Seven changes to starting XV for Zebre encounter

Seven changes to starting XV for Zebre encounter

Rob Harley will start in the second-row for his final regular-season home match for Glasgow Warriors this weekend, as Danny Wilson’s squad welcomes Zebre for a crucial United Rugby Championship clash under the Friday night lights.

In total, there are seven alterations for the must-win Scottish-Italian Shield meeting, as the Warriors continue their pursuit of a top-four place in the standings and a home quarter-final.

An all-new front-row sees the replacements from last weekend’s trip to Cardiff promoted to the starting lineup, meaning Oli Kebble and Murphy Walker pack down either side of hooker Johnny Matthews.

Scott Cummings partners Harley in the second-row, as the former West of Scotland man prepares to extend his club record for appearances with his 261st outing in a Glasgow Warriors jersey.

Ryan Wilson captains the side from the back-row, lining up alongside Rory Darge and Jack Dempsey in an unchanged trio from that which took to the field at the Arms Park last time out.

After picking up the Player of the Match award on his most recent start at Scotstoun, Jamie Dobie returns to the starting XV at scrum-half to partner fellow Scotland international Ross Thompson in the half-backs.

Stafford McDowall is another to come back into the lineup having started against Edinburgh a fortnight ago, pairing up with Kyle Steyn in the centres to rekindle the combination that saw the pair share the McCrea Financial Services Warrior of the Month award in March 2019.

The back-three sees the inclusion of Domingo Miotti at full-back, as the Argentinian makes his first start in the 15 shirt whilst flanked by countryman Sebastian Cancelliere – fresh from a two-try outing in Cardiff – and Cole Forbes.

Glasgow’s third Puma is amongst the replacements for tomorrow night’s clash, as Enrique Pieretto comes into the matchday 23 to join Jamie Bhatti and Grant Stewart as the front-row replacements.

Kiran McDonald and Ally Miller each retain their places in the squad for the third successive fixture, the former set for his 50th Glasgow Warriors appearance if he comes off the bench this weekend.

Duncan Weir is another to continue amongst the replacements as he wears the 22 shirt, whilst Robbie Fergusson draws back into the matchday squad after missing out on the meeting with Cardiff last weekend.

The squad is completed by scrum-half Sean Kennedy, who comes into a Glasgow Warriors matchday 23 for the first time since October’s 17-6 victory away to Zebre Parma.

Speaking following selection, Head Coach Wilson told glasgowwarriors.org: ““For 50 minutes we played some great rugby last weekend, but the last half an hour was well below the standards we expect of ourselves as a team.

“We know we’ll need a full 80-minute performance on Friday night against Zebre.

“Being back at home for our final regular season home game is one of the motivators for us to put in a better performance.

“There is also added motivation as this could be Rob Harley’s final home game for the club. Rob epitomises what it means to be a Warrior and is a guy who has given a huge amount to the club and we want to celebrate his career with a strong showing tomorrow night.”

Glasgow Warriors team to face Zebre Parma at Scotstoun, Friday 1 April, kick-off 7.35pm, live on Premier Sports 1. You can also follow all the action as it happens in our Live Match Centre at glasgowwarriors.org.

1. Oli Kebble (71)
2. Johnny Matthews (25)
3. Murphy Walker (5)
4. Rob Harley (260)
5. Scott Cummings (88)
6. Ryan Wilson (C) (207)
7. Rory Darge (16)
8. Jack Dempsey (16)

9. Jamie Dobie (32)
10. Ross Thompson (30)
11. Cole Forbes (20)
12. Stafford McDowall (36)
13. Kyle Steyn (46)
14. Sebastian Cancelliere (7)
15. Domingo Miotti (2)

16. Grant Stewart (46)
17. Jamie Bhatti (60)
18. Enrique Pieretto (30)
19. Kiran McDonald (49)
20. Ally Miller (9)
21. Sean Kennedy (18)
22. Duncan Weir (121)
23. Robbie Fergusson (14)

Unavailable for selection: Simon Berghan, Matt Fagerson, George Horne, Thomas Gordon, Tom Lambert, Josh McKay, Rufus McLean, Ollie Smith, Sione Tuipulotu, George Turner.

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