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Preview: Glasgow v Montpellier

09th December 2011 12:22

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Rory Lamont

Starting for Glasgow: Rory Lamont

Glasgow will look to record a sixth home Heineken Cup win out of seven when they tackle Montpellier at Firhill on Sunday.

The Warriors, who beat Bath at home in Round One but and then lost to Leinster in Dublin, know they need to get a win to keep themselves in the hunt for a quarter-final place in this season's tournament.

The Warriors have lost only one of their last eight games in all competitions, but know they need to raise their performance level "significantly" from Sunday's 14-14 RaboDirect PRO12 draw with Dragons at Rodney Parade.

"We're coming into this game with a decent run of form at our backs, but it's a match where we won't get away with any hint of slackness in any aspect of what we do," Head coach Lineen told glasgowwarriors.org

"Although it's been really pleasing to watch us develop the sort of hard edge that wins you games when you've not played well, we're aware that anything other than our best right across the field is likely to see us come up short this time.

"Montpellier are a hugely physical team with pace and power in the backs and some real tough customers up front. Any side that reaches the Top 14 final, as they did last season, is seriously good by definition, and it's up to us to prove once again that we can live with that sort of outfit."

Only two players, Peter Murchie and Jon Welsh, retain their places in the starting line-up from last weekend in Wales.

Lineen called the selection process for the Montpellier game the "toughest" he and his fellow coaches have experienced in their six years at the club.

"We've debated long and hard and taken a good while to decide on our team, because there were any number of close calls to make a decision on," he explained.

"The number of players who have put their hand up so far this season has put us in a situation where we have to leave out guys who are actually playing well. Troy Nathan and Chris Fusaro, for example, are unlucky to be on the bench this weekend, but as ever we've picked the team we think will win the game.

"The strength in depth we have at the moment is emphasised when you see international players like Moray Low and Johnnie Beattie missing out completely, but these guys know they will get their opportunity to impress and that we need to reward Mike Cusack and Ryan Wilson for the outstanding form they've been showing."

Rory Lamont, who rejoined the club last week, starts on the wing. Lineen commented: "It's great to have Rory back in the ranks, and you can tell there's been a little extra buzz to training this week.

Meanwhile, Montpellier have named a largely second-string team a spate of injuires has depriced them of a host a key players.

Already deprived of the services of skipper Fulgence Ouedraogo (who has been ruled out for three weeks with fractured ribs), full-back Benjamin Thiéry (shoulder) and scrum-half Julien Tomas (shoulder), les Heraultais are obliged to rest fly-half Francois Trinh-Duc this weekend as part of the agreement between Top 14 clubs of the French Federation concerning Test players.

Barnstorming flank Georgian flank Mamuka Gorgodze, aka 'Godzilla' - who was a standout performer at the World Cup - is suffering from fatigue and has been given a rest. The same goes for wing Yoan Audrin .

Former Clermont lock Thibaut Privat, one of Montpol's best players in the narrow loss to Bath in Round Two of the Heineken Cup, is suffering from a knee injury.

Keep an eye on Pumas pivot Santiago Fernandez. who starts at fly-half.

The teams:

Glasgow: 15 Stuart Hogg, 14 Federico Aramburu, 13 Pete Murchie, 12 Graeme Morrison, 11 Rory Lamont, 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 John Welsh.
Replacements: 16 Dougie Hall, 17 Ryan Grant, 18 Ed Kalman, 19 Tom Ryder, 20 Chris Fusaro, 21 Henry Pyrgos, 22 Troy Nathan, 23 Ruaridh Jackson

Montpellier:15 J-B Peyras Loustalet, 14 Pierre Bérard, 13 Paul Bosch, 12 Thomas Combezou, 11 Martin Bustos Moyano, 10 Santiago Fernandez, 9 Eric Escande, 8 Alex Tulou, 7 Rémy Martin, 6 Vassili Bost, 5 Drickus Hancke, 4 Joe Tuineau, 3 George Jgenti, 2 Mickael Ladhuie, 1 Goderzi Shvelidze.
Replacements: 16 Joan Caudullo, 17 Mikheil Nariashvili, 18 Kevin Kervarec, 19 Masi Matadigo, 20 kelian galletier, 21 Benoit Paillaugue, 22 Lucas Amorosino, 23 Ilian Perraux,

Date: Sunday, December 11
Venue: Firhill Arena, Glasgow
Kick-off: 12:45 GMT
Referee: Greg Garner

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