Glasgow v Toulon: Kyle Steyn and Jack Dempsey both start Champions Cup clash with Toulon

Warriors must win to guarantee their place in last 16 place

Franco Smith has named his Glasgow Warriors team to face Toulon at Scotstoun in the Champions Cup tomorrow night. Image: © Craig Watson -
Franco Smith has named his Glasgow Warriors team to face Toulon at Scotstoun in the Champions Cup tomorrow night. Image: © Craig Watson -

KYLE STEYN and Jack Dempsey both go straight into the Glasgow starting line-up for the pivotal Investec Champions Cup pool match at home to Toulon on Friday night.

The pair have recovered sufficently from long-term injuries to take their place, with captain Steyn not having featured since week two with a serious ankle problem, while back-rower Dempsey last played in November before fracturing a bone in his skull that required surgery.

The timing of the duo’s return is good news both for Warriors who must win to guarantee their last 16 place in the Champions Cup, and also for Scotland head coach Gregor Townsend who named both this week in his squad for the Guinness Six Nations.

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Smith has made a number of changes from the team beaten narrowly by Exeter Chiefs last weekend, especially in the forwards where only Ally Miller and Matt Fagerson retain their starting places.

In the backs, Stafford McDowall drops to the bench, with Huw Jones moving off the wing to centre, while Tom Jordan starts at fly-half ahead of Duncan Weir.

Smith said: “Our performance at Sandy Park last weekend was the level that we know we need to produce again tomorrow night.

“Toulon are a team with a proud history in European competition, and we know that we will have to be on top of our game as they come here aiming to secure their own qualification.

“We’re pleased to welcome Kyle and Jack back into our starting lineup after their hard work alongside our medical team, and we look forward to running out at home again tomorrow night.”


Glasgow Warriors (versus Toulon at Scotstoun Stadium in the Champions Cup on Friday at 8pm UK time): J McKay; K Steyn ©, H Jones, S Tuipulotu, K Rowe; T Jordan, G Horne; J Bhatti, G Turner, L Sordoni, M Williamson, R Gray, A Miller, M Fagerson, J Dempsey. Substitutes:  J Matthews, O Kebble, Z Fagerson, S Cummings, H Venter, E Ferrie, B Afshar, S McDowall.

Unavailable for selection: Fraser Brown (knee), Gregor Brown (knee), Sebastian Cancelliere (neck), Rory Darge (knee), Jamie Dobie (ankle), Nathan McBeth (shoulder), Enrique Pieretto (knee), JP du Preez (knee), Ollie Smith (knee), Sione Vailanu (knee), Murphy Walker (knee).

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About Graeme Macpherson 25 Articles
Graeme Macpherson is a freelance sports writer who covers rugby for a number of outlets.


  1. Fraser Brown (knee), Gregor Brown (knee), Sebastian Cancelliere (neck), Rory Darge (knee), Jamie Dobie (ankle), Nathan McBeth (shoulder), Enrique Pieretto (knee), JP du Preez (knee), Ollie Smith (knee), Sione Vailanu (knee), Murphy Walker (knee).

    8 knees gone – artificial pitch issues? training on that surface day in and out will waken them no question. I worked with a physio during my rehab phase back to fitness after a shoulder injury who told me 80% of knee injuries can be traced back to strain due to training on hard 4G pitches – must be something to it. i know most pro boys and girls absolutely loathe them . something to think about maybe.

    Anyway good team and that

    • yet most of the 7 knee issues were not incurred on an artificial pitch

      Darge at hybrid Murrayfield. Fraz Brown at Twickers (Barbarians). Smith in Bayonne, Ditto Gregor Brown.
      Vailanu was at Scotstoun, an illegal clear out

      If there was clear evidence of artificial pitches causing these it would be out there. It isn’t

    • I’ve played on both and never had an injury in 4g but had knee and ligament injuries on grass. Theres never been any medical study done to show any evidence that 4g causes more injuries. The RFU analyse their injury stats at end of every season and have yet to find 4g causes more injuries than grass. It’s a myth until someone can provide actual proof rather than anecdotal evidence or some internet conspiracy. Glasgow has massive injury lists whilst at Firhill. The likelihood is that pro players are sustaining more injuries because they are carrying too much muscle bulk and the number of subs means collisions are more impactful due to the fact players are heavier now.

      • And yet many clubs don’t play certain players on artificial pitches. Why would they choose to do that do you think?

      • @Alanj
        certain players do not like playing on artificial surface is I think more accurate. Clubs all have to rotate and try t accommodate this where possible. Now I don’t doubt the player believes the pitch is the problem and indeed may have been injured one one, but I’m afraid that is not evidence of a wider problem re artificial pitches. Most high profile case I think was Nowell when at Exeter, but given some of the beliefs among the squad there I’m afraid he is all too easy to dismiss

  2. Looks a bit thin in terms of FH cover? Looks like Warriors could keep a knee specialist busy for a while…

    • I do wonder about how Franco Smith views Ross Thompson? I trust Smith but does he still view Thompson as not quite ready for big games?

      • Was just thinking same myself. Would like to know what’s going on there. Thompson too good a player to not get near the team week after week and not listed as injured.

      • Spot on. I’m baffled by the absence of Thompson. Does Smith just not rate him?
        I don’t often take issue with Franco ( other than his previous reluctance to play Ally Miller), but this seems to be a similar situation with Ross. Having said that, he sees them in training every day and we don’t so maybe he knows something we don’t.

  3. Looks a stronger team than of late IMHO. Well balanced and good to see some key players back. We owe Toulon one and I expect a win tomorrow night.

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