all six (four with a try bonus point).

The teams:

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

Glasgow: 15 Glenn Bryce, 14 Taqele Naiyaravoro, 13 Alex Dunbar, 12 Peter Horne, 11 Tommy Seymour, 10 Duncan Weir, 9 Ali Price, 8 Ryan Wilson, 7 Simone Favaro, 6 Rob Harley, 5 Jonny Gray, 4 Leone Nakawara, 3 Sila Puafisi, 2 Fraser Brown, 1 Gordon Reid
Replacements: 16 Pat MacArthur, 17 Jerry Yanuyanutawa, 18 Zander Fagerson, 19 Greg Peterson, 20 Adam Ashe, 21 Henry Pyrgos, 22 Finn Russell, 23 Mark Bennett

Date: Friday, April 8
Venue: Stadio Sergio Lanfranchi
Kick-off: 19:30 local (18:30 BST, 17:30 GMT)
Referee: Ian Davies (Wales)
Assistant Referees: Matteo Liperini, Filippo Bertelli (both FIR)
TMO: Stefano Roscini (FIR)

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