SCRUM-HALF George Horne, hooker George Turner and flanker Tom Gordon have been released by Scotland to start for Glasgow Warriors’ in their home fixture against Zebre tomorrow (Friday) night, while winger Kyle Steyn has been named on the bench, with all four inevitably desperate to put in big performances in order to push their case for greater involvement in next weekend’s Six Nations round three match against Italy in Rome.
No 8 Matt Fagerson will also be looking to make a point to Gregor Townsend, after missing out on the initial Six Nations squad due to a lack of recent game time because of a suspension quickly followed by a rib injury, while b will be aware that the national set-up are a stand-off down at the moment due to Finn Russell‘s much-publicised walk-out.
Meanwhile, Oli Kebble – primarily a loose-head prop – has shifted across to the tight-head to fill the gap left by Zander Fagerson‘s international commitments and injuries to D’Arcy Rae, Siua Halanukonuka and Petrus Du Plessis.
“The boys are in good shape,” said head coach Dave Rennie. “They’ve come back in after a bit of a break and we’ve prepared well. We’ve played really well over the last few matches, so it’s good to have them freshened up physically and mentally.
“We’ve got a good side going out there, including five players back from Scotland camp. They’ve slotted back in seamlessly as you’d expect – they’re guys that have played a lot of rugby for us over the last few months.
“We’ve got a few injuries at tight-head as well as Zander [Fagerson] away with the national side, but Oli [Kebble] put up his hand and was prepared to jump across. He’s done a fair bit of scrummaging there recently and he’s a big man who understands our structures. We’re excited and think that he can do a job for us, whilst it also means we’ve got him and Aki [Seiuli] out on the field together.
“It’s great to be back in front of our fans. Our home crowd is fantastic and the boys love playing at Scotstoun. We’ve got a really good side out on the field and we’re hoping for a bumper crowd.”
Glasgow Warriors (versus Zebre at Scotstoun Stadium, Friday, kick-off: 7.35pm): G Bryce; T Seymour, N Grigg, S McDowall, D van der Merwe; P Horne, G Hone; A Seiuli, G Turner, O Kebble, R Harley, L Nakarawa, R Wilson©, T Gordon, M Fagerson. Subs: M Dolokoto, A Allan, A Nicol, T Swinson, C Fusaro, J Dobie, R Jackson, K Steyn.
Not available due to injury: Adam Ashe (calf), Bruce Flockhart (back), Siua Halanukonuka (calf), Sean Kennedy (ankle), Johnny Matthews (ankle), Kiran McDonald (hip), Robbie Nairn (knee), D’Arcy Rae (hand), Grant Stewart (back), Brandon Thomson (calf) and George Thornton (ankle).