Glasgow Warriors team named for 1872 cup opener

Glasgow Warriors team named for 1872 cup opener

Glasgow Warriors have made five personnel changes to the starting XV for tomorrow night’s 1872 Cup clash with Edinburgh at Scotstoun, as Franco Smith’s squad looks to finish 2023 on a high note in their final BKT United Rugby Championship home match of the calendar year.

Having earned a valuable 12-11 victory over Aviron Bayonnais last weekend, the Warriors return to domestic action targeting a victory that would see them keep pace at the top of the standings, with Smith’s men sitting second after seven rounds of competition.

An unchanged front-row sees the same trio that ran out at the Stade Jean Dauger given the nod once more, as George Turner packs down between fellow Scotland internationals Jamie Bhatti and Zander Fagerson.

Richie Gray and Scott Cummings both return to the starting XV to partner each other in the engine room, the pair named as the starting second-row for the first time since the round two visit to Connacht at The Sportsground.

Ally Miller retains his place in the back-row after a Player of the Match-winning performance in Bayonne last time out, with the former Scotland 7s star shifting to the blindside in a back-row completed by the returning figures of Rory Darge and Sione Vailanu.

The half-back combination is similarly retained following last Friday’s victory, as Ross Thompson starts outside scrum-half George Horne.

Stafford McDowall returns to the starting XV after being rested for the trip to Bayonne, the centre resuming his partnership with captain Sione Tuipulotu in the midfield.

Huw Jones moves to the wing to accommodate the returning McDowall, taking the place of the injured Ollie Smith to join Kyle Rowe and Josh McKay in the back-three.

The top try-scorer in the competition will await his chance to add to his tally tomorrow night, after Johnny Matthews was named alongside Nathan McBeth and Oli Kebble as the front-row cover.

Greg Peterson set to feature in the fixture for the first time since December 2017, whilst both Max Williamson and Henco Venter are named amongst a six-two split of forwards and backs as they prepare for a first taste of 1872 Cup action.

Similarly, Ben Afshar is set for a first taste of a professional festive derby, with Tom Jordan rounding out the matchday 23 one year on from scoring a crucial try in the 1872 Cup decider at Scottish Gas Murrayfield.

Speaking following selection, Head Coach Smith told “We have prepared well all week following our return from Bayonne, and every player in the squad put their hand up to strongly compete for selection.

“This group continues to drive each other forward and demand the best from each other, with everyone keen to end this block of fixtures on a high over the next two weeks.

“We know that Scotstoun has been sold-out for weeks in advance of this match – it will be a special atmosphere tomorrow night.”

Glasgow Warriors team to face Edinburgh Rugby at Scotstoun Stadium, Friday 22 December, kick-off 7.35pm. You can watch the match on Viaplay Sports or follow all the action on our Live Match Centre at

1 Jamie Bhatti (95)
2 George Turner (95)
3 Zander Fagerson (135)
4 Scott Cummings (112)
5 Richie Gray (108)
6 Ally Miller (20)
7 Rory Darge (38)
8 Sione Vailanu (27)

9 George Horne (104)
10 Ross Thompson (42)
11 Kyle Rowe (7)
12 Stafford McDowall (65)
13 Sione Tuipulotu (C) (42)
14 Huw Jones (63)
15 Josh McKay (34)


16 Johnny Matthews (58)
17 Nathan McBeth (29)
18 Oli Kebble (92)
19 Greg Peterson (41)
20 Max Williamson (4)
21 Henco Venter (5)
22 Ben Afshar (3)
23 Tom Jordan (33)

Unavailable for selection: Fraser Brown (knee), Gregor Brown (knee), Sebastian Cancelliere (neck), Jack Dempsey (face), Jamie Dobie (ankle), Matt Fagerson (face), Sintu Manjezi (foot), JP du Preez (knee), Ollie Smith (knee), Lucio Sordoni (shoulder), Kyle Steyn (ankle), Murphy Walker (knee).

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