Milestone match for prop duo
Loose-head prop Aki Seiuli will make his first start in a Glasgow Warriors jersey this weekend, as Head Coach Dave Rennie makes five changes to the starting XV for the visit of La Rochelle on Saturday evening.
Fellow loose-head Alex Allan is also in line for a milestone appearance, with the Scotland international set to make his 100th club appearance from the replacements bench.
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Former Highlanders prop Seiuli is the only alteration to the starting pack, after Rennie’s men claimed a thrilling 27-24 victory at the Stade Marcel Deflandre last weekend.
Scotland duo Fraser Brown and Zander Fagerson pack down alongside the New Zealander in the front-row, the latter having played the full 80 minutes in the south-west of France on Saturday.
Scott Cummings and Jonny Gray combine once more in the engine room, following an all-action showing from the pair in La Rochelle.
Club co-captains Ryan Wilson and Callum Gibbins flank number eight Matt Fagerson to complete the pack, in a back-row with over 200 club appearances between them.
Adam Hastings continues at fly-half after contributing 12 points and a cross-field kick assist last time out, with Ali Price coming into the side to start at scrum-half.
An all-new midfield pairing sees Stafford McDowall start at inside-centre for his first European start of the campaign, Huw Jones doing likewise in the number 13 jersey.
Kyle Steyn’s impact from the replacements bench last weekend sees him partner fellow try-scorer Niko Matawalu on the wings, as Tommy Seymour continues at full-back.
Centurion-to-be Allan is joined on the bench by fellow front-rowers George Turner and Adam Nicol, with Rob Harley covering the back-five of the scrum.
Tom Gordon continues in the number 20 shirt after making his European debut for the club last weekend, as George Horne rotates to the bench as scrum-half cover.
Nick Grigg and Ruaridh Jackson complete the replacements, the latter coming into the matchday 23 after missing last weekend’s clash in France.
Speaking on his selection, Rennie underlined the importance of backing up last weekend’s victory in La Rochelle.
“It’s a massive game for us,” he said.
“Based on how some of the other pools are going, if you don’t win the pool those three runners-up spots [for the quarter-finals] are going to be heavily contested. We know we need to win and win well tomorrow.
“La Rochelle are a good side who will be hurting from losing last week. They’ll have a real crack at us. We know there are bits of our game to work on from last week, and we’ve had a good focus this week.”
The Warriors boss also highlighted the club’s support of a Whiteinch foodbank this weekend, with supporters encouraged to donate at one of the designated drop-off points at Scotstoun Stadium ahead of kick-off tomorrow afternoon.
“We’ve got a strong connection with the local community,” said Rennie.
“We’ve got a platform that allows us to make a bit of a difference, so if everyone brings an item to the game that’s a huge help for people that need it most over Christmas.”
Glasgow Warriors team to play La Rochelle in the Heineken Champions Cup, Saturday 14 December, kick-off 5.15pm, live on BT Sport 3. You can follow the game in the Live Match Centre at glasgowwarriors.org. Glasgow Warriors appearances in brackets.
1. Aki Seiuli (2)
2. Fraser Brown (94)
3. Zander Fagerson (86)
4. Scott Cummings (63)
5. Jonny Gray (105)
6. Ryan Wilson (159)
7. Callum Gibbins (C) (41)
8. Matt Fagerson (57)
9. Ali Price (81)
10. Adam Hastings (37)
11. Kyle Steyn (19)
12. Stafford McDowall (18)
13. Huw Jones (27)
14. Niko Matawalu (119)
15. Tommy Seymour (137)
16. George Turner (39)
17. Alex Allan (99)
18. Adam Nicol (14)
19. Rob Harley (221)
20. Tom Gordon (10)
21. George Horne (47)
22. Nick Grigg (62)
23. Ruaridh Jackson (157)
Not available due to injury: Nick Frisby (ankle), Oli Kebble (head), Siua Halanukonuka (calf), Pete Horne (head), Paddy Kelly (hamstring), Kiran McDonald (hip), D’arcy Rae (hand), Ratu Tagive (hamstring), Brandon Thomson (calf) and Jale Vakaloloma (shoulder).