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Preview: Glasgow v Bath

11th November 2011 09:34

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SKY_MOBILE Richie Gray Glasgow October 2011

At 4: Richie Gray

Glasgow have named departing lock Richie Gray in their starting side for their Heineken Cup clash with Bath.

Head coach Sean Lineen has challenged his team to take their game 'up another gear' when they go on the trail of their fifth consecutive win.

The visit from the struggling Recreation Ground side gives the Warriors the opportunity to claim a third European home win in as many seasons against English opposition, Gloucester and London Wasps having been seen off in December 2009 and January 2011 respectively.

"This is an absolutely massive match for everyone connected with Glasgow Warriors, and we'll have to be right at the top of our game in every aspect of our performance to continue our good recent run," he told glasgowwarriors.org on Friday.

"Bath's record in the tournament speaks for itself. They won it in 1998, reached the semi-finals in 2006 and have made the quarters on three other occasions. That's an indication of the experience and winning mentality they'll bring to the table, and it's going to take a huge effort from us to get the right result.

"The good thing is that we're heading into the match with confidence, having strung together a few wins, and a few different types of win. Last week against Aironi, for example, we really had to tough it out and the guys did well to hold their nerve.

"If we perform as we've shown we can, from the first minute to the last, I've every confidence we'll be right in contention."

Glasgow's XV for Sunday's game shows eight changes from that which ran out in Viadana. Behind the scrum, Stuart Hogg comes in at full-back, Rob Dewey and Graeme Morrison resume their centre pairing, while Colin Shaw replaces Federico Aramburu on the wing.

Up front, meanwhile, hooker Pat MacArthur and tighthead prop Mike Cusack return to the front row, while Rob Harley and Ryan Wilson take up residence in the back-row.

Meanwhile, World Cup squad member Matt Banahan returns to Bath's starting line-up for Sunday's opening Heineken Cup game against Glasgow Warriors at Firhill.

Banahan will partner Dan Hipkiss in the centres, with Matt Carraro ruled out with a broken thumb. Tom Biggs and Olly Woodburn retain their places on the wings, and Nick Abendanon starts at full-back.

Tom Heathcote also returns to the starting line-up at fly-half, renewing his half-back partnership with Michael Claassens.

In the pack, David Flatman is back at loosehead prop, David Wilson starts again at tighthead, and Ross Batty comes in for Lee Mears who picked up an injury in training. Ryan Caldwell comes in to partner Stuart Hooper in the second row and with Ben Skirving also picking up an injury in training this week, Francois Louw shifts onto the blindside and Guy Mercer starts on the openside. Simon Taylor brings up the back of the scrum at eight.

Stephen Donald will look to make his first appearance in the Blue, Black and White, if he comes off the bench. Also on the bench is Mark McMillan, who, if he comes on, will make his first appearance since the LV= Cup against his former club. Jack Cuthbert is ill.

The teams:

Glasgow: 15 Stuart Hogg, 14 Tommy Seymour, 13 Rob Dewey, 12 Graeme Morrison, 11 Colin Shaw, 10 Duncan Weir, 9 Chris Cusiter, 8 Ryan Wilson, 7 John Barclay, 6 Rob Harley, 5 Alastair Kellock, 4 Richie Gray, 3 Michael Cusack, 2 Pat MacArthur, 1 Ryan Grant.
Replacements: 16 Dougie Hall, 17 Gordon Reid, 18 Ed Kalman, 19 Tom Ryder, 20 Chris Fusaro, 21 Henry Pyrgos, 22 Troy Nathan, 23 Federico Aramburu.

Bath: 15 Nick Abendanon, 14 Olly Woodburn, 13 Dan Hipkiss, 12 Matt Banahan, 11 Tom Biggs, 10 Tom Heathcote, 9 Michael Claassens, 8 Simon Taylor, 7 Guy Mercer, 6 Francois Louw, 5 Ryan Caldwell, 4 Stuart Hooper, 3 David Wilson, 2 Ross Batty, 1 David Flatman.
Replacements: 16 Kane Palma Newport, 17 Charlie Beech, 18 Anthony Perenise, 19 David Attwood, 20 Will Spencer, 21 Mark McMillan, 22 Stephen Donald, 23 Sam Vesty.

Date: Sunday, November 13
Kick-off: 12:45
Venue: Firhill
Referee: Christophe Berdos (France)

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