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Preview: Glasgow v Treviso

19th December 2013 11:11

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Tim Swinson Scotland 2013

Returning: Tim Swinson

Scotland second-row Tim Swinson will return to action on Friday when Glasgow Warriors take on Benetton Treviso at Scotstoun.

Swinson has been out of action since Scotland's victory over Japan at the start of November.

In the backs Sean Maitland replaces Stuart Hogg at full-back, Tommy Seymour switches to the right wing and Niko Matawalu moves to the left wing, having started the last two games at scrum-half.

Alex Dunbar and Byron McGuigan continue their centre partnership, with Dunbar set to make his 50th appearance for the Warriors.

Duncan Weir and Chris Cusiter form a new half-pack pairing.

In the forwards Gordon Reid comes in for Ryan Grant at loosehead, Pat MacArthur continues at hooker and Jon Welsh keeps his place at tighthead.

In the second-row Swinson comes in for Leone Nakarawa and Tom Ryder replaces Al Kellock.

In the back-row Josh Strauss comes in for Rob Harley at blind-side, Tyrone Holmes continues at openside and Ryan Wilson keeps his place at number eight.

"We have to put the disappointment of Europe behind us and now concentrate on the league," said head coach Gregor Townsend.

"There is plenty we can learn from our last two performances in the Heineken Cup and that is what we've been working on this week.

"We're sitting third in the Pro12 so we've put ourselves in a good position with our early season form.

"Treviso are a tough side to play against and will provide us with a very physical contest. I expect our players to meet this challenge head on and take the game to our opponents."

Meanwhile, Treviso are set to play their first game without head coach Franco Smith, who stepped down after the brace of Heineken Cup defeats to Ulster.

In his stead, Marius Goosen takes charge of the team, and names Manoa Vosawai and Corniel van Zyl for their 50th domestic appearances.

Mat Berquist starts at fly-half, with Angelo Esposito on the left wing, while Dean Budd comes into the side at openside flanker.

Form: The Warriors have slipped to two defeats in their last four RaboDirect PRO12 fixtures, dropping them from top of the table to third. They won ten successive home games at Scotstoun between December 2012 and October 2013, however since then they have lost their last three matches at the venue in all tournaments. The Scotsmen have been victorious in their last eight contests with Italian opponents, though, since Treviso won 15-13 at Firhill on September 23, 2011. Treviso are winless in their last four RaboDirect PRO12 encounters since beating Connacht 23-3 at Stadio Monigo in round five, although they did draw 26-26 at home to Cardiff Blues last time out. The Italians have won only one away game in any competition in 2013: 41-17 at the Scarlets in the PRO12 in round 22 last season. Treviso's most recent victory in Scotland came against Edinburgh at Murrayfield in October 2012.

The teams:

Glasgow: 15 Sean Maitland, 14 Tommy Seymour, 13 Byron McGuigan, 12 Alex Dunbar, 11 Niko Matawalu, 10 Duncan Weir, 9 Chris Cusiter (c), 8 Ryan Wilson, 7 Tyrone Holmes, 6 Josh Strauss, 5 Tom Ryder, 4 Tim Swinson, 3 Jon Welsh, 2 Pat MacArthur, 1 Gordon Reid
Replacements: 16 Dougie Hall, 17 Jerry Yanuyanutawa, 18 Moray Low, 19 Leone Nakarawa, 20 James Eddie, 21 Chris Fusaro, 22 Henry Pyrgos, 23 Finn Russell

Treviso: 15 Luke McLean, 14 Ludovico Nitoglia, 13 Christian Loamanu, 12 Alberto Sgarbi, 11 Angelo Esposito, 10 Mat Berquist, 9 Edoardo Gori, 8 Robert Barbieri, 7 Dean Budd, 6 Manoa Vosawai, 5 Corniel Van Zyl, 4 Antonio Pavanello (c), 3 Lorenzo Cittadini, 2 Leonardo Ghiraldini, 1 Alberto De Marchi
Replacements: 16 Franco Sbaraglini, 17 Ignacio Fernandez-Rouyet, 18 Pedro Di Santo, 19 Valerio Bernaḅ, 20 Paul Derbyshire, 21 Marco Filippucci, 22 Tobias Botes, 23 James Ambrosini

Date: Friday, December 20
Kick-off: 19:35 GMT
Venue: Scotstoun Stadium
Referee: Claudio Blessano (Italy)
Assistant Referees: David Changleng, Bob Nevins (both SRU)
Citing Commissioner: John Kirk (SRU)

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