Planet Rugby

Preview: Glasgow v Northampton

18th January 2013 07:25

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Glasgow Warriors Niko Matawalu and Tommy Seymour

At nine: Niko Matawalu

Saints must win with a bonus point at Scotstoun and then hope that various results elsewhere go their way!

The visitors have named an unchanged starting XV with GJ Van Velze's addition to the bench the only change to the matchday 23.

Glasgow coach Gregor Townsend has made ten changes to his starting team.

Only five players stay in the starting line-up, with Josh Strauss moving from number eight to openside, James Eddie switching from open to blindside, Sean Maitland moving from right to left wing and Moray Low and Al Kellock remaining in their positions of lock and tighthead respectively.

In the half-back positions, Ruaridh Jackson and Niko Matawalu replace Duncan Weir and Henry Pyrgos at fly-half and scrum-half respectively, with Scott Wight remaining on the bench as cover for Jackson. Sean Kennedy comes in on the bench with Pyrgos dropping out the squad.

The remainder of the backs are made up of Stuart Hogg at full-back, he replaces Peter Murchie; in the centres Byron McGuigan has the number 13 jersey and Graeme Morrison number 12, they come in for Alex Dunbar and Peter Horne, respectively, who both drop to the bench. Finally, Tommy Seymour moves into the right wing in place of DTH Van Der Merwe.

Ryan Wilson is at eight and Tom Ryder moves to the bench making way for Tim Swinson.

In the front-row, Pat MacArthur and Gordon Reid replace Doug Hall and Ryan Grant at hooker and loosehead prop respectively. Hall and Grant remain on the bench with the number 18 jersey unfulfilled for a second week.

"This week I have chosen to give a number of players who didn't play last Friday an opportunity. I'm really excited about this team, they have trained well this week and there is an abundance of pace throughout the squad," said Townsend.

"We have learned a lot so far in the Heineken Cup so we're hoping to transfer these lessons into a winning performance on Saturday.

"Northampton have been on top form in recent weeks with wins over Exeter and Castres and being the only team so far this season to beat Ulster at Ravenhill.

"They are one of Europe's top teams and will test us across the park, particularly up-front and in the set-piece, but as ever this is a challenge we relish."

Following extensive discussions between the club and the ERC came confirmation that tournament rules would not allow another front-row to be added to the list of eligible Warriors players.

More to follow...

The teams:

Glasgow: 15 Stuart Hogg, 14 Tommy Seymour, 13 Byron McGuigan, 12 Graeme Morrison, 11 Sean Maitland, 10 Ruaridh Jackson, 9 Niko Matawalu, 8 Ryan Wilson, 7 James Eddie, 6 Josh Strauss, 5 Al Kellock (capt), 4 Tim Swinson, 3 Moray Low, 2 Pat MacArthur, 1 Gordon Reid.
Replacements: 16 Doug Hall, 17 Ryan Grant, 18 N/A, 19 Tom Ryder, 20 Alex Dunbar, 21 Sean Kennedy, 22 Scott Wight, 23 Peter Horne.

Northampton: 15 Ben Foden, 14 James Wilson, 13 George Pisi, 12 Dom Waldouck, 11 Jamie Elliott, 10 Steve Myler, 9 Lee Dickson, 8 Phil Dowson, 7 Tom Wood, 6 Calum Clark, 5 Courtney Lawes, 4 Samu Manoa, 3 Paul Doran-Jones, 2 Dylan Hartley, 1 Soane Tonga'uiha.
Replacements: 16 Mikey Haywood, 17 Alex Waller, 18 Tom Mercey, 19 Mark Sorenson, 20 Rhys Oakley, 21 Martin Roberts, 22 Ryan Lamb, 23 Tom May.

Date: Saturday, 19 January
Venue: Scotstoun Stadium
Kick-off: 13:35 GMT
Referee: Leighton Hodges (Wales)
Assistant referees: Gwynn Morris Wayne Davies (Wales)
Television match official: Huw Lewis (Wales)

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