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Preview: Glasgow v Ospreys

18th April 2013 12:37

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John Barclay Glasgow Warriors p12 2013

150th cap: John Barclay

John Barclay will make his 150th appearance for Glasgow Warriors when they take on the Ospreys at Scotstoun Stadium on Friday.

The Scotland international, who has been with the club for nine years, will be leaving at the end of the season and could be playing in his final home game for the Warriors.

Glasgow are currently third in the RaboDirect PRO12, just one point behind second-place Leinster and four points behind leaders Ulster.

The Warriors back three is made up of Stuart Hogg at full-back, Sean Maitland on the right wing and Sean Lamont, who replaces DTH van der Merwe on the left.

Alex Dunbar comes in for Mark Bennett at outside centre and Graeme Morrison starts at inside centre.

Duncan Weir replaces Ruaridh Jackson at fly-half and Niko Matawalu comes in for Henry Pyrgos at scrum-half.

In the forwards Ryan Grant starts at loosehead in place of Gordon Reid, Pat MacArthur continues at hooker and Moray Low once again starts at tighthead.

Captain Al Kellock combines with Tim Swinson in the second-row and in the back-row Rob Harley starts the game at blindside, with Ryan Wilson dropping to the bench. Josh Strauss moves from blindside to number eight, with Barclay once again starting at openside.

The Warriors have Dougie Hall, Ofa Fainga'anuku, Ed Kalman, Tom Ryder, Ryan Wilson, Henry Pyrgos, Peter Horne and DTH van der Merwe in reserve.

Glasgow Warriors head coach Gregor Townsend said: "It's a huge game for the club, even more so after our defeat to the Scarlets last week. We expect a reaction from our players tomorrow night.

"There have been a lot of memorable moments at Scotstoun this season and this has the potential to be another great game. We're really respectful of our opponents, they take a combative approach to every game, they challenge at the breakdown, have an excellent set piece and are ranked as the best defensive team in the competition.

"It's a wonderful challenge for our players - going up against a top quality side in front of their home support.

"A number of players have been given the opportunity to represent the club in such an important fixture and it's worth highlighting the inclusion of Graeme Morrison, who has been a tremendous servant for the club over the past 10 years. He has had injury issues this season but been training really well in recent weeks and we're delighted to have him back in the team.

"It's great for Graeme to line up alongside his good friend John Barclay, who we know will be playing what could be his final home game for the club on his 150th appearance, which is a tremendous achievement."

Meanwhile, Ospreys coach Steve Tandy said his team "know exactly what is needed to stay in the play-off places. "

"There are two tough games left, away to Glasgow and Leinster, and yes that's a tough run-in, but that's what we're about as Ospreys.

"If we are going to successfully defend our title then we've got to front up like proper champions, starting this Friday night in Scotland.

"We don't want to stumble over the line relying on others to slip up, if we are going into the play-offs we want to do it on merit while building some real momentum for the knock-out games.

"If you look at the PRO12 table this season you will see how the competition really is growing in stature year on year. There are great sides in the mix for the play-offs including last season's two European finalists and a Glasgow team that is really building something, while you've got a team like Munster who won't feature in this year's play-offs yet only a couple of weeks ago went to the Aviva Premiership champions and rolled them over in the Heineken Cup.

"To make the PRO12 play-offs will be an achievement for anyone, particularly when having to overcome the disadvantage of starting with three straight defeats which left us playing catch-up ever since.

"The boys have responded fantastically though and the form in the 17 games since means we are going into these last two matches with a very real chance of progressing. Have no doubt about it, this group has the attitude, spirit and desire to finish the job off. If we apply ourselves diligently and have the right attention to details then who knows what we can achieve?"

Form: Glasgow Warriors slipped to their lowest position in the RaboDirect PRO12 table since Christmas with their 6-29 defeat at the Scarlets on Friday night. The Warriors have won their last half a dozen encounters played at Scotstoun in all competitions since Castres won there 9-6 in the European Cup on 7th December. Glasgow have suffered just four defeats in their last sixteen matches against Welsh regions, all four losses have been at the hands of the Scarlets. Ospreys' only defeat in the RaboDirect PRO12 since round 9 was 10-22 to Connacht in Galway on 15th February. The Welshmen have won only one of their last six visits to Scotland, 15-14 over Edinburgh at Murrayfield in February 2012. Glasgow Warriors have won the last three encounters with Ospreys including the 28-10 victory at Liberty Stadium in round three.

The teams:

Glasgow Warriors: 15 Stuart Hogg, 14 Sean Maitland, 13 Alex Dunbar, 12 Graeme Morrison, 11 Sean Lamont, 10 Duncan Weir, 9 Niko Matawalu, 8 Josh Strauss, 7 John Barclay, 6 Rob Harley, 5 Al Kellock (c), 4 Tim Swinson, 3 Moray Low, 2 Pat MacArthur, 1 Ryan Grant.
Replacements: 16 Dougie Hall, 17 Ofa Fainga'anuku, 18 Ed Kalman, 19 Tom Ryder, 20 Ryan Wilson, 21 Henry Pyrgos, 22 Peter Horne, 23 DTH van der Merwe.

Ospreys: 15 Richard Fussell, 14 Tom Habberfield, 13 Tom Isaacs, 12 Jonathan Spratt, 11 Ben John, 10 Dan Biggar, 9 Kahn Fotuali'i, 8 Joe Bearman, 7 Justin Tipuric, 6 James King, 5 Ian Evans, 4 Alun Wyn Jones (c), 3 Adam Jones, 2 Richard Hibbard, 1 Duncan Jones.
Replacements: 16 Scott Baldwin, 17 Marc Thomas, 18 Cai Griffiths, 19 Jonathan Thomas, 20 Sam Lewis, 21 Rhys Webb, 22 Matthew Morgan, 23 Ross Jones.

Date: Friday, April 19
Venue: Scotstoun Stadium
Kick-off: 19.35 BST (18.35 GMT)
Referee: Alain Rolland

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