NEARLY four months after injuring a shoulder while playing for Scotland, Adam Hastings is set to return to action tomorrow night when Glasgow welcome Ulster to Scotstoun. The stand-off, who needed surgery on the shoulder, goes straight into the Warriors’ starting line-up for the PRO14 match.
In the pack, Oli Kebble and Richie Gray are available again after being on Scotland duty, as is full-back Huw Jones. Grant Stewart and D’Arcy Rae, who were also training with Scotland last week, make it a quintet of players released back to Danny Wilson for this game. Leone Nakarawa starts in the second row alongside Gray against the team he will join this summer, and the bench includes lock James Scott, who signed on a short-term loan from Worcester earlier this week.
“It’s great to be back and looking forward to playing some rugby,” head coach Wilson said after naming his squad. “It’s good to have five players back from Scotland camp to get some game time, and it’s great to have Adam back fit and available to us.
“Ulster gave us a real tough day over at the Kingspan earlier in the season. They’re a very powerful side and I’m sure they’ll also have Irish internationals back with them. Tomorrow night will be a big challenge.”
Scott Cummings, Matt Fagerson, Ali Price and George Turner have all been retained by Scotland. Zander Fagerson is on the list of players deemed unavailable for other reasons, including injury, although it is as yet uncertain which Warriors match he will be counted as missing as part of his four-week suspension by the Six Nations following his red card against Wales.
Fagerson has the right to appeal against that suspension, but it is understood that no decision will be taken on that until Scottish Rugby receive the full written judgement on his case from the Six Nations.
The unavailable list in full is : Alex Allan, Fraser Brown, Zander Fagerson, Chris Fusaro, George Horne, Pete Horne, Lee Jones, Paddy Kelly, Kiran McDonald, Stafford McDowall, Niko Matawalu, Robbie Nairn, Tommy Seymour and Kyle Steyn.
Ulster, who beat Glasgow 40-15 at home in November, are second in Conference A, 31 points ahead of the Warriors. They need a win to keep up the pressure on leaders Leinster, who are currently four points clear of them and favourites to go through to the final as conference winners.
Glasgow have only played twice since the turn of the year, both times against Edinburgh. Their last outing against non-Scottish opposition was the heavy Champions Cup defeat by Exeter, while their most recent PRO14 match other than the derby was a one-point home defeat by the Dragons in early December.
Glasgow Warriors (v Ulster at Scotstoun, Friday 7.35pm): H Jones; R Tagive, R Fergusson, S Johnson, R McLean; A Hastings, J Dobie; O Kebble, J Matthews, E Pieretto, R Gray, L Nakarawa, R Harley, T Gordon, R Wilson (captain). Substitutes: G Stewart, A Seiuli, D Rae, J Scott, T Ioane, S Kennedy, R Thompson, O Smith.
Ulster: M Lowry, C Gilroy, J Hume, S McCloskey, R Lyttle, I Madigan, J Cooney; E O’Sullivan, J Andrew, M Moore, A O’Connor, K Treadwell, N Timoney, J Murphy (captain), M Coetzee. Substitutes: A McBurney, A Warwick, T O’Toole, C Izuchukwu, G Jones, A Mathewson, S Moore, M Faddes.
Good to see Adam Hastings back. That’s an interesting squad. Good blend of experience and young players coming through. Hope to see good game for Ross Thompson and Ollie Smith off the bench