Despite making nine changes from the side which beat Scarlets so emphatically at Scotstoun last week, Glasgow Warriors coach Danny Wilson has been able to name a matchday squad containing 16 internationals for Saturday’s trip to Swansea to face Ospreys.
The starting side includes 6ft 7in former Scotland Under-20 second row Hamish Bain, who makes his debut after joining the club from Nice, as does Samoan No 8 TJ Ioane, a former Highlanders back-rower who is on a year’s loan from London Irish.
Glasgow were edged out in their opening match in Connacht, but impressed in their 20-7 win over Scarlets at Scotstoun last week. They face an Ospreys side which impressed while beating Edinburgh at Murrayfield on the opening weekend, but were overwhelmed at home by Ulster last week. However, both sides have lost significant numbers of players to their national teams, with nine Glasgow players featuring against Georgia at Murrayfield while the Ospreys are without several Test players, including Alun Wyn Jones, Leigh Halfpenny, Justin Tipuric, George North and Rhys Webb.
Glasgow’s starting line-up includes Huw Jones, George Turner and Richie Gray, who have been returned from the national squad, as well as inside centre Sam Johnson who plays his first game since the lockdown. Young scrum-half Jamie Dobie makes his first start for the Warriors, while if Sean Kennedy comes off the bench it will be the scrum-half’s first appearance for Glasgow in over seven years.
Ospreys coach Toby Booth is also able to welcome back injured former Wales captain Scott Williams in the centres and back-rower James King.
Given the hefty call from Scotland, this is as experienced a team as Glasgow could have hoped to field, with Wilson hoping that the Warriors can carry on where they left off against Scarlets. “I was pleased with our showing in the first hour of our win against Scarlets,” said Wilson. “It was an improvement on our performance away to Connacht.
“The team includes some new combinations that we are looking forward to seeing in action. It’s good to welcome back a couple of the boys who have been released to us from Scotland camp. TJ [Ioane] and Hamish [Bain] will be making their debuts for the club, and it will be the first time I get to see Sam [Johnson] and Jamie [Dobie] in a Warriors shirt.
“Ospreys have started off the season well. They have a good mix of young talent and experienced veterans in their squad – similar to us. We’ve prepared well and are up for the challenge we’ll face tomorrow in Swansea.”
Glasgow Warriors: H Jones; T Seymour, N Grigg, S Johnson, R Tagive; P Horne, J Dobie; A Seiuli, G Turner, D Rae, H Bain, R Gray, R Wilson, T Gordon, T Ioane. Replacements: G Stewart, A Allan, E Pieretto, F Lokotui, C Fusaro, S Kennedy, B Thomson, N Matawalu.
Ospreys: D Evans; M Protheroe, S Williams, K Williams, L Morgan; S Myler, R Morgan-Williams; R Jones, D Lake, M Fia, A Beard, B Davies, O Cracknell, D Lydiate (C), J King. Replacements: S Otten, G Thomas, T Botha, W Griffiths, S Cross, H Morgan, J Thomas, T Thomas-Wheeler.
Edinburgh have acted to address their lack of second-row cover by sighing 30-year-old lock Andries Ferreira on a one-year deal from the Bulls. The much-travelled South African was coached by Edinburgh head coach Richard Cockerill at Toulon, and also had a brief spell with Zebre and in Japan. He has played for a succession of South African teams, including the Cheetahs and Lions.