URC: Munster v Glasgow: Franco Smith rings the changes for trip to Cork

Stafford McDowall once again captains the side from inside-centre

Stafford McDowall will once again captain Glasgow Warriors from inside-centre when they take on Munster in Cork tomorrow [Friday] night. Image: © Craig Watson - www.craigwatson.co.uk
Stafford McDowall will once again captain Glasgow Warriors from inside-centre when they take on Munster in Cork tomorrow [Friday] night. Image: © Craig Watson - www.craigwatson.co.uk

GLASGOW WARRIORS head coach Franco Smith has made eight personnel changes and one positional alteration to his starting XV for tomorrow evening’s URC round seven clash against Munster at Musgrave Park in Cork.

The Scottish side currently top the URC table with five wins and a loss from six matches, while their opponents are currently in eighth spot having managed three wins and a draw from the same number of games.

Second-row Scott Cummings and flanker Rory Darge are the only survivors in the starting pack from last week’s 33-20 home win over Ulster, while scrum-half Sean Kennedy, centres Stafford McDowall (who again captains the side) and Sione Tuipulotu, and full-back Josh McKay all retain their spots in the backline, with Kyle Rowe swapping from left to right wing.


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Prolific try-scorer Johnny Matthews gets a start at hooker after his brace off the bench last week, in a run-on team which contains 10 internationalists in total.

Meanwhile, second-row Max Williamson and scrum-half Ben Afshar will look to make their second appearances at this level from the bench after debuting over the last fortnight. 23-year-old hooker Angus Fraser – who has seven appearances under his belt – also represents Smith’s youth policy as a replacement.

“The URC is such a competitive competition, yet travelling to Munster remains one of the most difficult challenges in the league,” said Smith. “Munster are defending champions for a reason; they are a team filled with experience and international quality who know how to perform on the big stage.

“It will be a huge challenge for us and we know we have to be at our best tomorrow night.”

 

Glasgow Warriors (versus Munster at Musgrave Park in the BKT United Rugby Championship on Friday at 7.35pm): J McKay; K Rowe, S Tuipulotu, S McDowall©, O Smith; D Weir, S Kennedy; N McBeth, J Matthews, L Sordoni, S Manjezi, S Cummings, S Vailanu, R Darge, H Venter. Substitutes: A Fraser, O Kebble, Z Fagerson, G Peterson, M Williamson, T Gordon, B Afshar, T Jordan.

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

 

Munster: S Daly; C Nash, A Frisch, A Nankivell, S O’Brien; J Crowley, C Casey; J Loughman, D Barron©, S Archer, E Edogbo, T Beirne, T Ahern, J Hodnett, G Coombes. Substitutes: S Buckley, D Kilcoyne, O Jager, F Wycherley, B Gleeson, C Murray, R Scannell, A Kendellen.


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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.

6 Comments

  1. A very disappointing result for Glasgow in Cork tonight and, for me, Manjezi is a complete waste of space.

  2. Watching this live at the moment and flabbergasted at the tactics from kick off and all restarts. As last week, Glasgow’s tactic seems to be to boot the ball long on every occasion, which just gives the ball to the opposition to run back at them and score! Last week it took till the 65th minute for Glasgow to put up a competitive restart. Well they’re having plenty chances to practice tonight!

  3. Munster will be in Europe next week too so this could be viewed as an opportunity to take advantage of them possibly being distracted/weakened. The selection suggests Smith doesn’t believe Glasgow aren’t good enough to challenge Munster (or Leinster for that matter) for the title. It’s almost a vote of no-confidence in his team.

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  4. Possibly the difficulty of having to rotate/rest some of the Scotland internationals? And why not save a few for the European stuff, while we may not win the thing, there is a decent chance of this group of players making the play-offs and that presumably means more money.
    Edinburgh are probably in the same boat having played several regulars every week so far, they may well have an odd selection this weekend.

  5. Interesting if troubling selection…
    Not sure what Franco is doing as another contributor said saving players for Europe. Also blooding 2 youngsters at Munster may not be the best way to build their confidence.

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  6. I get it’s Europe next week but that’s a pretty weak team to take over. URC champs, sold out, potential to lay a proper marker for the league and Glasgow leave their best SH and winger in Glasgow and start Wier at 10. Glasgow are going to get found out sooner in the half backs.

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