URC: Glasgow v Ulster: Sean Kennedy starts with Ben Afshar set to debut off bench

Jack Dempsey comes in as one of six changes to home starting XV

Sean Kennedy in action for Glasgow Warriors against Ulster back in 2019. Image: © Craig Watson - www.craigwatson.co.uk
Sean Kennedy in action for Glasgow Warriors against Ulster back in 2019. Image: © Craig Watson - www.craigwatson.co.uk

SEAN KENNEDY will make his first start in Glasgow Warriors colours since March 2021 against Ulster at Scotstoun tomorrow night. Meanwhile, with George Horne rested, Jamie Dobie out for three months with an ankle injury and Ali Price out on loan to Edinburgh for the remainder of the season,  Ben Afshar – a partnership player with Stirling Wolves – will cover scrum-half from the bench and is likely to make his debut at some point during the game.

Apart from that, head coach Franco Smith has selected an experienced squad for this weekend’s match, with the only other changes to the starting XV being in the pack, where Scotland regulars Zander Fagerson, Rory Darge and Jack Dempsey, who has recovered from a  wrist injury, come in at tight-head prop, openside flanker and No 8, respectively.

It is also all-change in the second-row where Greg Peterson and Scott Cummings start, meaning that Sintu Manjezi and Richie Gray drop to the bench.

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Duncan Weir is available to sit on the bench after serving the second part of his two-match ban by missing this afternoon’s behind-closed-doors friendly match between Glasgow Warriors A and Edinburgh A (which is a game he was never realistically going to play in).

“Ulster is a top-class outfit – they have again proven that this season by only losing one game so far and have started the season in strong form,” said Smith.

“They have an experienced coaching group that knows Glasgow well, they have a squad full of international talent and we expect them to be at their very best as they have shown good form away from home.

“We are excited to run out in front of the Warrior Nation at a packed out Scotstoun once again, and the players are up for the challenge ahead.”


Glasgow Warriors (versus Ulster at Scotstoun Stadium in the BKT United Rugby Championship on Saturday at 7.35pm): J McKay; S Cancelliere, S Tuipulotu, S McDowall©, K Rowe; T Jordan, S Kennedy; J Bhatti, G Turner, Z Fagerson, G Peterson, S Cummings, M Fagerson, R Darge, J Dempsey. Substitutes: J Matthews, O Kebble, L Sordoni, R Gray, S Manjezi, S Vailanu, B Afshar, D Weir.

Ulster: W Addison; R Baloucoune, J Hume, L Marshall, J Stockdale; B Burns, J Cooney; E O’Sullivan, T Stewart, T O’Toole, K Treadwell, I Henderson©, H Sheridan, R Crothers, J McNabney. Substitutes: Z Solomon, S Kitshoff, M Moore, A O’Connor, M Rea, D Shanahan, J Flannery, B Moxham.


Unavailable for selection: Fraser Brown (knee), Facundo Cordero (ankle),Jamie Dobie (ankle) Huw Jones (foot) JP du Preez (knee), Kyle Steyn (ankle)

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About David Barnes 3821 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. Good luck to Kennedy and hopefully young Afshar gets on at some point.

    It’s critical young lads are given their chance rather than stymied by further second-rate imports – here’s hoping Sweeney and Paterson get their shot at replacing Kinghorn at Edinburgh too.

  2. Going to break the habit of a lifetime and agree with AG here. Price is done these days. Kennedy is an excellent 9 who without injuries would certainly have been capped. Afshar is not the finished article but is the next cab off the rank from S6 and u20s (could argue in favour of Baretto). Pegj seems to be suggesting that players from S6 can’t be considered for selection yet the whole point of S6 is to develop players for pro rugby….. obviously it’s mostly failed but the attitude of nah I’d rather a ready made foreign import has killed so many young careers already. Let’s give the young lad a chance. Other lads in their mid 20s who have seen their hard work totally ignored will be glad for him.

    • I’ve no problem with young players gaining experience at pro level, in fact, I’m all for it.

      Think of the buzz the young lad’s going to get when he’s subbed on at the same time as the Spicy Plum.

      My issue is Glasgow are forced to start a player who’s had limited game time in the last 18 months, (and was previously viewed as a 7s specialist) as they have allowed one of their 1st team regulars to move on and not be replaced.

      • Pegi, Glasgow have not “allowed” Price to move. Smith wanted him to stay, they were told Price was to move

  3. Congratulations to Ben for making the squad. He’s worked hard and played well in Super Series rugby, and his opportunity to show his talents is well deserved.

  4. So why has Price been loaned to Edinburgh, when we’ve to draft in a Super 6 coach to start ahead of a part-time professional player he coaches at Bridgehaugh?

    • Because Price is on a big budget, was behind Horne, and Dobie needs game-time, and we could not predict Dobie would get injured so soon.

      Kennedy has never had a bad game for Glasgow, he might not provide the support lines or speed of distribution as Horne but he will do all the basics right.

      Additionally Afshar is a young upcoming Scottish Talent with a lot of promise, why would you not want him getting gametime? He will be match fit from Super Series. Looking forward to see how he goes.

      Admittedly.. could have done with an easier game than Ulster to blood him in, but hey thats the way it goes.

      If we don’t win this game with a full Strength Glasgow pack, i doubt it will be the 9’s which are the issue. Both should be getting plenty of front-foot ball, Ulster have a fair-few injuries at the moment.

      • Price being on a big budget is irrelevant. Or worse. No problem finding extra budget for Edinburgh for Duhan. Price was within current budget for this season at Glasgow. Edin did not know last week Kinghorn was moving so Price would have been way over budget for them

        The whole thing was ludicrous micro management by Mallinder (none of Everett, Smith nor Townsend spoke to Price about the move). He moved a potential problem at Edin to a real one at Glasgow

        Edinburgh greet and the SRU move a player to them. Not new, won’t change. Mollicoddled Edinburgh failed again tonight


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