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Preview: Castres v Glasgow

14th December 2012 11:17

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Sean Maitland

Starting: Sean Maitland

Glasgow Warriors have handed former Crusaders finisher Sean Maitland the full-back shirt for their Heineken Cup away clash with Castres on Sunday.

Head coach Gregor Townsend has made nine changes in total to the side that was defeated by the same opposition last week at Scotstoun Stadium as they travel to France for the Pool 4 reverse fixture at Stade Pierre Antoine.

"It would be a great achievement to go out and win in France, but we've selected a team capable of playing a high-tempo game, which is what we'll need to do in order to beat Castres," he said.

"We have some very dangerous runners in the backline, five of whom have played on the wing this season. There is pace throughout the side and I'm also looking for a hard edge from the forwards over at Stade Pierre-Antoine.

"We must be much improved in our accuracy from last week's performance, which was well below the standards we demand of each other. It wasn't a true reflection of what this group has produced this season.

"Castres grew in confidence the more we failed to hold on to ball and were as strong in the set-piece as we predicted they would be. They will be even better at home, but I expect to see a very different performance from us on Sunday."

John Barclay takes the captain's armband and will start in the back-row alongside James Eddie at blind-side with Ryan Wilson at number eight. 

Moray Low begins the game at tighthead prop with Gordon Reid on the other side of hooker Pat MacArthur. It's the first game this season that won't feature Mike Cusack who is unavailable due to a shoulder injury.

Tom Ryder, who has just signed a new contract to keep him at the Warriors until at least May 2015, will partner Tim Swinson in the second-row.

The changes continue into the backline with Maitland involved from the start in the number fifteen jersey.

Sean Lamont moves in one from his usual spot on the wing and will, on his fiftieth appearance for the Warriors, occupy the outside centre position with Peter Horne, impressive in the last two outings, retaining his spot at number 12.

Ruaridh Jackson is recalled to the stand-off position with Niko Matawalu also earning the nod to start at scrum-half. DTH van der Merwe - also making his fiftieth appearance in a Warriors shirt - and Tommy Seymour, the clubs two leading try scorers take up the wing positions.

"This is just one in a big series of games we're involved in over the next few weeks and we need to be at our best in each of these encounters," Townsend continued.

"This weekend gives us an opportunity to perform and produce a rare win in France but do that we need to be sharper, more accurate and get back to scoring tries."

Meanwhile, Castres will be looking a victory that would keep the pressure on Pool leaders Ulster. There is currently a six-point gap between the duo as the French side looks to make it back-to-back wins over Glasgow.

The teams:

Castres: 15 Romain Teulet, 14 Paul Bonnefond, 13 Romain Cabannes, 12 Rémi Lamerat, 11 Marcel Garvey, 10 Rémi Tales, 9 Thierry Lacrampe, 8 Pedrie Wannenburg, 7 Yannick Caballero, 6 Jannie Bornman, 5 Iosefa Tekori, 4 Matthias Rolland, 3 Michaël Coetzee, 2 Mathieu Bonello, 1 Mihaïta Lazar.
Replacements: 16 Brice Mach, 17 Karena Wihongi, 18 Saimone Taumoepeau, 19 Christophe Samson, 20 Ibrahim Diarra, 21 Thomas Sanchou, 22 Daniel Kirkpatrick, 23 Brice Dulin.

Glasgow: 15 Sean Maitland, 14 Tommy Seymour, 13 Sean Lamont, 12 Peter Horne, 11 DTH van der Merwe, 10 Ruaridh Jackson, 9 Niko Matawalu, 8 Ryan Wilson, 7 John Barclay, 6 James Eddie, 5 Tom Ryder, 4 Tim Swinson, 3 Moray Low, 2 Pat MacArthur, 1 Gordon Reid.
Replacements: 16 Dougie Hall, 17 Ryan Grant, 18 George Hunter, 19 Nick Campbell, 20 Rob Harley, 21 Sean Kennedy, 22 Graeme Morrison, 23 Byron McGuigan.

Date: Sunday, December 16
Kick-off: 13:45 (12:45 GMT)
Venue: Stade Pierre Antoine
Referee: Andrew Small (England)
Assistant referees: Tim Wigglesworth (England), Roy Maybank (England)
Television match official: David Grashoff (England)

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