Glasgow v Benetton: Alex Samuel to make debut in much-changed Warriors line-up

Euan Ferrie will also make his first appearance if he comes off the bench in the URC match against the Italian side.

Former Scotland under-20s captain Alex Samuel could make his Glasgow Warriors debut in South Africa during the next fortnight. Image: © Craig Watson -
Former Scotland under-20s captain Alex Samuel will make his Glasgow Warriors debut against Benetton. Image: © Craig Watson -

FORMER Scotland Under-20s captain Alex Samuel is set to make his Glasgow Warriors debut from the start against Benetton tomorrow, while Euan Ferrie is in line to make his first appearance off the bench. And Jamie Dobie will make his return from injury in a line-up which is radically different from the one that began the Warriors’ last outing, the 40-12 defeat by the Sharks in Durban two weeks ago.

Only three players who began that match will also start against the Italians tomorrow, and only one of those – Sintu Manjezi, who partners Samuel at lock – is in the same position. Ryan Wilson is another to remain but moves from No 8 to blindside, while Josh McKay shifts from the wing to full-back.

Scrum-half Jamie Dobie makes his return from injury and will partner Domingo Miotti at half-back, while Rufus McLean also features in the back division. In the pack, tighthead prop Murphy Walker has been released from the Scotland squad to make his first start of the season.

“After a disrupted few weeks everyone is looking forward to getting back to playing rugby in front of our home crowd tomorrow evening,” head coach Franco Smith said, referring to the outbreak of illness which forced the cancellation of Glasgow’s match against the Lions last weekend.

“It’s great to be able to welcome Jamie Dobie back into the side and we’re looking forward to seeing Alex and Euan earn their debuts. Tomorrow is another challenge – Benetton out-performed us in the first week and we need to be at our best to rectify that tomorrow at Scotstoun in front of our home crowd.”

Glasgow Warriors (v Benetton at Scotstoun, Friday 7.35pm): J McKay; S Cancelliere, K Steyn (captain), S McDowall, R McLean; D Miotti, J Dobie; O Kebble, F Brown, M Walker, S Manjezi, A Samuel, R Wilson, G Brown, S Vailamu. Substitutes: J Matthews, N McBeth, S Berghan, JP du Preez, L Bean, E Ferrie, S Kennedy, T Jordan.

Benetton: R Smith; I Mendy, J Riera, M Zanon, M Bellini; G da Re, D Duvenage (captain), N Tetaz, F Zani, T Pasquali, S Scrafton, C Wegner, G Pettinelli, S Negri, H Time-Stowers. Substitutes:  M Arroyo, T Gallo, F Alongi, M Lazzaroni, A Steyn, A Izekor, A Garbisi, M Watson.


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About Stuart Bathgate 1434 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.


  1. Townsend has picked as strong a team as possible for the Australian match.He can probably get away with picking an experimental team v Fiji but for the other two games he must select strongest possible side with a view to world cup and should include Russell

    • For this match i agree that he has picked his strongest available side. This is however due to International window constraints. As such, as I stated below, he is pissing about with yet more combinations and players who won’t be going to France and in the meantime Glasgow and Edinburgh have to play hobbled.
      I just wish Townsend would decide on his best team and injury permitting play the same players between now and the World Cup to at least give them the advantage of consistency.
      I bet we can all sit down and have a damm good guess at the Irish and SA teams we will face in 10 months. With Scotland it’s more like eyes down for a full house guesswork.

  2. Playing Australia outside the official window is managing to work it right up the Warriors and to a lesser extent Edinburgh. So the Warriors are having to field a second string side containing professional debutees against a full strength Benetton making the acquisition of league points and mini league points far tougher. Making the top 8 will be difficult and now potentially loosing mini league points to qualify for the Champions Cup by topping the Scottish-Italian competition is now also being put in jeopardy.
    I expect Edinburgh will also have to field a weakened 15, although from a arguably better squad and at least if they lose to Cardiff it will only effect their standing in one league and not two.
    What is really galling is that Townsend is pissing his time away with yet more combinations that will make absolutely no difference to our forthcoming early exit from next years World Cup. Meanwhile all the time the SRU having little or no regard to how this will impact both pro clubs going forward.

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