FIVE new faces will make their competitive debuts for Glasgow Warriors in tomorrow [Friday] night’s URC 2021-22 season curtain-raiser away to Ulster.
Wallaby international Jack Dempsey is at No8 and fellow Australian Sione Tuipulotu is at outside centre.
Welshman Brad Thyer, who is on loan to the club from Cardiff, starts at loose-head prop and summer recruit from Edinburgh Simon Berghan is at tight-head, with McCrea Financial Services Warrior of the Month for September Johnny Matthews between them at hooker.
Tight-head prop Murray McCallum – who joined the club in June on a short-term deal to the end of the calendar year – is also set to make his first appearance for the club off the bench.
Meanwhile, Duncan Weir will play his first league game since 2016, having previously played 107 times for the club before moving east to play for Edinburgh and then south to Worcester Warriors.
Similarly, loose-head Jamie Bhatti may have played 47 gamed previously for the club previously, but when he comes off the bench tomorrow night it will be his first appearance since 2019, following spells playing for Edinburgh and Bath.
“We are pleased with how our pre-season preparations have gone,” said head coach Danny Wilson. “Our games against Newcastle and Worcester gave us the opportunity to look at a number of combinations and players.
“We reward performance and Johnny Matthews and Brad Thyer have earned the chance to start this weekend.
“It’s great to also welcome back the experience of Fraser Brown, Kyle Steyn and Jamie Bhatti into the squad, who all return from injury.
“Ulster are a physical side and we expect a big battle up front and in and around the breakdown.”
Glasgow Warriors (v Ulster at the Kingspan Stadium on Friday 24th September @ 7.35pm): C Forbes; K Steyn, S Tuipulotu, S Johnson, R McLean; D Weir, G Horne; B Thyer, J Matthews, S Berghan, S Cummings, R Gray, R Wilson©, R Darge, J Dempsey. Substitutes: F Brown, J Bhatti, M McCallum, L Bean, R Harley, J Dobie, R Thompson, O Smith.
Ulster: E McIlroy; R Baloucoune, J Hume, S McCloskey, J Stockdale; B Burns, J Cooney; A Warwick, B Roberts, M Moore, A O’Connor, S Carter©, G Jones, S Reidy, N Timoney. Substitutes: R Herring, E O’Sullivan, T O’Toole, M Kearney, M Rea, N Doak, M Lowry, W Addison.
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