Harley to reach 250 at BT Murrayfield
Rob Harley will become the first player in Glasgow Warriors history to reach 250 appearances for the club this weekend, following his selection in the starting XV for tomorrow’s clash with Edinburgh at BT Murrayfield.
The 30-year-old’s achievement sees him become only the second Scottish-based player ever to reach a quarter of a millennium appearances, following in the footsteps of former Edinburgh and Scotland prop Allan Jacobsen.
Harley is one of only six players to retain their places in the starting lineup from last weekend’s 1872 Cup-clinching win over the capital outfit, as Head Coach Danny Wilson makes nine changes for the trip to BT Murrayfield tomorrow evening.
Tom Lambert will make his first start in professional rugby after being named at loose-head, joining George Turner and Enrique Pieretto in an all-new front-row.
Richie Gray is promoted from the bench to partner the history-making Harley in the second-row, with 2013 British and Irish Lion Gray having also started in the engine room for Harley’s debut against Leinster eleven years ago.
The back-row sees flanker Rory Darge also named in the starting XV for the first time since arriving at Scotstoun earlier this year, as number eight Matt Fagerson returns from injury sustained on international duty to start in a pack completed by captain Ryan Wilson.
George Horne is selected at scrum-half, with the Scotland number nine partnering Ross Thompson in the half-backs.
An unchanged centre partnership sees Stafford McDowall and Nick Grigg link up once more, the pair having impressed in last weekend’s triumph at Scotstoun.
Ratu Tagive and Kyle Steyn – fresh from his try-scoring performance last time out – are retained on the wings, whilst Adam Hastings is named at full-back after recovering from a facial fracture.
On the bench, Dylan Evans returns to the venue where he made his Glasgow Warriors debut last August, as the prop joins Grant Stewart and D’arcy Rae as the front-row cover amongst the replacements.
Kiran McDonald shifts to the number 19 jersey, as Thomas Gordon rotates to the bench after starting last Friday’s victory.
Jamie Dobie comes into the matchday 23 for the first time since March’s visit to the Dragons, whilst Pete Horne continues in the squad having returned to action off the bench at Scotstoun.
Lee Jones completes the matchday 23, having last pulled on the Glasgow shirt in April’s trip to Montpellier.
Speaking following selection, Head Coach Danny Wilson paid tribute to Harley as he looked ahead to the match, saying: “Tomorrow is a special day for the club.
“We speak a lot about what it means to be a Warrior and Rob Harley is somebody that epitomises the Warrior mindset and lives our mantra whatever it takes.
“Rob is a model professional both on and off the pitch and everyone at the club is really looking forward to seeing him make history tomorrow evening.
“It was important for us win the 1872 Cup last week especially having been four years since it was last at Glasgow.
“Tomorrow’s game gives us an opportunity to get back to back wins against Edinburgh and look at a few different players and combinations.”
Glasgow Warriors team to face Edinburgh in the Guinness PRO14 Rainbow Cup, Saturday 15 May, kick-off 7.35pm, live on Premier Sports 1. You can follow the action in our Live Match Centre at glasgowwarriors.org.
1. Tom Lambert (2)
2. George Turner (59)
3. Enrique Pieretto (17)
4. Rob Harley (249)
5. Richie Gray (60)
6. Ryan Wilson (C) (189)
7. Rory Darge (1)
8. Matt Fagerson (68)
9. George Horne (63)
10. Ross Thompson (11)
11. Ratu Tagive (23)
12. Stafford McDowall (25)
13. Nick Grigg (88)
14. Kyle Steyn (28)
15. Adam Hastings (50)
16. Grant Stewart (45)
17. Dylan Evans (6)
18. D’arcy Rae (84)
19. Kiran McDonald (34)
20. Thomas Gordon (35)
21. Jamie Dobie (19)
22. Pete Horne (181)
23. Lee Jones (91)
Unavailable for selection: Alex Allan, Hamish Bain, Fraser Brown, Tom Brown, Scott Cummings, Cole Forbes, Chris Fusaro, Huw Jones, Ian Keatley, Oli Kebble, Fotu Lokotui, Rufus McLean, Ewan Mcquillan, Aki Seiuli, Tommy Seymour, Ollie Smith.