Townsend Rings Changes For Northampton Clash

Pat MacArthur

Glasgow Warriors head coach, Gregor Townsend, has made ten changes to his starting team to play Northampton Saints, in the team's final Heineken Cup match, this Saturday at Scotstoun Stadium (kick-off 1.35pm).

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Townsend said: 'this week I have chosen to give a number of players who didn't play last Friday an opportunity. I"m really excited about this team, they have trained well this week and there is an abundance of pace throughout the squad."

"We have learned a lot so far in the Heineken Cup so we"re hoping to transfer these lessons into a winning performance on Saturday.

"Northampton have been on top form in recent weeks with wins over Exeter and Castres and being the only team so far this season to beat Ulster at Ravenhill.

'they are one of Europe's top teams and will test us across the park, particularly up-front and in the set-piece, but as ever this is a challenge we relish."

Only five players stay in the starting line-up, with Josh Strauss moving from number 8 to openside, James Eddie switching from open to blindside, Sean Maitland moving from right to left wing and Moray Low and Al Kellock remaining in their positions of lock and tighthead prop, respectively.

In the half-back positions, Ruaridh Jackson and Niko Matawalu replace Duncan Weir and Henry Pyrgos at stand-off and scrum-half respectively, with Scott Wight remaining on the bench as cover for Jackson. Sean Kennedy comes in on the bench with Pyrgos dropping out the squad.

The remainder of the backs are made up of Stuart Hogg at full-back, he replaces Peter Murchie; in the centres Byron McGuigan has the number 13 jersey and Graeme Morrison number 12, they come in for Alex Dunbar and Peter Horne, respectively, who both drop to the bench. Finally, Tommy Seymour moves into the right wing in place of DTH Van Der Merwe.

Ryan Wilson slots in at number 8 and Tom Ryder moves to the bench making way for Tim Swinson

In the front-row, Pat MacArthur and Gordon Reid replace Doug Hall and Ryan Grant at hooker and loosehead prop respectively. Hall and Grant remain on the bench with the number 18 jersey unfulfilled for a second week.

Neither Jon Welsh nor Ed Kalman have been able to recover fully from injury and since they were both unavailable in the summer they were not included in the Heineken Cup squad.

Following extensive discussions between the club and the competition organisers, ERC confirmed that tournament rules would not allow another front row to be added to the list of eligible players.

Townsend said: "Ed Kalman and Jon Welsh got through their matches last weekend with Stirling County and will be available again for their British & Irish Cup match against Neath."

Glasgow Warriors team to play Northampton Saints at Scotstoun Stadium in Round 6 of the Heineken Cup (Saturday 19 January, kick-off 1.35pm. Broadcast on Sky red button)

15 Stuart Hogg
14 Tommy Seymour
13 Byron McGuigan
12 Graeme Morrison
11 Sean Maitland

10 Ruaridh Jackson
9 Niko Matawalu

1 Gordon Reid
2 Pat MacArthur
3 Moray Low
4 Tim Swinson
5 Al Kellock (Captain)
6 Josh Strauss
7 James Eddie
8 Ryan Wilson

16 Doug Hall
17 Ryan Grant
18 N/A
19 Tom Ryder
20 Alex Dunbar
21 Sean Kennedy
22 Scott Wight
23 Peter Horne

Not available for selection due to injury:

John Barclay (leg) Mike Cusack (shoulder) Chris Cusiter (shoulder) Ofa Fainga"anuku (shoulder) George Hunter (foot) Finlay Gillies (neck) Angus MacDonald (neck) Chris Fusaro (groin) Sean Lamont (rib) Fergus Scott (shoulder) Rory Lamont (ankle) and Rob Harley (chest)