Scarlets v Glasgow: eight Warriors changes for Challenge Cup semi-final

Head coach Franco Smith has named an all-new front-row and made five personnel changes to his backline

Sebastian Cancelliere will return to action on the wing for Glasgow Warriors against Scarlets tomorrow [Friday] night. Image: © Craig Watson -
Sebastian Cancelliere is back on the wing for Glasgow Warriors against Benetton tomorrow. Image: © Craig Watson -

SEBASTIAN CANCELLIERE returns from injury to start on the right wing for Glasgow Warriors in tomorrow [Friday] night’s Challenge Cup semi-final away to Scarlets, while head coach Franco Smith has, as expected, beefed up his pack by restoring in-form Scotland internationals Zander Fagerson and Jamie Bhatti as the starting props. George Turner will pack down between that pair after returning from injury at hooker.

There is no Huw Jones, who was going through the return to play protocols this week following a concussion against Connacht last Saturday and appears not to be quite ready in time, so Sione Tuipulotu returns after a couple of weeks off at outside-centre with Stafford McDowall his partner in midfield, while Ollie Smith is also brought back in at full-back.

Elsewhere in the backline, George Horne swaps in at scrum-half for the benched Ali Price, partnering Tom Jordan at stand-off, who is the only member of the backline starting in the same position as they began last weekend’s game, and Kyle Steyn resumes on the left wing in place of Jamie Dobie.

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In the pack, Richie Gray is to make his 100th Warriors appearance partnering Scott Cummings in the engine-room, with an unchanged back-row of Rory Darge at full-back, Sione Vailanu at openside and Jack Dempsey at No 8, meaning that Matt Fagerson will once again look to make an impact off the bench.

“Tomorrow night the Scarlets will be favouring their chances to go all the way in front of their home supporters,” said Smith. “We as a team know this, and therefore it presents an opportunity to take on this challenge that will ask the very best of us.

“We have prepared well this week for what we know will be a hard battle infront of a big Welsh crowd.”


Glasgow (v Scarlets at Parc Y Scarlets on Saturday night @ 5.30pm): O Smith; S Cancelliere, S Tuipulotu,  S McDowall, K Steyn©; T Jordan, G Horne; J Bhatti, G Turner, Z Fagerson, S Cummings, R Gray, R Darge, S Vailanu, J Dempsey. Substitutes: J Matthews, N McBeth, S Berghan, J du Preez, L Bean, M Fagerson, A Price, D Weir.

Scarlets: J McNicholl; S Evans, J Roberts, J Williams, R Cobneer; S Costelow, G Davies; W Jones, K Owens, J Sebastian, M Jones, S Lousi, J MacLeod, D Davis, V Fifita. Substitutes: S Evans, K Mathias, S Wainwright, C Tuipulotu, I Rees, K Hardy, D Jones, I Nicholas.


Warriors players who are unavailable for selection: Facundo Cordero (hamstring), Cole Forbes (hamstring), Jamie Dobie (knee), Sintu Manjezi (knee), Jack Mann (head), Josh McKay (foot), Cameron Neild (calf), Ross Thompson (foot).

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About David Barnes 4026 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.


  1. Glad we have Cancelliere back along with Steyn that makes a couple of decent wingers. Think I would have preferred Johnson at Centre in the absence of Jones. Finally Weir instead of Miotti are you serious, still Franco has gotten us this far, what ever he says is OK by me. It’s a good team the final beckons go Glasgow.

  2. V strong team, great to see Seb back… Shuggie obviously not quite there yet re HIA, but Stafford has earned his place this season.

    Agree that bench is a bit light re the backs when only picking two, but suspect that Duncy is probably in ahead of Miotti on his goal kicking in a close game especially if Horne comes off at some point. Steyn excellent at centre but Jordan also played there, so suspect that Duncy would go to ten and Jordan move out to 12 if one of the centres injured.

    Looking forward to this game, seriously winnable, especially with the team on the day and the varied gameplay that we’ve developed under Franco. Here’s hoping for a first final in many a year!

  3. I’m surprised by Macdowall at inside and Tuipolotu at outside centres rather than the other way around. But it’s a strong team, only really missing Huw Jones from our first choice team.

    • I would think the numbers on their backs mean little and expect them to sow sadness and confusion in their opposite “numbers”.

      • Indeed when Huwipolotu are both available Jones is usually worn the 12 shirt. They line up inside and outside depending on the move or situation,never been a Jones at 12 fix. Mostly he has played 13 as you would expect

  4. Also see we’ve got the Bhatti twins playing

    Joking aside its great to see Cancelliere back – he was outstanding before his injury.

    Always a bit nervous of only having a scrum half and stand-off on the bench. If we lose a centre or wing we end up with some interesting combos in the backs. Ali Price on the wing and Weir in the centre? Hopefully not.

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