Zebre v Glasgow Warriors: Dave Rennie brings more big guns back

Tommy Seymour in at full-back as Ryan Wilson returns to captain visitors

Ryan Wilson returns as captain when Glasgow Warriors play Zebre in Parma tomorrow. Image: ©INPHO/Craig Watson

IT IS an indication of the serious depth of your squad when you feel able to make eight changes to your starting line-up the week after a 50-0 victory, and Dave Rennie has done exactly that to his Glasgow team to play Zebre in the PRO14 tomorrow. The Warriors line-up is now an altogether different beast to the one that struggled in the opening rounds of league action, and from Tommy Seymour at full-back to Matt Fagerson at No 8 has a formidable look to it.

Besides Seymour, four others make their return from a brief post-World-Cup break: Ryan Wilson comes into the back row to captain the side, Sam Johnson is at centre, Fraser Brown resumes at hooker and Scott Cummings is at lock. The other changes see winger Ratu Tagive make his first start in 20 months, Kyle Steyn come into midfield to partner Johnson, and Chris Fusaro replace Callum Gibbins at openside. With the opening Champions Cup pool game against Sale next up, Gibbins has been rested following a hard-working start to the campaign.

“We’re keen to get some of the international boys some footy before Europe and freshen up a handful of guys who have played quite a bit for us recently,” Rennie said of his selection.  “Tommy played well for us at 15 in a big game in Europe last season, and we feel he has the skill set to put in another strong performance in the position this weekend.

“Zebre are a handful. We’re well aware of the threats they pose. They’re prepared to play a bit of rugby and have a smart kicking game, so we’ll have to be alert to all of that.”

Siua Halanukonuka, Pete Horne, Lee Jones, Sean Kennedy, Ali Price, Grant Stewart and Jale Vakalaloma are all listed as unavailable because of injury.

Zebre coach Michael Bradley has made nine changes to the team that lost 22-7 to Ulster last Friday. The Parma-based side have lost all five of their league games to date and sit bottom of Conference A.

Glasgow Warriors (v Zebre at the Stadio Sergio Lanfranchi, Saturday 3pm): Tommy Seymour; Ratu Tagive, Kyle Steyn, Sam Johnson, DTH van der Merwe; Adam Hastings, George Horne; Oli Kebble, Fraser Brown, Zander Fagerson, Tim Swinson, Scott Cummings, Ryan Wilson (captain), Chris Fusaro, Matt Fagerson. Subs: George Turner, Alex Allan, D’arcy Rae,  Kiran McDonald, Tom Gordon, Nick Frisby, Ruaridh Jackson, Huw Jones.

Zebre: Michelangelo Biondelli; Charlie Walker, James Elliott, Enrico Lucchin, Mattia Bellini; Carlo Canna, Joshua Renton; Andrea Lovotti, Luca Bigi, Alexandru Tarus, Mick Kearney, Ian Nagle (captain), Giovanni Licata, Johan Meyer, David Sisi. Subs: Marco Manfredi, Danilo Fischetti, Giosuè Zilocchi, Leonard Krumov, Renato Giammarioli, Marcello Violi, Tommaso Boni, Pierre Bruno.

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Stuart Bathgate
About Stuart Bathgate 827 Articles
Stuart has been the rugby correspondent for both The Scotsman and The Herald, and was also The Scotsman’s chief sports writer for 14 years from 2000.