Matawalu to make 100th appearance against Cardiff Blues

Matawalu to make 100th appearance against Cardiff Blues

Niko Matawalu will become a Glasgow Warriors centurion against Cardiff Blues as rugby returns to Scotstoun tomorrow night and tickets are still available.

The flying Fijian is in his second spell with the club and has been a fans favourite since joining initially in 2012.

The 29-year-old has scored 34 tries in his 99 appearances for the club so far, including a hat-trick off the bench in his last outing against the Ospreys.

Matawalu will start in a back-line that also features three members of the Scotland squad that narrowly lost to South Africa last weekend.

Tommy Seymour starts on the opposite wing and Ali Price and Pete Horne combine at 9 and 10 respectively.

Fosroc Scottish Rugby Academy player Stafford McDowall impressed in his performances against Munster and Ospreys and retains his spot at inside centre, once again combining with Nick Grigg who was named Man of the Match at the Liberty Stadium.

Ruairdh Jackson has recovered from a hamstring injury picked up early against the Ospreys to start at full-back.

George Turner, Rob Harley, Adam Ashe and Matt Fagerson all return from Scotland camp to start in the pack.

Jamie Bhatti and D’Arcy Rae pack down either side of Turner in the front-row, while Kiran McDonald joins Harley in the engine room.

Callum Gibbins will captain the side from the openside.

On the bench, Tim Swinson has returned from injury to be involved for the first time this season.

Glasgow Warriors Head Coach Dave Rennie said: "We took 10 days off after Ospreys and everyone came back in in really good nick, we’ve had a number of personal bests in testing so we’re really happy.

“It’ll be a proud day for Niko (Matawalu) and his family making his 100th appearance and hopefully we'll see that bit of magic from him with ball in hand that we know he’s capable of.

“We’ve been on the road a lot and we’ve played pretty well, but we love playing at home and we’re looking forward to getting back in front of a Scotstoun crowd tomorrow night."

Glasgow Warriors team to play Cardiff Blues in the Guinness PRO14 at Scotstoun Stadium, Friday 23 November, kick-off 7.35pm - live on FreeSports. You can follow the game on Twitter @GlasgowWarriors. Glasgow Warriors appearances in brackets:

1. Jamie Bhatti (31)
2. George Turner (28)
3. D’Arcy Rae (49)
4. Rob Harley (193)
5. Kiran McDonald (13)
6. Adam Ashe (59)
7. Callum Gibbins (C) (24)
8. Matt Fagerson (33)

9. Ali Price (63)
10. Pete Horne (146)
11. Niko Matawalu (99)
12. Stafford McDowall (3)
13. Nick Grigg (48)
14. Tommy Seymour (120)
15. Ruaridh Jackson (142)

Replacements

16. Grant Stewart (10)
17. Kevin Bryce (14)
18. Petrus du Plessis (3)
19. Tim Swinson (112)
20. Matt Smith (20)
21. Nick Frisby (4)
22. Brandon Thomson (13)
23. Rory Hughes (38)

Unavailable players: Scott Cummings (thigh), Zander Fagerson (ankle), Chris Fusaro (shoulder), Siua Halanukonuka (foot), Sam Johnson (knee), Lee Jones (knee), Oli Kebble (back).

Alex Allan (Scotland), Fraser Brown (Scotland), Alex Dunbar (Scotland), Jonny Gray (Scotland), Adam Hastings (Scotland), Stuart Hogg (Scotland), George Horne (Scotland), Huw Jones (Scotland), Greg Peterson (USA), Tevita Tameilau (USA), DTH van der Merwe (Canada), Ryan Wilson (Scotland).

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