Ulster v Glasgow: five debutants in Warriors squad for URC season opener

Sione Tuipulotu, Jack Dempsey, Simon Berghan, Brad Thyer and Murray McCallum all to make their first appearances for the club

Sione Tuipulotu will make his competitive debut for Glasgow Warriors against Ulster tomorrow [Friday] nights. Image: © Craig Watson - www.craigwatson.co.uk
Sione Tuipulotu will make his competitive debut for Glasgow Warriors against Ulster tomorrow [Friday] nights. Image: © Craig Watson - www.craigwatson.co.uk

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.

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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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About David Barnes 3817 Articles
David has worked as a freelance rugby journalist since 2004 covering every level of the game in Scotland for publications including he 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. Weir has not been given the chances he deserves by Scotland under Townsend, to the extent that we’ve even seen the hopelessly mediocre Van der Walt promoted ahead of him. I hope he enjoys his return to competitive rugby with Glasgow, while equally I don’t want this to put a break on Ross Thompson’s outstanding development. They are the best two 10s playing their rugby in this country by some distance.

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