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Preview: Glasgow v Dragons

05th October 2011 11:51

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Sean Lineen Glasgow

Sean Lineen: Wants to avoid home loss

Glasgow will look to record back to back RaboDirect PRO12 wins for the first time this season when they host Dragons at Firhill on Friday.

Sean Lineen's team go into the fixture fresh from securing a bonus point triumph away to Cardiff Blues last Saturday, but mindful of the failure to build on their previous big success on the road, at reigning European champions Leinster.

The week after victory in the RDS, the Warriors fell to a home defeat against Benetton Treviso, and Lineen is anxious to avoid a repeat on a night he describes as "hugely important to our season".

"It's vital that we get another positive result this weekend, both to generate a bit of momentum and to reward our home crowd, who've yet to see us win a competitive game at Firhill this season," The head coach toldglasgowwarriors.org.

"We were very pleased with how things went in Cardiff, but the message all week has been that we've got to avoid the same drop in accuracy and decision-making we saw between the Leinster and Treviso games."

Following the heroics in Cardiff, Lineen has kept changes to a minimum for Friday's match. The back division are retained en-masse, while in the forwards, Ryan Grant and Chris Fusaro come in for Gordon Reid and James Eddie respectively.

Grant and Fusaro, along with Duncan Weir, signed two-year contract extensions on Wednesday that will keep them at the Warriors until at least the end of May 2014.

Meanwhile, Dragons development player Lewis Robling is set to make his first regional start.

Centre Ashley Smith is being rested as a precaution after coming off the pitch against Ulster last weekend following a heavy collision with an Ulster player.

"Lewis has been playing exceptionally well for Newport RFC in the Premiership and I'm sure he'll take this opportunity to impress in the professional game," said Director of Rugby Robert Beale.

"Lewis is seen as a future professional player at the Dragons and this opportunity comes to him in-line with our policy of developing and promoting our players through the academy system"

Pontypool utility back Geraint O'Driscoll and Bedwas prop Keiron Jenkins are also named on the bench.

Form: Glasgow Warriors bonus point victory at Cardiff Blues on Friday now makes it two wins in the last three matches in the RaboDirect PRO12 for the Scotsmen. The Warriors have won just one of their last seven games at Firhill: 25-17 over Treviso on 18 March. All five of Newport Gwent Dragons' encounters in the RaboDirect PRO12 this season have been won by the home side on the day. Dragons have not won on the road in the tournament since they visited Aironi on 20 February. The Welshmen are winless in Scotland since a trip to Edinburgh on 1 November 2009. Dragons have won just one of their last six clashes with Glasgow in all competitions: 23-11 at Rodney Parade on 12 September 2010, whilst their most recent victory at Firhill came on 9 January 2009.

The teams:

Glasgow: 15 Stuart Hogg, 14 Tommy Seymour, 13 Rob Dewey, 12 Troy Nathan, 11 Colin Shaw, 10 Duncan Weir, 9 Colin Gregor, 8 Johnnie Beattie, 7 Chris Fusaro, 6 Rob Harley (c), 5 Rob Verbakel, 4 Tom Ryder, 3 Mike Cusack, 2 Finlay Gillies, 1 Ryan Grant.
Replacements: 16 Pat MacArthur, 17 Gordon Reid, 18 Ed Kalman, 19 James Eddie, 20 Ryan Wilson, 21 Henry Pyrgos, 22 Alex Dunbar, 23 Peter Horne.

Dragons: 15 Martyn Thomas, 14 Mike Poole, 13 Tom Riley, 12 Lewis Robling, 11 Tonderai Chavhanga, 10 Matthew Jones, 9 Wayne Evans, 8 Andrew Coombs, 7 Gavin Thomas, 6 Jevon Groves, 5 Rob Sidoli, 4 Adam Jones, 3 Nathan Buck, 2 Tom Willis (capt), 1 Phill Price.
Replacements:16 Rhys Buckley, 17 Nathan Williams, 18 Kieron Jenkins, 19 Lewis Evans, 20 Hugo Ellis, 21 Joe Bedford, 22 Geraint O'Driscoll, 23 Jason Tovey.

Date: Friday, 7 October
Venue: Firhill
Kick-off: 19.30
Referee: Marius Mitrea ( FIR)
Assistant Referees: Andy Macpherson, Bob Nevins (both SRU)

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