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Preview: Glasgow v Ulster

23rd November 2011 16:38

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Andi Kyriacou picture from Dickson Digital

Starting: Andi Kyriacou

Glasgow Warriors will be looking for their fifth-straight RaboDirect PRO12 victory when they run out to take on Ulster at Firhill on Friday.

Head coach Sean Lineen has made six changes to his starting line-up. Samoa World Cup winger David Lemi makes his debut in a backline where Federico Aramburu, Troy Nathan and RDS try-scorer Henry Pyrgos also come into the mix.

Up front, loosehead prop Jon Welsh makes his first start since suffering an ankle injury against the same opponents back in September, while Tom Ryder comes into the second-row.

Having played for Ayr in the British and Irish Cup last weekend, tighthead Moray Low is among the Glasgow replacements and is set to make his first club appearance of the campaign.

"We've freshened things up a little bit this weekend, while also being mindful of the need to have options on the bench for what is sure to be another tight match," Lineen told glasgowwarriors.org.

"David Lemi has already made clear his class in training, and he's the sort of player our fans will really take to. Henry has been progressing well and deserves a start, and it's also really pleasing to have Jon and Moray back fit and chomping at the bit for games.

"Tom Ryder has been one of our most consistent players so far this season, and he's pushing Al [Kellock] and Richie [Gray] very hard. It's great to have that level of competition, as it should raise everyone's game."

Meanwhile, Ulster coach Brian McLaughlin has rested four players and made one positional switch from the starting XV that was defeated 20-9 by Leicester.

Rory Best and Stephen Ferris have been rested as part of the IRFU's player management programme, so Andi Kyriacou and Robbie Diack are direct replacements at hooker and blindside flanker. Chris Henry is also rested by McLaughlin and is replaced by Willie Faloon in the back-row, but the rest of the pack remains unchanged.

In the backs, Craig Gilroy - who like Chris Henry has played in all of Ulster's 10 games so far this season - gets a well earned break from the action. The one positional change sees Simon Danielli move from fullback to his customary wing position in place of Gilroy, while Adam D'Arcy is promoted from the bench to play at the back.

Tim Barker, Mike McComish and Ian Whitten are all named among the replacements.

"Whenever you're playing a Scottish side you've got to make your breakdown as accurate and as positive as possible. They'll be all over you like a rash so we've got to make sure that we're clinical in there and that we're producing the ball," said a wary McLaughlin.

"The other thing is that with Scottish sides buzzing about all over the place, you've got to make sure you keep their forwards all in one place as much as possible. We've talked about varying little things, varying our lineouts and what we're doing off them. Hopefully that will help us as the game progresses."

The defeat at Leicester was one of Ulster's better performances this season to date, but McLaughlin insists there is still plenty to work on:

"Welford Road at the weekend was annoying. We had everything more or less right but we just made little areas at crucial time which cost us. We played through some fantastic phases but made mistakes in crucial areas. If we're going to go on and get to where we want to be as a team then we've got to eradicate those individual errors," he added.

Form: Glasgow Warriors' five game winning run in all competitions was snapped by RaboDirect PRO12 rivals Leinster at the RDS on Sunday. The Warriors have won five of their last six matches in the RaboDirect PRO12 tournament, and have beenn victorious in their last three encounters at Firhill. Ulster's 22-3 triumph over Connacht in round eight ended a four game losing streak in the RaboDirect PRO12. The Ulstermen have won five of their last six clashes against Scottish opponents. Ulster have won their last three matches against the Warriors, and have won on three of their five previous visits to Firhill.

The teams:

Glasgow: 15 Stuart Hogg, 14 David Lemi, 13 Troy Nathan, 12 Graeme Morrison, 11 Federico Aramburu, 10 Duncan Weir, 9 Henry Pyrgos, 8 Ryan Wilson, 7 John Barclay, 6 Robert Harley, 5 Alastair Kellock (capt), 4 Tom Ryder, 3 Michael Cusack, 2 Pat MacArthur, 1 Jon Welsh.
Replacements: 16 Dougie Hall, 17 Ryan Grant, 18 Moray Low, 19 Richie Gray, 20 Chris Fusaro, 21 Chris Cusiter, 22 Alex Dunbar, 23 Colin Shaw.

Ulster: 15 Adam D'Arcy, 14 Andrew Trimble, 13 Darren Cave, 12 Nevin Spence, 11 Simon Danielli, 10 Ian Humphreys, 9 Paul Marshall, 8 Pedrie Wannenburg, 7 Willie Faloon, 6 Robbie Diack, 5 Dan Tuohy, 4 Johann Muller (capt), 3 Declan Fitzpatrick, 2 Andi Kyriacou, 1 Tom Court.
Replacements: 16 Nigel Brady, 17 Paddy McAllister, 18 Adam Macklin, 19 Tim Barker, 20 Mike McComish, 21 Ian Porter, 22 Paddy Jackson, 23 Ian Whitten.

Date: Friday, November 25
Kick-off: 19:35
Venue: Firhill
Referee: Stefano Pennč (Italy)
Assistant referees: Andrew Macpherson (Scotland), Alan Forrest (Scotland)
Television match official: Iain Ramage (Scotland)

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