DANNY WILSON has named two 19-year-olds and four 21-year-olds in his starting XV for tomorrow afternoon’s away clash against Zebre.
Stand-off Ross Thompson (21) and blindside flanker Gregor Brown (19) have been added to the team, joining full-back Ollie Smith (21), wingers Rufus McLean and Cole Forbes (both 21) and scrum-half Jamie Dobie (19), who all started against Leinster last week. Of that group, only Dobie has made more than five appearances at this level.
Meanwhile, veteran second-rows Leone Nakarawa and Richie Gray are dropped to the bench and unavailable due to concussion, respectively, which allows 24-year-old Hamish Bain to make his third start (and sixth appearance) for the club alongside Rob Harley in the engine room of the scrum.
“We were impressed with how our young players stood up against Leinster last weekend, and they’ve earned the right to start this weekend against Zebre,” said Wilson.
“In particular, we were really pleased with how Gregor [Brown] went on his debut – he made a real impact when he came off the bench, carrying strongly and getting involved at every opportunity.
“I thought our young back three looked dangerous with ball in hand in Dublin. They were always looking to see what was on and hopefully they’ll get a chance to show what they can do in Parma.
“Like us, Zebre are missing a lot of internationals at this time of the year, but we know that – especially at home – they’re a real test for anyone in the competition and we’ll have to be on top form to get a result.”
Veteran stand-off Ian Keatley is set to make his debut off the bench.
Glasgow Warriors (v Zebre at Stadio Sergio Lanfranchi, Saturday @ 1pm): O Smith; R McLean, H Jones, S Johnson, C Forbes; R Thompson, J Dobie; O Kebble, G Stewart, E Pieretto, R Harley, H Bain, G Brown, T Gordon, R Wilson (c). Substitutes: J Matthews, D Evans, D Rae, J Scott, L Nakarawa, S Kennedy, I Keatley, N Grigg.
Unavailable for selection: Fraser Brown, Chris Fusaro, Adam Hastings, George Horne, Pete Horne, Niko Matawalu, Kiran McDonald, Paddy Kelly, Tommy Seymour.
Zebre: M Biondelli; P Bruno, T Boni (c), E Lucchin, M Bellini; P Pescetto, G Palazzani; D Rimpelli, O Fabiani, E Bello, S Ortis, I Nagle, L Masselli, P Junior Leavasa, R Giammarioli. Substitutes: M Manfredi, P Buonfiglio, M Nocera, M Kearney, C Alaimalo, N Casilio, A Rizzi, G Di Giulio.
Referee: Craig Evans (Wales)