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Preview: Glasgow v Munster

28th March 2013 12:28

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Glasgow Stuart Hogg

Stuart Hogg: Starts for Glasgow

Glasgow boss Gregor Townsend has recalled Stuart Hogg, Sean Maitland, Ryan Grant and Tim Swinson for Friday's clash with Munster at Scotstoun Stadium after the quartet missed last weekend's match at Leinster.

Ruaridh Jackson, Sean Lamont, Ryan Wilson, Jon Welsh and Pat MacArthur have been promoted from the bench, while Peter Murchie, James Eddie, Gordon Reid and Ed Kalman drop out of the 23-man squad.

Alex Dunbar and Tommy Seymour both picked up knocks in Dublin and will not be involved tomorrow night.

"We were disappointed to leave Dublin last weekend with just one point but there were a number of good elements to our game," Townsend said.

"The effort our players put in was excellent and they fought right to the end of what was a highly competitive match.

"We'll need to replicate that level of commitment tomorrow night against a very good Munster side.

"It's nice to be in a position where we have an increasing number of players fighting to get into the starting XV.

"Stuart (Hogg), Sean (Maitland) and Tim (Swinson) were injured last week while Ryan (Grant) has played a lot of rugby recently, so it's nice to be able to welcome the four of them back."

Canadian flyer, DTH Van der Merwe starts on the left wing, with Maitland starting on the right side, ahead of Tommy Seymour. Stuart Hogg replaces Peter Murchie at full-back, after playing in all five of Scotland's Six Nations games.

Scotland prop Ryan Grant comes in at loosehead with Moray Low dropping to the bench and after signing his new two-year deal with the Warriors this week, Jon Welsh starts at tighthead, in place of Ed Kalman. Pat MacArthur starts at hooker ahead of Dougie Hall, who drops to the bench.

Tim Swinson is back in the second row alongside captain Alastair Kellock and it's a familiar looking back row with John Barclay, Josh Strauss and Ryan Wilson combining.

Mark Bennett and Ofa Fainga'anuku come into the squad and start on the bench alongside Duncan Weir, Henry Pyrgos, Rob Harley, Tom Ryder, Moray Low and Dougie Hall.

In total there are nine changes from the team that lost to Leinster, with one positional switch.

"We weren't as accurate as we'd have liked against Leinster and we know we have to improve, especially defensively," added Townsend.

"Our passing also needs to be much better. The focus at training this week has been very similar to how we prepared for our clash with Ulster a few weeks ago; this is a very important match for us and we'll need to be at the top of our game.

"Munster are a strong defensive team so we must take any opportunities we get. Despite being sixth in the league, they are only seven points off the top four and they can still qualify for the play-offs.

"That makes them extremely dangerous opponents and we must approach the game in the right manner.

"There are a number of players unlucky to miss out this week, notably the likes of Ed Kalman and Peter Murchie who put in big performances against Leinster.

"Mark Bennett has been in cracking form for Scotland U20s and been doing well in training so he deserves his chance to be involved tomorrow night.

"Injured pair Michael Cusack and Chris Fusaro are both progressing well and we hope they'll be available to play in the next few weeks."

Meanwhile, Munster boss Rob Penney has kept changes to a minimum.In the back-line, Johne Murphy comes onto the wing in place of the injured Denis Hurley while this time around Duncan Williams starts with Cathal Sheridan on the bench.

In the pack, changes from last day see Mike Sherry and BJ Botha ahead of Damien Varley and Stephen Archer respectively with Paddy Butler into the back row for the injured (knee) Sean Dougall.

Hurley who tweaked a hamstring in the Connacht game didn't feel entirely happy with it after this week's training session and was withdrawn from consideration.

Form:Glasgow Warriors' record seven game winning run in the PRO12 came to an end in Dublin on Saturday night. Warriors have won their last five matches in all competitions at Scotstoun since losing there, 6-9, to Castres in the European Cup in December. Glasgow's only win in their last six encounters with Irish provinces was 20-14 at home to Ulster in round 16. Munster ended a three game winless run in the PRO12 with their victory over Connacht in Cork last weekend. The Munstermen have not won outside of Ireland in the PRO12 since a trip to Cardiff Blues on 2 November. Munster's only defeat in their last 15 contests with Scottish opponents in all competitions since 2009 was to Edinburgh at Murrayfield in September 2011.Munster have won the last six fixtures against Glasgow since the Warriors last win, 22-9, at Firhill in the opening game of the 2009/10 campaign.

Glasgow Warriors: 15 Stuart Hogg, 14 Sean Maitland, 13 Sean Lamont, 12 Peter Horne, 11 DTH van der Merwe, 10 Ruaridh Jackson, 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 Ryan Grant.
,b>Replacements:16 Mark Bennett, 17 Duncan Weir, 18 Henry Pyrgos, 19 Rob Harley, 20 Tom Ryder, 21 Moray Low, 22 Dougie Hall, 23 Ofa Fainga'anuku.

Munster: 15 Felix Jones, 14 Doug Howlett (c), 13 Casey Laulala, 12 James Downey, 11 Johne Murphy, 10 Ronan O'Gara, 9 Duncan Williams, 8 James Coughlan. 7 Tommy O'Donnell, 6 Paddy Butler, 5 Paul O'Connell, 4 Donncha O'Callaghan, 3 BJ Botha, 2 Mike Sherry, 1 David Kilcoyne.
Replacements: 16 Damien Varley, 17 Wian du Preez, 18 Stephen Archer, 19 Billy Holland, 20 Niall Ronan, 21 Cathal Sheridan, 22 Ian Keatley, 23 Ivan Dineen.

Date: Friday, March 29
Kick-off: 20:05 GMT
Venue: Scotstoun Stadium, Glasgow
Referee: Leighton Hodges (WRU)
Assistant referees: Peter Allan, Adrian Graves (both SRU)
Television match official: Iain Ramage (SRU)

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