Challenge Cup Final: Glasgow Warriors name team for Toulon clash

Rory Darge, Richie Gray and Stafford McDowall selected on the bench

Huw Jones and Sione Tuipulotu will team up in midfield for Glasgow Warriors in tomorrow night's Challenge Cup Final against Toulon. Image: © Craig Watson - www.craigwatson.co.uk
Huw Jones and Sione Tuipulotu will team up in midfield for Glasgow Warriors in tomorrow night's Challenge Cup Final against Toulon. Image: © Craig Watson - www.craigwatson.co.uk

HUW JONES has returned to Glasgow Warriors’ starting XV for tomorrow [Friday] night’s European Challenge Cup Final clash against Toulon at the Aviva Stadium. He will line-up alongside Sione Tuipulotu in the centre with Stafford McDowall on the bench. Domingo Miotti comes in for the suspended Tom Jordan at stand-off.

Meanwhile, in the pack, JP Du Preez is named ahead of Richie Gray in the second-row, with veteran Scotland cap ready to make an impact off the bench, while Rory Darge is also named as a replacement with Sione Vailanu, Matt Fagerson and Jack Dempsey the starting back-row.

Fraser Brown gets the nod at hooker, with Johnny Matthews on the bench, meaning Scotland current first choice No 2 George Turner has travelled with the squad as 24th man but will not be involved tomorrow unless there is a last-minute call-off.


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“This week’s training has been highly competitive, with every player putting their hand up for selection and pushing each other forward,” said head coach Franco Smith.

“Toulon will provide a stern test, and they are a team that know how to play in finals rugby.

“We’re excited for the challenge that lies in wait and we know we need to be at our best in Dublin tomorrow night.”

Meanwhile, Toulon have selected South African World Cup winner Cheslin Kolbe at full-back, with Dan Biggar at stand-off, and Sergio Parisse at No 8. Skipper Charles Ollivion at flanker and winger Gabin Villière are among the French internationalists named in a star-studded team.

Former Glasgow second-row Brian Alain’uese and former Edinburgh flanker Cornell Du Preez are also in the starting line-up.

 

Glasgow (v Toulon at the Aviva Stadium on Friday night @ 8pm): O Smith; S Cancelliere, H Jones, S Tuipulotu, K Steyn©; D Miotti, G Horne; J Bhatti, F Brown, Z Fagerson, J Du Preez, S Cummings, M Fagerson, S Vialanu, J Dempsey. Substitutes: J Matthews, N McBeth, S Berghan, R Gray, L Bean, R Darge, A Price, S McDowall.

Toulon: C Kolbe; J Wainiqolo, W Nayacalevu, D Paia’uau, G Villiere; D Biggar, B Serin; D Priso, T Baubigny, B Gigashvili, M Tanguy, B Alain’uese, C Du Preez, S Parisse, C Ollivion©. Substitutes: C Tolofua, J Gros, K Brookes, F Isa, M Bastareaud, B Paillaugue, I West, J Sinzelle.


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About David Barnes 4002 Articles
David has worked as a freelance rugby journalist since 2004 covering every level of the game in Scotland for publications including The 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.

23 Comments

  1. If we can keep 15 men on the field then we have every chance. Feel for Jordan missing this one and to have only one 10 in the 23 is one heck of a risk. Otherwise a very strong team as usual, although what’s happened to Turner?

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  2. Surprised to see Gray on the bench. But Smith has got us this far, and I am sure it is all part of a cunning plan.

    From a sentimental point of view, bit sad Wilson didn’t make the bench and has now played his last game. But what a strong bench it is.

  3. Like the physical back row with Darge coming on later as the game breaks up. Du Preez for Gray is a surprise but doesn’t necessarily weaken the side. After this season we don’t need to question Franco’s judgement. Come on lads. Bring it home!!

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  4. Whatever happens this has been a much improved season for Glasgow. My main hope for the final is that this doesnt come down to some moment of madness or inaccuracy that gets someone sent off. All of the 23 named are playing well and if it all clicks we will get what we deserve.

