Price named captain on 100th appearance
Ali Price will captain Glasgow Warriors for the first time in Sunday’s Heineken Champions Cup opener against La Rochelle, on an afternoon that will also see the scrum-half reach a century of appearances in Glasgow colours.
The 28-year-old leads the squad as Ryan Wilson follows COVID protocols, with club co-captain Fraser Brown also still recovering from an injury sustained earlier this season.
An unchanged front-row sees Oli Kebble and Zander Fagerson once again pack down either side of George Turner, making it an all-Scotland trio for the fourth match in succession.
Scott Cummings returns to Glasgow colours for the first time since October’s victory over the Cell C Sharks at Scotstoun, as he partners Richie Gray in the second row.
Wilson’s absence sees Matt Fagerson come into the starting XV at blindside flanker, joining Rory Darge and last weekend’s Player of the Match, Jack Dempsey, in completing the pack.
Ross Thompson starts alongside captain Price in the half-backs, as the fly-half prepares to make his first appearance in Europe’s premier club competition.
Sam Johnson returns to the starting line-up after being rested last time out, which sees Sione Tuipulotu shift out one space to outside centre to accommodate his Scotland team-mate.
That move in turn sees Kyle Steyn, who scored the winning try on Glasgow’s only previous visit to La Rochelle back in 2019, revert to the wing, with Rufus McLean and Josh McKay – both set for their Champions Cup debuts – rounding out the back three.
A six-two split on the bench sees the Glasgow coaching team look to George Horne and Duncan Weir to cover the backs, the latter set for his first European appearance for his hometown club since January 2016’s victory over Racing 92 at Scotstoun.
Jamie Bhatti returns from Scotland rest protocols to provide cover at loose-head, joining Johnny Matthews and Enrique Pieretto as the front-row cover.
Lewis Bean wears the number 19 jersey, with Rob Harley providing a raft of experience in covering both the second and back-rows.
The matchday 23 is completed by Ally Miller, who comes into the squad for his first outing since October’s win over Zebre Parma.
Speaking following selection, Head Coach Wilson told glasgowwarriors.org: "After a good performance last week against Dragons last week, this week we welcome back all of our rested internationals and we’re looking forward to the huge challenge of taking on last year’s European finalists La Rochelle away from home."
"In my time working with Ali [Price], I’ve been really impressed with his leadership and development as a player. It’s a huge achievement to reach the milestone of making 100 appearances for your club and this weekend it’s doubled up by being named captain for our game.
"We know in Europe the level of intensity and accuracy takes a step up and we expect our players to match that and showcase the qualities of a Warrior."
Glasgow Warriors team to face La Rochelle at the Stade Marcel Deflandre, Sunday 12 December, kick-off 3.15pm (UK time), live on BT Sport 3. You can also follow all the action as it happens in our Live Match Centre at glasgowwarriors.org.
1. Oli Kebble (62)
2. George Turner (66)
3. Zander Fagerson (103)
4. Scott Cummings (80)
5. Richie Gray (68)
6. Matt Fagerson (74)
7. Rory Darge (10)
8. Jack Dempsey (6)
9. Ali Price (C) (99)
10. Ross Thompson (21)
11. Rufus McLean (15)
12. Sam Johnson (78)
13. Sione Tuipulotu (7)
14. Kyle Steyn (37)
15. Josh McKay (1)
16. Johnny Matthews (17)
17. Jamie Bhatti (53)
18. Enrique Pieretto (23)
19. Lewis Bean (11)
20. Rob Harley (257)
21. Ally Miller (2)
22. George Horne (71)
23. Duncan Weir (112)
Unavailable for selection: Simon Berghan, Fraser Brown, Tom Lambert, Ewan McQuillin, Ryan Wilson.