Eight internationals return for Champions Cup opener

Eight internationals return for Champions Cup opener

Glasgow Warriors Head Coach Danny Wilson welcomes eight returning Scotland stars back into the fold this weekend, as his team prepares to take on defending European champions Exeter in round one of the 2020/21 Heineken Champions Cup.

There are nine changes in total to the starting XV that took to the field against the Dragons last Saturday, in a side captained by Ryan Wilson from the blindside flank.

An all-new front row sees Oli Kebble and Zander Fagerson return as the props, with George Turner – a try scorer at Sandy Park last season – packing down at hooker.

Fresh from playing in every match of Scotland’s Autumn Nations Cup campaign, Scott Cummings returns to the Warriors to partner Rob Harley in the second row.

Captain Wilson is joined in the back row by another returning Scotland cap in the form of Matt Fagerson, Tom Gordon having shaken off a knock to complete the trio.

Pete Horne continues at fly-half for the seventh consecutive match, as Ali Price lines up at scrum-half to partner the club centurion.

The midfield sees Sam Johnson start at inside centre for the first time since the visit of Leinster at the start of November, with Nick Grigg making it an all-Scotland centre partnership.

Glenn Bryce and Lee Jones retain their places in the back three, as Tommy Seymour’s inclusion on the wing completes the starting lineup.

The bench sees Huw Jones handed the 23 jersey, having made a match-winning intervention against Cardiff Blues on his last outing for the club.

Fellow Scotland cap Grant Stewart is amongst the front row cover, alongside Aki Seiuli and Enrique Pieretto – the latter in line to make his European debut for Glasgow against the team from which he joined the club.

There could also be a first European appearance in Glasgow colours for TJ Ioane, with Kiran McDonald completing the pack replacements.

Brandon Thomson and Sean Kennedy join Jones as the cover behind the scrum, Kennedy having crossed for his first Glasgow try against the Dragons.

Speaking ahead of the match, Wilson told glasgowwarriors.org: "There has been excitement in the camp ahead of taking on the European Champions Exeter.

"At the start of the week our internationals returned to us and it's been great to have them back in the squad.

"Exeter are the in-form side in Europe who have a great balance of power, pace and an effective kicking game.

"Our focus this week has been on bringing the two squads together and the boys have worked hard and trained really well.

"We look forward to the exciting challenge that Sunday's game will bring."

Glasgow Warriors team to face Exeter in the Heineken Champions Cup, Sunday 13 December, kick-off 3.15pm, live on BT Sport 2. You can follow the action in our Live Match Centre at glasgowwarriors.org.

1. Oli Kebble (51)
2. George Turner (53)
3. Zander Fagerson (94)
4. Rob Harley (239)
5. Scott Cummings (72)
6. Ryan Wilson (C) (178)
7. Tom Gordon (25)
8. Matt Fagerson (65)

9. Ali Price (90)
10. Pete Horne (178)
11. Lee Jones (84)
12. Sam Johnson (64)
13. Nick Grigg (78)
14. Tommy Seymour (149)
15. Glenn Bryce (32)

Replacements

16. Grant Stewart (39)
17. Aki Seiuli (19)
18. Enrique Pieretto (7)
19. Kiran McDonald (29)
20. TJ Ioane (6)
21. Sean Kennedy (12)
22. Brandon Thomson (29)
23. Huw Jones (42)

Unavailable due to injury: Alex Allan, Fraser Brown, Richie Gray, Adam Hastings, George Horne, Stafford McDowall, Leone Nakarawa, Kyle Steyn.

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