Gray to make first appearance of the season

Gray to make first appearance of the season

Jonny Gray is in line to make his first appearance of the 2019/20 season, after the second-row was named in the Glasgow Warriors starting XV for Saturday’s meeting with Leinster at Scotstoun.

Head Coach Dave Rennie has made 11 changes to the squad for the visit of the defending champions, with new signing Aki Seiuli in line for a potential debut from the replacements bench.

Oli Kebble is the sole surviving member of the front-row from last weekend’s trip to Exeter, as George Turner – try-scorer at Sandy Park – and D’arcy Rae come in to start.

Gray is partnered by fellow Scotland international Tim Swinson in the second-row, with the latter also returning to the starting lineup.

Rob Harley shifts from the second-row to the flank, lining up alongside Chris Fusaro and Ryan Wilson in a back-row containing 548 caps between the trio.

Ali Price makes his first start of the season at scrum-half, with Pete Horne starting outside him at fly-half.

Huw Jones comes into the side to start at outside centre, partnering Sam Johnson in the midfield for the first time this season.

Tommy Seymour moves to the wing to accommodate the returning Ruaridh Jackson at full-back, in a side completed by flying Fijian Niko Matawalu.

Former Highlanders prop Seiuli is included in a matchday 23 for the first time since arriving at Scotstoun, with the man from Christchurch joined by Grant Stewart and Adam Nicol as the front-row replacements.

Kiran McDonald retains the 19 jersey from last weekend’s trip to Exeter, as Adam Ashe comes into the squad as back-row cover.

Nick Frisby and Stafford McDowall also return to the squad, with Kyle Steyn completing the 23.

Speaking following the announcement, Rennie said: “It’s good to have Ali back starting this weekend – he obviously had an extremely disappointing injury at the World Cup, and he’s worked hard to get back to full fitness. He’s had a couple of cameos off the bench, and he’s ready to go.

“Leinster have great depth and have been the form team in the competition. They are very well coached, are playing with great confidence and have threats across the park. We’ll need to be at our best to get a result.

“A packed Scotstoun is a special place to play at. The crowd are vocal and engaged and remind us that we’re playing for something bigger than ourselves.”

Glasgow Warriors team to play Leinster in the Guinness PRO14, Saturday 30 November, kick-off 7.35pm, live on Premier Sports. You can follow the game in the Live Match Centre at glasgowwarriors.org. Glasgow Warriors appearances in brackets.

1. Oli Kebble (39)
2. George Turner (36)
3. D’arcy Rae (68)
4. Tim Swinson (131)
5. Jonny Gray (103)
6. Rob Harley (219)
7. Chris Fusaro (172)
8. Ryan Wilson (C) (157)

9. Ali Price (79)
10. Pete Horne (162)
11. Niko Matawalu (117)
12. Sam Johnson (55)
13. Huw Jones (26)
14. Tommy Seymour (135)
15. Ruaridh Jackson (156)

16. Grant Stewart (28)
17. Aki Seiuli (0)
18. Adam Nicol (13)
19. Kiran McDonald (23)
20. Adam Ashe (72)
21. Nick Frisby (18)
22. Stafford McDowall (17)
23. Kyle Steyn (17)

Not available due to injury: Siua Halanukonuka (calf), Scott Cummings (knee), Jale Vakaloloma (shoulder), Callum Gibbins (shoulder), Sean Kennedy (foot), Lee Jones (calf), Ratu Tagive (hamstring), DTH van der Merwe (knee).

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