Beefed Up Warriors Prepare For Season

Glasgow Warriors will be boosted by the return of six international players to the starting line-up when they face Exeter Chiefs in their final warm-up match ahead of the 2012-13 season at Millbrae, home of Ayr RFC, on Thursday (kick-off 7.30pm).

Five of the group, stand-off Duncan Weir; tight-head prop Moray Low; lock Tom Ryder and flankers Rob Harley and John Barclay, were part of Scotland's tour to Australasia, which saw them win all three Tests against Australia, Samoa and Fiji.

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Glasgow Warriors will be boosted by the return of six international players to the starting line-up when they face Exeter Chiefs in their final warm-up match ahead of the 2012-13 season at Millbrae, home of Ayr RFC, on Thursday (kick-off 7.30pm).

Five of the group, stand-off Duncan Weir; tight-head prop Moray Low; lock Tom Ryder and flankers Rob Harley and John Barclay, were part of Scotland's tour to Australasia, which saw them win all three Tests against Australia, Samoa and Fiji.

Winger DTH van der Merwe, meanwhile, saw summer service with Canada, but will be back in black and blue from tomorrow night. Another international, prop Ryan Grant, will be on the bench.

The game will give Gregor Townsend's men a further opportunity to hit their straps ahead of the first RaboDirect PRO12 outing of the new campaign, against Ulster at Ravenhill on Friday 31 August. The following Friday, 7 September, Scarlets come to Scotstoun for the very first game at the Warriors" new home.

There is a start at inside centre for Peter Horne, who came off the bench at Sale Sharks five days ago to score a terrific try on his first appearance since returning from a shoulder injury.

Fraser Thomson, a summer Elite Development recruit from Melrose, lines up at full-back, while Gordon Reid, another proud product of the club game, starts at loose-head prop on the ground where he first made his name with Ayr.

The Warriors will be captained by Finlay Gillies (pictured), who is part of the side's leadership group this season. With Pat MacArthur (foot) and Dougie Hall (groin) currently nursing injuries, Elite Development front rower George Hunter will provide hooker cover on the bench.

Head coach Gregor Townsend told www.glasgowwarriors.org: "We"re delighted to have the opportunity to play in front of our own supporters as we put the finishing touches to preparations before the RaboDirect PRO12 season.

"Exeter, like us, are gearing up for a tough domestic campaign and the rigours of the Heineken Cup, so they"ll be ideal opposition a week out from the start of competitive rugby.

"It's great to welcome back half a dozen of our international players, who have proven their quality time and again down the years. Others will follow next week at Ravenhill, to complement the efforts of the core group who have worked extremely hard and productively since the start of pre-season training in June.

'there are a number of areas that we know need to be better than was the case against Sale, and the players are determined to give our crowd a positive performance and result to whet their appetite for the new campaign."

The staging of tomorrow's game at Millbrae is in keeping with the Warriors" commitment to support the club game throughout the west of Scotland.

Townsend commented: "It's terrific to be taking this game on the road, and I"m sure the Ayrshire public will be looking forward to seeing a Warriors gamer closer to home. I know a significant number of people regularly make the journey from the area to Glasgow to support us, and hopefully this will underline our appreciation while also encouraging more people to get involved at Scotstoun in the coming campaign."

Admission to tomorrow's game is _5 for adults (payable on the gate). Under 16s go FREE. Ayr will retain all proceeds from the gate and bar.

Limited public parking will be available in the main Millbrae car park, as well as the 2nd XV pitch (subject to weather) and nearby Robert Burns Centre.

GLASGOW WARRIORS TEAM TO PLAY EXETER CHIEFS AT MILLBRAE, AYR RFC, ON THURSDAY 23 AUGUST (KICK-OFF 7.30PM)

15 Fraser Thomson

14 Tommy Seymour
13 Byron McGuigan
12 Peter Horne
11 DTH van der Merwe

10 Duncan Weir
9 Henry Pyrgos

1 Gordon Reid
2 Finlay Gillies (CAPTAIN)
3 Moray Low
4 Tom Ryder
5 Nick Campbell
6 Rob Harley
7 John Barclay
8 Ryan Wilson

SUBSTITUTES

16 Adam Ashe
17 Mike Cusack
18 George Hunter
19 James Eddie
20 Angus MacDonald
21 Chris Fusaro
22 Graeme Morrison
23 Peter Murchie
24 Scott Wight
25 Sean Kennedy
26 Ryan Grant

Not considered for selection due to injury: Dougie Hall (groin), Ed Kalman (back) Rory Lamont (leg), Pat MacArthur (foot), Tim Swinson (face), Jon Welsh (shoulder)_