Preview: Zebre v Glasgow Warriors

Date published: October 7 2016

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Zebre head coach Gianluca Guidi has made six changes to his matchday squad for their match against Glasgow Warriors in Parma on Saturday.

Lock George Biagi, prop Pietro Ceccarelli, hooker Oliviero Fabiani, Maxime Mbandà and number eight Andries Van Schalkwyk all return to the starting line-up while Marcello Violi has returned from knee surgery to be included on the bench.

For the Warriors Robert McAlpine comes into the starting line-up to join Rob Harley in the second-row.

Ryan Wilson returns to the side as captain, having missed the victory in Newport. He'll start at number eight in Parma, with Josh Strauss moving across the back-row to blindside and last week's Man of the Match Fraser Brown once again starts on the open flank.
 
The newest Glasgow Warriors centurion Sean Lamont starts for the first time this season on the right wing having reached a century of caps against Connacht on the opening weekend. Lee Jones is named as the other winger and Peter Murchie retains his spot at full-back.
 
It is a brand new centre partnership with Sam Johnson and Nick Grigg combining in midfield for Glasgow for the first time, after teaming up for Stirling County last weekend. Ali Price and Rory Clegg who came on as replacements last weekend, will once again combine in the half-backs, the scrum-half getting on the score board the last time he started a match, which was against Cardiff Blues three weeks ago.
 
Corey Flynn, who opened his Warriors try-scoring account against the Dragons, starts his second consecutive game at hooker and he is joined in the front-row by Gordon Reid and Sila Puafisi.
 
On the bench Leonardo Sarto could feature against his former club should he come on whilst BT Sport Scottish Academy second-row Callum Hunter-Hill could make his Warriors debut.
 
Stuart Hogg returns to the match-day 23 having been rested last week and Grayson Hart is the replacement scrum-half. Brothers Zander and Matt Fagerson have the opportunity to play together for the Warriors for the first time as they both start on the bench. James Malcolm and Djustice Sears-Duru complete the replacements.
 
Glasgow Warriors head coach Gregor Townsend said: "Robert McAlpine has worked hard since he joined us last week and we look forward to him playing alongside Rob Harley. Callum Hunter-Hill impressed us with his workrate during pre-season against Harlequins, and now has an opportunity to make an impact from the bench.
 
"Zebre have shown that they are very strong at home, with a narrow defeat to Cardiff a couple of weeks ago and an impressive first-half performance against Connacht the previous week. Unfortunately for them, the match was then postponed and I'm sure that they will be very determined to carry on this home form against us. We will have to be accurate and work hard to win out in Parma."

Form: Zebre have won just one of their last seven fixtures against Scottish opponents: 19-11 over Edinburgh in Parma 12 months ago and have never previously won in Scotland. Glasgow Warriors returned to winning ways at Dragons on Friday following a pair of reversals, to Cardiff Blues and Ulster. The Scotsmen have won their last 19 encounters with Italian opponents since tripping up at home to Treviso (at Firhill) in September 2011. Zebre have yet to beat Glasgow in eight previous meetings and have not tallied a losing bonus point against them for over three years.

The teams:

Zebre: 15 Edoardo Padovani, 14 Kayle Van Zyl, 13 Giulio Bisegni, 12 Tommaso Castello, 11 Giovanbattista Venditti, 10 Carlo Canna, 9 Guglielmo Palazzani, 8 Andries Van Schalkwyk, 7 Johan Meyer, 6 Maxime Mbandà, 5 George Biagi (c), 4 Joshua Furno, 3 Pietro Ceccarelli, 2 Oliviero Fabiani, 1 Andrea Lovotti
Replacements: 16 Carlo Festuccia, 17 Bruno Postiglioni, 18 Dario Chistolini, 19 Quintin Geldenhuys, 20 Federico Ruzza, 21 Marcello Violi, 22 Tommaso Boni, 23 Lloyd Greeff

Glasgow Warriors: 15 Peter Murchie, 14 Sean Lamont, 13 Nick Grigg, 12 Sam Johnson, 11 Lee Jones, 10 Rory Clegg, 9 Ali Price, 8 Ryan Wilson (c), 7 Fraser Brown, 6 Josh Strauss, 5 Robert McAlpine, 4 Robert Harley, 3 Sila Puafisi, 2 Corey Flynn, 1 Gordon Reid
Replacements: 16 James Malcolm, 17 Djustice Sears-Duru, 18 Zander Fagerson, 19 Callum Hunter-Hill, 20 Matt Fagerson, 21 Grayson Hart, 22 Stuart Hogg, 23 Leonardo Sarto

Date: Saturday, October 8
Venue: Stadio Sergio Lanfranchi
Kick-off: 17:05 local (15:05 GMT)
Referee: Lloyd Linton (Scotland) 
Assistant Referees: Cammy Rudkin (Scotland), Andrea Spadoni (Italy) 

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