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  5. Forwards on bench very impressive, if anything I’d have started Gray and benched Cummings.
    Ideally would want to have another 10 but Weir way too slow, Jordan suspended, Thompson injured.
    I’d hope that the forwards get parity for the backs to play, I reckon it could be a great game

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  6. This will be Parrise’s last chance of silverware before the final curtain comes down on an illustrious career.

    He will either play a blinder and his inspirational play will help Toulon to a narrow win. Or, he gets carried away, tries to do too much and has a stinker allowing Glasgow to seize the spoils.
    Should be a cracker

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  7. I understand the need for squad rotation but surely when it gets to a final you have your show ponies starting. Gray has had a very good season for both club and country and his size alone brings a real presence to the lineout. You want your scrum and lineout to function from minute 1 so I don’t buy the impact off the bench nonsense
    Darge has been very good since his return and again should be starting

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    • JP du Preez is taller and bigger than Richie Gray though and has also been excellent in recent games i have thought, for me its kind of like for like tbh. He is very solid around the line-out.

      Same with Fraser Brown, Huw Jones, Matt Fagerson etc coming in to the starting team, very little difference between those that have been replaced.

      Its probably been good for squad moral with the rotation policy, no one is having a bad game, and knowing you have a realistic chance of playing the big games at the end of the season must help the players maintain form throughout the season.

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  8. I confess to knowing more about the names in Toulon’s back line (Parisse aside) than their pack. Hopefully the call with Darge is to bring his impact on against a tiring group of big lumps, and start to win turnovers or at least slow ball down, though these things always depend on the game script. Similarly knowing we have a lineout operator of Richie’s calibre coming off the bench feels good. Glasgow midfield is superior to Toulon’s, and I also think 6-2 risk aside, that the bench looks strong. I’m a million miles away in the mountains of Utah but will be trying to watch somehow. Go Glasgow!

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  9. Cannot complain about the team, good to see Horne at 9 for his kicking if nothing else. Interesting Darge dropped to bench along with Gray as well. I have a feeling in my water we will win this, lets go Glasgow , just wish I was there as well.

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  10. Brown will be angry after his RWC snub. Good call. Plus Matthews was a bit below par last week, but still has slightly more than Turner at the moment.

    Darge is a tough call but who am I to question a coach who has turned the team around to this extent. 12 months ago we all remember how we felt. What incredible progress.

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    • Forwards on bench very impressive, if anything I’d have started Gray and benched Cummings.
      Ideally would want to have another 10 but Weir way too slow, Jordan suspended, Thompson injured.
      I’d hope that the forwards get parity for the backs to play, I reckon it could be a great game

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  11. At this stage in the season, many players are carrying knocks and niggles, so difficult to say whether this is Franco’s strict rotation policy or not. Braver is the choice to go again with no real 10 on the bench with the 6:2 split – Lightning doesn’t strike twice does it? Otherwise a really strong 15, with a definite Franco strategy in there.

    Can’t be in Dublin due to a family wedding, maybe got my priorities wrong 😉

    #Whatever it takes – C’moan the Warriors!

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    • Having been to six of the seven games so far, I am also not able to travel, due to a clash with a family wedding. I am in the right place physically, but mentally shall be at the Aviva this evening.

      We are Warriors – bring it home!

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  12. 2 rather puzzling choices in Brown and leaving Gray on the bench.. I’d like to see the line-out stats for the 3 hookers…and without Gray as a target. I hope I’m wrong and the team brings home the trophy.

    • tight calls Rob.
      DuPreez has I think outperformed Richie recently and is very much like for like. No idea what has happened to Turner, Glasgow haven’t listed injured/not available.
      You missed the biggest call for me, Darge on the bench. For me he is first name on the starting team sheet

      • I agree, I’d have Cornell back any day.
        Oh, I thought you meant Ritchie, 🙂
        Looks like a great back row duel, the younger legs might just win the day.

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