Leone Nakarawa makes his Glasgow Warriors comeback at flanker

Fijian's selection is one of five changes to the line-up for crucial Champions Cup clash

Leone Nakarawa in action during his previous stint at Glasgow. Image: David Gibson / Photosport
Leone Nakarawa in action during his previous stint at Glasgow. Image: David Gibson / Photosport

LEONE NAKARAWA has been named at blindside flanker by Glasgow Warriors head coach Dave Rennie for tomorrow’s final Champions Cup pool match against Sale Sharks at the AJ Bell Stadium.

With Matt Fagerson out of action with a rib injury, Bruce Flockhart nursing a back problem and Callum Gibbins suspended, the big Fijian – who returned to the club earlier this month after his contract with Racing 92 was terminated – has been handed the No 6 shirt. Ryan Wilson shifts from blindside to No 8 and captains the side, while Tom Gordon comes in at openside, with Rob Harley and Chris Fusaro providing cover from the bench.

Elsewhere in the line-up, loose-head prop where Aki Seiuli swaps in for Oli Kebble from the bench, it is a similar switch between Ali Price and George Horne at scrum-half, and DTH van Der Merwe starts on the right wing in place of Tommy Seymour, who has a head knock.

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“Tom (Gordon) is a great athlete, who offers us a genuine ball-carrying option,” said Rennie. “He’s made good shifts around his physicality his work post-tackle, and he’s gone really well for us over the last couple of months.

“Leone (Nakarawa) gives us a great ball-carrying option in the back-row. He’ll commit a lot of defenders and can create space for others, and we’re excited to give him a crack on the side of the scrum.

“Sale are very direct, but they’re also very innovative. They’re a lot tougher to face down there. We’re expecting them to go full tilt tomorrow and we expect them to put a strong team out on the field.”

Warriors really need a win with a bonus point, and to hope that other results got their way, in order to make the quarter-finals of European rugby’s flagship competition this season.


Sale will be without prop Valery Morozov, who has been suspended for three weeks following an independent Disciplinary Hearing in London yesterday, arising from his sending off by Scottish referee, Mike Adamson against La Rochelle last week for a dangerous shoulder charge.”

Sale have listed Gus Warr and Cameron Redpath, two exciting young backs who have played age-grade rugby for Scotland, but have since veered towards England, on their bench.

Glasgow Warriors (v Sale Sharks at the AJ Bell Stadium, Saturday 5.30pm): G Bryce; D Van Der Merwe, H Jones, S Johnson, K Steyn; A Hastings, A Price; A Seiuli, F Brown, Z Fagerson, S Cummings, J Gray, L Nakarawa, T Gordon, R Wilson ©. Substitutes: G Turner, O Kebble, A Nicol, R Harley, C Fusaro, G Horne, P Horne, N Matawalu.

Sale Sharks: J Carpenter; D Solomona, L James, J Williams, M Yarde; T Curtis, W Cliff; R Harrison, C Langdon, W  John, M  Postlewhaite, J Phillips, T Curry, B Curry, J Ross. Subs: R Webber, B Carlile, J Cooper-Woolley, S Dugdale, C Neild, F Warr, C Redpath, T Roebuck.

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About David Barnes 4004 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.