Glasgow v Zebre preview: Franco Smith announces squad for first outing of season

Several established players are augmented in the matchday group of 26 by academy signings and Super Series regulars

Facundo Cordero
Facundo Cordero in action for Glasgow Warriors A against Stirling Wolves earlier this year. Image: © Craig Watson.

GLASGOW may be without a host of players through injury or Rugby World Cup duty, but Franco Smith has nonetheless been able to select what on paper is a fairly strong side for tomorrow night’s home game against Zebre Parma. Between recent signings and academy players, a number of players will be representing the Warriors for the first time – although as the club do not count friendlies in their statistics, they will all have to wait before being accredited with having made their official debuts. 

Argentinian international Facundo Cordero is one of the players in that situation, having previously had just one outing since joining the club – for Glasgow ‘A’ in the Super Series Sprint. The full-back’s early months at Scotstoun saw him pick up a hamstring injury,  but he is now fully fit and more than ready to go.

“I’m good, I want to put the jersey on, and let’s try and do something with it,” he said. “It’s good to be here – there are plenty of Argentinians and I’m very happy.”

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Glasgow v Zebre preview: Franco Smith announces squad for first outing of season

One of those Argentinians, Sebastian Cancelliere, is in the back three alongside Cordero and Kyle Rowe while another, Lucio Sordoni, starts at tighthead prop. Elsewhere in the starting line-up, former Scotland Under-20s captain Duncan Munn forms a centre partnership with Tom Jordan, who emerged as head coach Smith’s first choice as stand-off last season but steps out to give Ross Thompson the No 10 jersey on this occasion. Scrum-half Jamie Dobie will captain the team.

In the pack, experienced South African Henco Venter is given a first outing in the back row alongside Ally Miller and Gregor Brown. Duncan Weir is included in an 11-man bench which is otherwise largely composed of academy signings and Super Series draftees.

“Tomorrow sees us take the next step in our pre-season preparations, as we take on a Zebre Parma team that will test us across the field,” Smith said after announcing his squad of 26. “The players have worked hard since returning to Scotstoun, and everyone is looking forward to getting back out there.

“We’re also pleased to give an opportunity to some of our academy players, who have earned their opportunity with their efforts in pre-season so far. The growth of our squad and Scottish rugby overall is a priority for us, so we’re excited to give these young players their chance.”


Glasgow Warriors (v Zebre Parma at Scotstoun, Saturday 6pm): F Cordero; S Cancelliere, D Munn, T Jordan, K Rowe; R Thompson, J Dobie (captain); N McBeth, A Fraser, L Sordoni, A Samuel, E Ferrie, G Brown, A Miller, H Venter. Replacements: C Tait, T Banatvala, C Norrie, R Hart, J Morris, B Afshar, D Weir, B Salmon, K Johnston, L Bardelli, O Horne.


About Stuart Bathgate 1394 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 Comment

  1. Hard work for the coaches for the next couple of weeks with half the squad off with national teams. Great opportunity for some players to make a name for themselves.

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