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Preview: Glasgow v Dragons

01st November 2012 09:35

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Taylor Paris

Debut: Taylor Paris

Canada international Taylor Paris will make his starting debut for Glasgow Warriors in Friday's PRO12 clash with the Dragons at Scotstoun Stadium.

Paris, the youngest player ever capped by Canada at both Sevens and XVs, will make his debut on the wing, while Argentina prop German Araoz is also in line for his first involvement off the bench.

Ryan Wilson, a consistent performer in the club ranks over the last two years, will celebrate his 50th appearance if and when he appears as a replacement. The side will be captained by his fellow back-rower Chris Fusaro, who skippered Glasgow against Zebre in September.

There are seven changes to the Warriors side that ran out for the 24-13 win away to Treviso last Saturday, a number of them owing to players' involvement with Scotland ahead of the first Test against New Zealand next Sunday.

In the backline, Troy Nathan will make his first start of the season at inside centre, with Alex Dunbar moving out one to 13. With Paris on the wing, Niko Matawalu switches to scrum-half, while Scott Wight, named man-of-the-match for his late contribution in Italy, starts at 10.

The other four changes come in the pack. Gordon Reid lines up at loosehead prop, with Tim Swinson joining forces with Tom Ryder in the second-row. Josh Strauss comes into the back-row at number eight, with Fusaro in the openside position.

"Considering we've had 13 players away with Scotland this week, we've been able to name another very strong side to tackle the Dragons," Gregor Townsend told glasgowwarriors.org.

"I'm excited about the potential of the half-back pairing of Niko and Scott, both of whom were excellent in Treviso, while Taylor has worked hard in training and in his involvement with Dundee and deserves an opportunity.

"Chris Fusaro is a great option for us to have as captain when Al Kellock isn't available, and our strength in depth in the back row is reflected both by the guys who are starting this week and those we have on the bench.

"I'll be delighted for Ryan when he hits 50 appearances. He's a great professional with a lot of potential, and a real asset for the club. With Friday night's game not on TV, it would be terrific to have another big crowd behind us for what is a vital encounter."

Meanwhile, the Dragons have made only two changes to their team.

Adam Jones starts at lock in place of Ian Nimmo, who is on the bench. Along with Jones, Jevon Groves replaces last week's captain Lewis Evans who is out with a groin injury.

Andy Tuilagi, who was named as man-of-the-match in last weekend's Amlin Challenge Cup fixture, keeps his place in the centres. The backs are unchanged with Lewis Robling at 10.

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Form: Glasgow Warriors have strung together five successive victories in the RaboDirect PRO12, and another win would see them equal the Glasgow record, set in 2008. The Warriors' only defeat against a Welsh region in their last six encounters was 13-18 to the Scarlets at Scotstoun on 7 September. Dragons' solitary win in their last eight matches in all competitions was 32-12 at home to Edinburgh on 28 September. The Dragons have not been victorious away from home since the last time they visited Scotland to play Edinburgh at Murrayfield on 23 March. The Men from Gwent have beaten the Warriors just once since their European Cup meeting in October 2009: 23-11 at Rodney Parade on 12 September 2010. The Dragons have not won in Glasgow since their visit on 9 January 2009.

The teams:

Glasgow: 15 Peter Murchie, 14 Tommy Seymour, 13 Alex Dunbar, 12 Troy Nathan, 11 Taylor Paris, 10 Scott Wight, 9 Niko Matawalu, 8 Josh Strauss, 7 Chris Fusaro (capt), 6 Rob Harley, 5 Tim Swinson, 4 Tom Ryder, 3 Mike Cusack, 2 Dougie Hall, 1 Gordon Reid.
Replacements: 16 Finlay Gillies, 17 Ofa Fainga'anuku, 18 German Araoz, 19 James Eddie, 20 John Barclay, 21 Ryan Wilson, 22 Sean Kennedy, 23 Peter Horne.

Dragons: 15 Tom Prydie, 14 Will Harries, 13 Adam Hughes, 12 Andy Tuilagi, 11 Tonderai Chavhanga, 10 Lewis Robling, 9 Jonathan Evans, 8 Toby Faletau, 7 Jevon Groves, 6 Tom Brown, 5 Rob Sidoli, 4 Adam Jones, 3 Nathan Buck, 2 Steve Jones (c), 1 Owen Evans.
Replacements: 16 Sam Parry, 17 Nathan Williams, 18 Dan Way, 19 Ian Nimmo, 20 Nic Cudd, 21 Liam Davies, 22 Steffan Jones, 23 Pat Leach.

Date: Friday, November 2
Kick-off: 19:30 GMT
Venue: Scotstoun Stadium
Referee: Marius Mitrea (Italy)
Assistant referees: Neil Paterson (Scotland), David Changleng (Scotland)
Assessor: Fergus Neil (Scotland)

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PosTeamPPts
1Connacht312
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3Munster310
4Ospreys29
5Glasgow Warriors28