Turner returns as Williamson in line for potential debut

Turner returns as Williamson in line for potential debut

George Turner will make his first appearance for Glasgow Warriors since returning from representing Scotland at the 2023 Rugby World Cup, after being selected to start in tomorrow night’s Scottish-Italian Shield clash with Benetton at Scotstoun in the BKT United Rugby Championship.

The hooker is one of five changes to the starting XV that claimed a bonus-point victory over the Ospreys last time out, whilst Max Williamson could make his competitive debut for the club after being selected amongst the replacements.

Turner’s inclusion is the only alteration to the front-row that started in Swansea last weekend, as Jamie Bhatti and Lucio Sordoni make it an all-international trio at the coal face.

Sintu Manjezi and Richie Gray continue their partnership in the second-row, the former having returned to Glasgow colours for the first time since December 2022 last Saturday.

Thomas Gordon comes into the starting lineup to make his first appearance of the 2023/24 season, the openside’s inclusion seeing Sione Vailanu shift to number eight in a back-row completed by Matt Fagerson at blindside.

George Horne comes back into the squad after being rested for the win over the Ospreys, with Tom Jordan drawing into the lineup in place of the suspended Duncan Weir.

The midfield combination is unchanged for the third match in succession, as Sione Tuipulotu lines up outside captain Stafford McDowall.

Josh McKay starts at full-back for the first time since the visit to Connacht in round two, joing Kyle Rowe and Sebastian Cancelliere in an otherwise unchanged back-three.

Williamson’s inclusion in the matchday 23 could see the former Scotland U20 second-rower become the club’s third debutant of the season to date, after being selected for a competitive fixture for the first time since signing a professional contract with the club.

Johnny Matthews rotates to the bench to accommodate Turner’s inclusion, with Allan Dell – after a try-scoring cameo last weekend – and Enrique Pieretto retaining their places in the matchday squad.

Greg Peterson and Ally Miller line up amongst the replacements for the second match in succession, both players having played a key role in securing the victory over the Ospreys last weekend.

Sean Kennedy once again wears the number 22 jersey in a six-two split of forwards and backs, as Ross Thompson is set for a first appearance of the season after being named in the matchday 23 for the first time this campaign.

Speaking following selection, Head Coach Franco Smith said: “We’re looking forward to being back at home for the next two weeks for two big matches, beginning with Benetton this weekend, a challenge the players are incredibly excited by.

“Benetton will pose a strong test tomorrow night; they have recruited well, had 22 players participate in the World Cup, and they’re at the top of their game at the moment. They’ve shown they can win away from home this season and pose a real all-round threat.

“We know that we will need to be at our best to meet the challenge tomorrow night, and we have trained well this week in preparation for what lies in store.”

Glasgow Warriors team to face Benetton at Scotstoun, Saturday 18 November, kick-off 7.35pm – tickets are still available at glasgowwarriors.org.

1 Jamie Bhatti (91)
2 George Turner (91)
3 Lucio Sordoni (19)
4 Sintu Manjezi (12)
5 Richie Gray (104)
6 Matt Fagerson (97)
7 Thomas Gordon (66)
8 Sione Vailanu (23)

9 George Horne (102)
10 Tom Jordan (28)
11 Kyle Rowe (3)
12 Stafford McDowall (C) (61)
13 Sione Tuipulotu (38)
14 Sebastian Cancelliere (28)
15 Josh McKay (29)


16 Johnny Matthews (54)
17 Allan Dell (6)
18 Enrique Pieretto (32)
19 Greg Peterson (36)
20 Max Williamson (0)
21 Ally Miller (17)
22 Sean Kennedy (25)
23 Ross Thompson (39)

Unavailable for selection: Fraser Brown (knee), Facundo Cordero (ankle),Jamie Dobie (ankle) Huw Jones (foot) JP du Preez (knee), Kyle Steyn (ankle), Murphy Walker (calf), Duncan Weir (suspended)

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