Bath v Glasgow: Franco Smith mixes it up for Challenge Cup opener

Franco Smith has handed Jack Mann and Cameron Neild debuts in Glasgow Warriors' back-row versus Bath. Image: ©Craig Watson
Franco Smith has handed Jack Mann and Cameron Neild debuts in Glasgow Warriors' back-row versus Bath. Image: ©Craig Watson

HERIOT’S Super6 player Jack Mann has been handed his Glasgow Warriors debut at No 8 in tomorrow’s European Challenge Cup campaign opener against Bath at the Recreation Ground.

The 23-year-old, who previously represented Scotland at under-20s level, is one of 11 personnel changes head coach Franco Smith has made to the starting XV he sent out against Zebre last weekend, with Cameron Neildwho joined the club last month on a short-term deal to the end of the season – also making his debut in the back-row, alongside the experienced Ryan Wilson.

Having recovered from a back injury, Huw Jones will make his first appearance since returning to the club during the summer at outside-centre. It will be his 50th appearance overall for the club, having made the previous 49 appearances before moving to Harlequins at the start of last season.


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There are  also some fresh faces on the bench, with Angus Fraser set to make his professional debut as hooker cover, while academy prospect Euan Ferrie covers the back-row with just two bench appearances at this level to his name. Duncan Weir and Walter Fifita are in line for their first appearances of the 2022-23 season.

“After a strong showing away to Zebre Parma last weekend, everyone is looking forward carrying that momentum into Bath tomorrow and starting our Challenge Cup journey,” said Smith.

“It’s great to be able to welcome Huw Jones back in a Warriors jersey and give the opportunity to three new Warriors – Cameron [Neild], Jack [Mann] and Angus [Fraser]. All are exciting talents and everyone at the club is looking forward to seeing them take the field tomorrow.

“I know Johann [van Graan] well and Bath at The Rec will be a tough test. They play a powerful brand of rugby and tomorrow is a great opportunity to test ourselves against a formidable Premiership side.”

There are a few familiar face for Scottish rugby fans in the opposition line-up with Cameron Redpath at inside-centre, Josh Bayliss at No 8 and D’Arcy Rae at tight-head prop.

 

Glasgow Warriors (v Bath at The Recreation Ground, Saturday 1pm UK time): O Smith: K Steyn©, H Jones, S McDowall, R McLean; D Miotti, J Dobie; J Bhatti, G Turner, S Bergahan, L Bean, J Du Preez, R Wilson, C Neild, J Mann. Substitutes: A Fraser, N McBeth, L Sordoni, R Gray, E Ferrie, S Kennedy, D Weir, W Fifita.

Bath: T de Glanville; J Cokanasiga, O Lawrence, C Redpath, M Gallagher; P Francis, B Spencer; V Morozov, T Dunn, D Rae, D Attwood, F Lee-Warner, T Hill, W White, J Bayliss. Substitutes: N Annett, A Cordwell, J Jonker, W Spencer, T Ellis, L Schreuder, O Bailey, R de Carpentier.

 

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Glasgow rugby loses a legend with passing of Jim Taylor MBE

THE OFFSIDE LINE'S coverage of Glasgow Warriors is powered by MCCREA FINANCIAL SERVICES.

McCrea Financial Services sponsor Glasgow Warriors and provide a wide range of financial advisory services including mortgage, pension and retirement planning advice. See www.mccreafs.co.uk to contact them for more information.
About David Barnes 3187 Articles
David has worked as a freelance rugby journalist since 2004 covering every level of the game in Scotland for publications including he Herald/Sunday Herald, The Sunday Times, The Telegraph, The Scotsman/Scotland on Sunday/Evening News, The Daily Record, The Daily Mail/Mail on Sunday and The Sun.

9 Comments

  1. It might not be a high profile tournament but credit where it’s due an away win in Europe isn’t to be sniffed at.Thought both SH were excellent as was Weir off the bench and Smith n McLean were always a danger. Jones however at centre was a breath of fresh air. It’s surely inconceivable that we would be looking to the likes of Harris at 6n when we have likes of Jones Hutchison and Jones as options. Even GT can’t be that stubborn?? Not a big fan of Smith but selection was fully vindicated today hats off to him and the squad.

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  2. This is a meaningless cup with no chance of winning, so it offers the chance to blood some youngsters and others, without jeopardising the league position. Will help them in their development, and the clubs, in the long run.

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  3. Sad to not even pretend to give this comp a lash in round 1.
    Bath have been going really well this season and it would have been good to see a near full strength team having a go.
    I know this isn’t the big show but still feel this is selling the long suffering supporters short.

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    • Bath sit one point off the foot of Premiership table and are the second lowest scoring team in their league. Glasgow could still do something here and the lower cup is one they could go very deep in – perhaps even create history and win. It’s a shame if they are reducing their chances by putting all their eggs in the one league basket.
      Time will tell.

  4. Interesting team , great to see Jones back. Good to see Du Preez and Miotti starting also. Pity no coverage on TV of the game.

  5. That selection would certainly suggest as much. Blooding league players in a European Cup competition seems very bizarre to me.”Mixing it up”, if that what this is, to such an extent surely loses any momentum found last weekend at Zebre?

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    • many teams have done this over the years. No money in diddy cup, league position and back into Champions Cup is 100% their priority.
      Problem as ever is a season structure which is not fit for purpose

  6. that’s a lot of rotation. Even of some is obviously needed, its clear Glasgow are prioritising the league and not the diddy cup at this stage.

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