Glasgow Warriors make sweeping changes for must-win Exeter match

Ryan Wilson is sole forward to keep his place from last week's win over Benetton

Former team-mates Tommy Seymour (left) and Stuart Hogg will line up against each other tomorrow when Glasgow take on Exeter. Image: Fotosport/David Gibson.

DAVE Rennie has made wholesale changes to his Glasgow team for their Champions Cup match against Exeter Chiefs, bringing in 11 players who were rested from last week’s league win over Benetton. Ryan Wilson is the only member of the pack to keep his place from that game in Treviso, while in the back division George Horne holds on to the No 9 jersey, Sam Johnson remains at inside-centre and Kyle Steyn moves from the right wing to the left.

Steyn’s switch accommodates Tommy Seymour, while the other change in the back three sees Glenn Bryce come in at full-back instead of Ruaridh Jackson. Huw Jones replaces the injured Nick Grigg at outside centre and Adam Hastings takes over from Pete Horne at stand-off for the game against the English club, who include former Warrior Stuart Hogg in their line-up.

“Glenn’s a very good player, with an excellent skill set,” Rennie said of Bryce. “He’s not dissimilar to Hoggy, in that he’s quick, got a good kicking game and is a quality distributor. It gives us a lot of pace on the field. He played well at the start of the season before he picked up a couple of knocks, but he deserves his opportunity.

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“[Last weekend] was a good chance to freshen a few boys up after the two double-headers – they’ve carried a big toll over the last month. Bruce Flockhart and Tom Gordon were both outstanding but unfortunately picked up a couple of niggles, so they’re unavailable this weekend. It’s good to have guys back fresh and ready to go, however.”

As expected, the big guns return to the pack, with Jonny Gray coming back at lock to face the club he will join in the summer. Callum Gibbins returns to captain the team from openside, Matt Fagerson is back at No 8, and Wilson moves from 8 to 6.

Besides flankers  Flockhart and Gordon, and Grigg, who took a head knock in the Treviso match, the others on the injury list are Andrew Davidson, Siua Halanukonuka, Sean Kennedy, Kiran McDonald, Robbie Nairn, D’Arcy Rae, Brandon Thomson and DTH van der Merwe.

With two rounds of pool games to go, the Chiefs are ten points clear of Glasgow in Pool Two, so need only a point tomorrow to qualify for the quarter-finals as group winners. The Warriors need to win this match then the one next week against Sale Sharks to have a realistic hope of getting into the last eight as one of the best three runners-up from the five pools.

Glasgow Warriors (v Exeter Chiefs at Scotstoun, Saturday 3.15pm): G Bryce; T Seymour, H Jones, S Johnson, K Steyn; A Hastings, G Horne; O Kebble, F Brown, Z Fagerson, S Cummings, J Gray, R Wilson, C Gibbins (captain), M Fagerson. Substitutes: G Turner, A Seiuli, A Nicol, R Harley, C Fusaro, A Price, P Horne, N Matawalu.

Exeter Chiefs: S Hogg; J Nowell, I Whitten, O Devoto, O Woodburn; J Simmonds (captain), N White; A Hepburn, L Cowan-Dickie, E Pieretto, J Kirsten, S Lonsdale, D Ewers, J Vermeulen, M Kvesic. Substitutes: E Taione, B Moon, M Street, W Witty, D Armand, J Maunder, G Steenson, S Hill.

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About Stuart Bathgate 1407 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.