Flood Threat To Glasgow'S European Cup-Tie

Glasgow's European match against Montpellier on Saturday may not be played on the French club's ground because of flooding. Stade Sabathe was under a metre of water this morning, and the Parker Pen Challenge Cup game may have to be switched to another venue, perhaps to Perpignan or Carcassonne, each more than 80 miles from Montpellier."Montpellier are looking at alternative venues such as Perpignan and Carcassonne," David Jordan, Glasgow's chief executive, explained today. "But we do not expect a decision until Friday."Glasgow are due to fly from Prestwick to Montpellier tomorrow morning. But Montpellier Airport was closed today, and the Glasgow squad, of course, are hoping that it has reopened by this afternoon.Southern France has been inundated by severe weather this week with rain, gales, and thunder and lightning storms. Montpellier and the surrounding Herault province have been on an official "red alert" for flooding and storms over the past couple of days.Severe weather has struck also the Rhone valley and Provence to the east of Herault. Consequently, Montpellier have been looking in the other direction for an alternative venue such as Perpignan or Carcassonne in consultation with European Rugby Cup (ERC), the Parker Pen Cup organisers, and the French Rugby Federation. Under ERC rules the match must be played on the designated date, with the onus on the host club to find a suitable alternative venue when necessary.A change in the weather in Montpellier is forecast for tomorrow, with the rain easing off and the skies brightening around midday. But that may be too late to allow the floodwater to clear from the Sabathe pitch.Glasgow will be without Glenn Metcalfe and Graeme Morrison for the cup-tie. Metcalfe, Scotland's World Cup full back, has a knee injury, and Morrison, though in the original team selection, has dropped out because of flu.Metcalfe's fellow cap, Stuart Moffat, returns to the No.15 jersey, and Gareth Maclure, originally recalled on the right wing, now replaces Morrison at outside centre. Dan Parks also resumes, as does Andrew Kelly, who will be making his first start since Glasgow's September league game against Connacht. Parks and Kelly replace respectively Calvin Howarth at stand-off and Lee Harrison at tight head. Maclure, Parks, and Kelly played as substitutes in the Celtic League game against Llanelli last week. Howarth and Harrison will now be on the bench, and Alan Bulloch returns to the squad for replacement duty.Glasgow and Montpellier will meet again at Hughenden a week on Friday in the return leg of the cup-tie.Saturday's match is due to kick off at 7.30pm French time (6.30 GMT). Glasgow's XV:15 Stuart Moffat14 Rory Kerr13 Gareth Maclure12 Andrew Henderson11 Sean Lamont10 Daniel Parks9 Graeme Beveridge1 Euan Murray2 Gordon Bulloch3 Andrew Kelly4 Andy Hall5 Nathan Ross6 Cameron Mather (captain)7 Donnie Macfadyen8 Jon PetrieReplacements:16 Scott Lawson17 Lee Harrison18 Joe Beardshaw19 Paul Dearlove20 Sam Pinder21 Calvin Howarth22 Alan BullochGlasgow's European match against Montpellier on Saturday may not be played on the French club's ground because of flooding. Stade Sabathe was under a metre of water this morning, and the Parker Pen Challenge Cup game may have to be switched to another venue, perhaps to Perpignan or Carcassonne, each more than 80 miles from Montpellier."Montpellier are looking at alternative venues such as Perpignan and Carcassonne," David Jordan, Glasgow's chief executive, explained today. "But we do not expect a decision until Friday."Glasgow are due to fly from Prestwick to Montpellier tomorrow morning. But Montpellier Airport was closed today, and the Glasgow squad, of course, are hoping that it has reopened by this afternoon.Southern France has been inundated by severe weather this week with rain, gales, and thunder and lightning storms. Montpellier and the surrounding Herault province have been on an official "red alert" for flooding and storms over the past couple of days.Severe weather has struck also the Rhone valley and Provence to the east of Herault. Consequently, Montpellier have been looking in the other direction for an alternative venue such as Perpignan or Carcassonne in consultation with European Rugby Cup (ERC), the Parker Pen Cup organisers, and the French Rugby Federation. Under ERC rules the match must be played on the designated date, with the onus on the host club to find a suitable alternative venue when necessary.A change in the weather in Montpellier is forecast for tomorrow, with the rain easing off and the skies brightening around midday. But that may be too late to allow the floodwater to clear from the Sabathe pitch.Glasgow will be without Glenn Metcalfe and Graeme Morrison for the cup-tie. Metcalfe, Scotland's World Cup full back, has a knee injury, and Morrison, though in the original team selection, has dropped out because of flu.Metcalfe's fellow cap, Stuart Moffat, returns to the No.15 jersey, and Gareth Maclure, originally recalled on the right wing, now replaces Morrison at outside centre. Dan Parks also resumes, as does Andrew Kelly, who will be making his first start since Glasgow's September league game against Connacht. Parks and Kelly replace respectively Calvin Howarth at stand-off and Lee Harrison at tight head. Maclure, Parks, and Kelly played as substitutes in the Celtic League game against Llanelli last week. Howarth and Harrison will now be on the bench, and Alan Bulloch returns to the squad for replacement duty.Glasgow and Montpellier will meet again at Hughenden a week on Friday in the return leg of the cup-tie.Saturday's match is due to kick off at 7.30pm French time (6.30 GMT). Glasgow's XV:15 Stuart Moffat14 Rory Kerr13 Gareth Maclure12 Andrew Henderson11 Sean Lamont10 Daniel Parks9 Graeme Beveridge1 Euan Murray2 Gordon Bulloch3 Andrew Kelly4 Andy Hall5 Nathan Ross6 Cameron Mather (captain)7 Donnie Macfadyen8 Jon PetrieReplacements:16 Scott Lawson17 Lee Harrison18 Joe Beardshaw19 Paul Dearlove20 Sam Pinder21 Calvin Howarth22 Alan Bulloch