Sharks v Glasgow: Ollie Smith at full-back for Warriors as Springboks return for hosts

Eben Etzebeth starts for hosts while Bongi Mbonambi, Ox Nche, Siya Kolisi and Makazole Mapimpi set to make impact off the bench

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Ollie Smith will wear the no 15 jersey for Glasgow Warriors versus Sharks tomorrow [Friday] afternoon. Image: © Craig Watson -

OLLIE SMITH will make his first Glasgow Warriors appearance of the season against a star-studded Sharks outfit in Durban tomorrow afternoon. He has been selected at full-back, with Josh McKay shifting to the left wing.

Head coach Franco Smith has made one other change to the backline which started against the Bulls last weekend, with Ali Price swapping in at scrum-half for the benched George Horne. Smith himself has not yet been able to travel to his native South Africa because of what the Warriors website called visa delays, so attack coach Nigel Carolan will take charge of the team at Kings Park.

Meanwhile, in the pack, George Turner rotates in at hooker with Fraser Brown dropping to the bench, while Sintu Manjezi joins Richie Gray in the second-row with Scott Cummings shifting to blindside flanker and Gregor Brown dropping to the bench.

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Fit again stand-off Ross Thompson is also primed for his first appearance of the season off the bench, as is prop  Murphy Walker.

“As last week’s game proved the South African sides are really physical and we will have to take our level of physicality to another level away from home tomorrow,” said Smith. “Tomorrow is another challenge and we will need to be ruthless in the contact area and in attack on away soil.

“We’re pleased to be able to welcome Ollie Smith and Ross Thompson back into the side. Both have worked hard to recover from injury and we’re looking forward seeing both men pull on the jersey for the first time this season.

Meanwhile, South African rugby legend Eben Etzebeth will make his run-on debut for the Sharks, as one of several Springboks who are back in URC action following the conclusion of the Castle Lager Rugby Championship.

Jaden Hendrikse starts at scrum-half, while Bongi Mbonambi, Ox Nche, Springbok captain Siya Kolisi and Makazole Mapimpi will make an impact off the bench.

Glasgow Warriors (v Cell C Sharks at Kings Park, Saturday @ 3.05pm): O Smith; S Cancelliere, S Tuipulotu (captain), S Johnson, J McKay; T Jordan, A Price ; J Bhatti, G Turner, Z Fagerson, S Manjezi, R Gray,  S Cummings, T Gordon, M Fagerson. Substitutes: F Brown, O Kebble, M Walker, JP du Preez, R Wilson, G Brown, G Horne, R Thompson.

Cell C Sharks: A Fassi; W Kok, M Potgeiter, V Tapuai, A Volmink; B Chamberlain, J Hendrike; N Mchunu, K van Vuuren, T du Toit, E Etzbeth, H Andrews, D Richardson, V Tshituka, P Buthelezi. Substitutes: B Mbonambi, O Nche, C Sadie, R Hugo, K Kolisi, S Notshe, C Wright, M Mapimpi.


Unavailable for selection: Allan Dell (calf), Rory Darge (ankle), Jack Dempsey (rib), Huw Jones (back), Rufus McLean (hamstring), Ally Miller (back), Enrique Pieretto (shoulder), Kyle Steyn (hamstring) Duncan Weir (hamstring), Max Williamson (head).

Sharks v Glasgow: fit again Josh McKay faces fight for Warriors 15 jersey

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. URC is excellent in pre-match reporting – but past games are full of mistakes more 70%. One of those was the omission of a seven-point penalty try. That was on 30 September re the match listed Cardiff 18 Lions 31 – tries and conversions and a three-point penalty were shown but not that “penalty try”.

    More recently, as previously written, I had penned re a match on 8 October – Scarlets 10 Cardiff 16. It was 77 minutes into that game Vaea Fifita was sent for a red card. The later disciplinary report for four weeks was for three Scarlets up to 28 Octobers and then Spain v Tonga on 5 Novembers.

    The Disciplinary Decision paper did not explain how that player could change his rugby link from New Zealand back to Tonga. He was born 1992 in Tonga, but he played senior rugby from 2013, initialling in NZ and later in English then Welsh. He had 11 Tests with NZ from 2017 to 2019.

    Earlier this third year his was ended the link on NZ – that should have been cleared on the Disciplinary Decision.

  2. Here is more against URC, though by me a different line. Scarlets’ Vaea Fifita has been banned four weeks after a red card against Cardiff last Saturday. Three URC clubs have listed no for Fifita on those weekends, and the fourth listed against him is Spain v Tonga on 5 November. But he is not eligible on either those two countries. In fact, he played 11 Tests between 2017 and 2019 in New Zealand!

  3. Dylan Richardson vs Tom Gordon will be an interesting battle to watch.

    Don’t understand the Price switch at the moment, feel Horne gives the backs a lot more energy in attack.

    Feel like this will be a long day for Glasgow, hope i’m wrong though.

    Could a good Gray performance against Etzebeth earn him a Scotland call-up?

    • Could just be minute management for Horne. He’s played basically a full 80 for all the games so far because he’s been moving to the wing when Price comes on. What a turnaround though. After the Benneton loss, I was sure he was done but then he’s back to his best the next week

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