Ospreys v Glasgow: Ali Price assumes captaincy as Warriors make five changes

Sam Johnson and Rufus McLean also come into starting line-up for trip to Swansea

Ali Price
Ali Price will captain Glasgow against the Ospreys on his first start of the season. Image: © Craig Watson - www.craigwatson.co.uk

FRANCO Smith has made two changes to the Glasgow pack and three to the back division in his team to play the Ospreys in Swansea tomorrow.

The alterations up front are both in the back row and enforced by injury, with Tom Gordon and Gregor Brown replacing Rory Darge and Matt Fagerson respectively. Darge suffered an ankle injury in last week’s 52-24 win over Cardiff that will keep him out of action for the rest of 2022 at least, while Fagerson took a rib knock in midweek.

Behind the scrum, Ali Price replaces George Horne in the No 9 jersey and takes over the captaincy from Kyle Steyn, who misses the game through a hamstring injury. Rufus McLean replaces Steyn on the left wing, and in midfield Sam Johnson replaces Stafford McDowall.

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Ryan Wilson, Simon Berghan and Sean Kennedy could also make their first appearances of the season after being named  on a bench which has a six-two split.

“Last weekend’s performance against Cardiff was another step forward in our journey,” head coach Smith said, referring t0 his team’s massive improvement from their 33-11 defeat by Benetton in their first URC game of the season. “Our systems clicked and we won playing our brand of rugby. Tomorrow we want to make another step forward when we take on an experienced Ospreys side.

“It’s great to be able to bring Sam, Rufus and Gregor into the starting XV. They alll have worked hard in training and have earned their chance to pull on the jeresy tomorrow afternoon. Ospreys have threats across the park and once again we will need to be ruthless in the contact area and clinical in attack in Swansea tomorrow.”

In addition to the two back-row absentees and Steyn, seven others are named as unavailable for selection:  Allan Dell (calf), Jamie Dobie (hamstring), Huw Jones (back), Nathan McBeth (knee) Ally Miller (back), Enrique Pieretto (shoulder) and Max Williamson (shoulder).

The Ospreys, who lost 27-28 at home to the Lions last week and drew 23-23 at the Scarlets on the opening weekend of the season, are also captained from scrum-half. Rhys Webb takes the honour and will be partnered at half-back by the returning Gareth Anscombe.

Ospreys head coach Toby Booth said: “Glasgow were very disappointed after their round-one match but they responded well as good sides do going in to round two. We’re looking for a similar response ourselves from an outcome point of view.

“Our performance needs to be more consistent in order for us to play against a team who are very positive and very ambitious. It’ll be a good contest between two teams who are going to go for it.”


Glasgow Warriors (v Ospreys at Swansea.com Stadium, Saturday 3.05pm): C Forbes; S Cancelliere, S Tuipulotu, S Johnson, R McLean; T Jordan, A Price (captain); J Bhatti, F Brown, Z Fagerson, S Cummings, R Gray,  G Brown, T Gordon, J Dempsey. Substitutes: G Turner, O Kebble, S Berghan, JP du Preez, S Manjezi, R Wilson, S Kennedy, D Miotti.

Ospreys: M Nagy; G North, O Watkin, M Collins, K Giles; G Anscombe, R Webb (captain); N Smith, S Baldwin, T Francis, A Beard, AW Jones, D Lydiate, J Morgan, E Roots. Substitutes: D Lake, R Henry, T Botha, R Davies, W Griffiths, RM Williams, J Walsh, L Morgan.

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About Stuart Bathgate 1438 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.