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Preview: Glasgow v Cardiff Blues

27th February 2013 12:34

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SKY_MOBILE Alastair Kellock Glasgow Warriors January 2013

Back for Glasgow: Al Kellock

Captain Alastair Kellock is back in the Glasgow Warriors side as Cardiff Blues visit Scotstoun Stadium on Friday in the RaboDirect PRO12.

Head coach Gregor Townsend has made five personnel changes and one positional switch to the team that defeated Ulster last week.

The Warriors are looking for their seventh league win in a row, following their 20-14 victory over RaboDirect PRO12 leaders Ulster at a packed Scotstoun last Friday.

The Warriors have now recorded four successive maximum point victories in the PRO12, which equals the tournament record set by the Dragons in 2003/04.

"I was very proud of how the players performed against Ulster on Friday night, but we know we can't let the intensity drop against a Cardiff side who have shown already this year they are capable of beating the best sides in the league," said Glasgow Warriors head coach, Gregor Townsend.

Kellock, Duncan Weir and Jon Welsh have all been recalled to the side after returning from Scotland duty this week, while the Warriors can also include Gordon Reid who missed the Ulster game having suffered a concussion the previous week against Dragons.

Also in the starting XV is DTH van der Merwe who was stretchered from the pitch as a precaution last week; he starts again on the left wing with Byron McGuigan on the opposite side in place of Tommy Seymour, who picked up an injury in training.

Niko Matawalu continues at scrum-half, with Weir back as his half-back partner.

Peter Horne, who started at fly-half for the first time last time out, moves in one spot to inside centre alongside Alex Dunbar with Peter Murchie again filling the full-back berth.

Reid and Welsh make up the front-row with Pat McArthur continuing at hooker as Kellock and Tim Swinson, a try-scorer last week, pack down in the engine room.

The back-row is a mix of strength, speed and guile with Josh Strauss, Ryan Wilson and John Barclay making up the breakaway unit.

Form: The second-placed Warriors are the current form team in the PRO12 having won their last six contests and securing 28 league points in the process, but the Blues (seventh) can take confidence in the fact that they have won five of their last seven away games in the tournament. It will be the first time the Blues have played in Scoutsdoun Stadium and generally have a good record up in Scotland. Whilst their only defeat in their last six visits to Scotland in the tournament was 3-31 to Glasgow at Firhill in this equivalent fixture last March.

The teams:

Glasgow Warriors: 15 Peter Murchie, 14 Byron McGuigan, 13 Alex Dunbar, 12 Peter Horne, 11 DTH van der Merwe, 10 Duncan Weir, 9 Niko Matawalu, 8 Ryan Wilson, 7 John Barclay, 6 Josh Strauss, 5 Al Kellock (c), 4 Tim Swinson, 3 Jon Welsh, 2 Pat MacArthur, 1 Gordon Reid.
Replacements: 16 Fraser Brown, 17 Ofa Fainga'anuku, 18 Moray Low, 19 Tom Ryder, 20 James Eddie, 21 Henry Pyrgos, 22 Scott Wight, 23 Graeme Morrison.

Cardiff Blues: 15 Chris Czekaj, 14 Owen Williams, 13 Richard Smith, 12 Gavin Evans (c), 11 Harry Robinson, 10 Rhys Patchell, 9 Alex Walker, 8 Luke Hamilton, 7 Josh Navidi, 6 Rory Watts-Jones, 5 James Down, 4 Lou Reed, 3 Benoit Bourrust, 2 Kristian Dacey, 1 Tafufa'ao Filise.
Replacements: 16 Marc Breeze, 17 Sam Hobbs, 18 Tamba Petru, 19 Maauley Cook, 20 Thomas Young, 21 Lloyd Williams, 22 Gareth Davies, 23 Cory Allen.

Date: Friday, 1 March
Venue: Scotstoun Stadium
Kick-off: 19:35
Referee: George Clancy (Ireland)
Assistant referees: Andrew Macpherson (Scotland), Graeme Marshall (Scotland)

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