Edinburgh v Glasgow: Richie Gray returns to depleted Warriors squad

Head coach Danny Wilson has had to content with a lengthy list of absentees through injury and Covid issues

Richie Gray
Richie Gray is back in the Glasgow line-up to play Edinburgh tomorrow. Image: © Craig Watson. www.craigwatson.co.uk

RICHIE Gray will make a welcome comeback to the Glasgow Warriors team tomorrow at precisely the right time. The lock, absent for some time with concussion, is in a squad which has been badly hit by injury and Covid-related complications, and his experience and leadership are sure to come in useful against Edinburgh.

As the Warriors announced on Hogmanay, co-captain Fraser Brown is expected to miss the first three months of the year because of a neck injury, while scrum-half George Horne will be out for almost as long with a foot injury and Alex Allan will not play again this season as he recovers from an Achilles operation. Adam Hastings, Leone Nakarawa, Tommy Seymour and Kyle Steyn are among those to have been on the injury list for some time, while three players who tested positive for Covid and three others who have had to self-isolate are  also unavailable for the PRO14 game at Murrayfield.

Glasgow have declined on the grounds of medical confidentiality to name any players who have tested positive for coronavirus, instead simply listing all unavailable players: Alex Allan, Fraser Brown,  Rob Harley, Adam Hastings, George Horne, Pete Horne, Oli Kebble, Sean Kennedy, Kiran McDonald, Rufus McLean, Niko Matawalu, Leone Nakarawa, Tommy Seymour and Kyle Steyn.

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While the list of absentees is lengthy, Danny Wilson has still been able to select a pretty competitive team. The back division in particular is close to full strength, although the absence of both Hastings and Pete Horne means Ross Thompson comes on to the bench for a possible debut as replacement stand-off behind Brandon Thomson.

Including that change at 10, the head coach has made six changes to the side that began the Warriors’ last outing, the 42-0 Champions Cup defeat by Exeter. Two of the others are in the back three: Huw Jones starts at full-back, while Ratu Tagive comes in on the left wing as an indirect replacement for Seymour, with Lee Jones moving to No 14.

In the front row Aki Seiuli takes over from Kebble at loosehead. Gray takes over from Rob Harley in the second row, and Tom Gordon comes into the back row in place of McDonald.

Glasgow Warriors (v Edinburgh at BT Murrayfield, Saturday 3pm): H Jones; L Jones, N Grigg, S Johnson, R Tagive; B Thomson, A Price; A Seiuli, G Turner, Z Fagerson, R Gray, S Cummings, R Wilson (captain), T Gordon, M Fagerson. Substitutes: J Matthews, G Thornton, E Pieretto, L Bean, T Ioane, J Dobie, R Thompson, G Bryce.

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About Stuart Bathgate 1427 Articles
Stuart has been the rugby correspondent for both The Scotsman and The Herald, and was also The Scotsman’s chief sports writer for 14 years from 2000.