Captain Kellock Returns For Blues Clash

Captain Alastair Kellock is back in the Glasgow Warriors side as Cardiff Blues visit Scotstoun Stadium on Friday night in the RaboDirect PRO12.

Head coach Gregor Townsend has made five personnel changes and one positional switch to the team that defeated Ulster last week.

The Warriors are looking for their seventh league win in a row, following their 20-14 victory over RaboDirect PRO12 leaders Ulster at a packed Scotstoun last Friday night.

The Warriors have now recorded four successive maximum point victories in the PRO12, which equals the tournament record set by the Dragons in 2003/04.

Glasgow Warriors head coach, Gregor Townsend said: "I was very proud of how the players performed against Ulster on Friday night, but we know we can't let the intensity drop against a Cardiff side who have shown already this year they are capable of beating the best sides in the league.

"I"ve been impressed by the focus of the squad from the start of this week and they have worked hard on preparations for Friday night.

"I expect to see the same level of intensity in how we take the game to Cardiff as we produced against Ulster, and our defensive effort must be at a similar standard. We"ve built up some decent momentum in recent weeks and we"re all working hard to deliver another winning performance."

Kellock, Duncan Weir and Jon Welsh have all been recalled to the side after returning from Scotland duty this week, while the Warriors can also include Gordon Reid who missed the Ulster game having suffered a concussion the previous week against Dragons.

Also in the starting XV is DTH van der Merwe who was stretchered from the pitch as a precaution last week; he starts again on the left wing with Byron McGuigan on the opposite side in place of Tommy Seymour, who picked up an injury in training.

Niko Matawalu continues at scrum half, with Weir back as his half-back partner.

Peter Horne, who started at stand-off for the first time last time out, moves in one spot to inside centre alongside Alex Dunbar with Peter Murchie again filling the full back berth.

Reid and Welsh make up the front row with Pat McArthur continuing at hooker as Kellock and Tim Swinson, a try scorer last week, pack down in the engine room.

The back row is a mix of strength, speed and guile with Josh Strauss, Ryan Wilson and John Barclay making up the breakaway unit.

The Warriors are in second place in the RaboDirect PRO12, now just three points behind league leaders Ulster. Cardiff Blues sit in seventh and their only league defeat in their last six visits to Scotland was the 31-3 reverse at the hands of the Warriors at Firhill last season.

Townsend said: "It's nice to be able to welcome back those who have been on international duty and they will provide us with different options for this week's game.

"With those internationals back it makes selecting a starting XV that much harder as the squad has been performing at a very high level._ Each player knows that they cannot take their place for granted as the quality of the squad is improving all the time.

'they are driving each other to higher levels and that is fantastic for the coaches to see in training and what that can mean when they take to the pitch.

'the supporters have been absolutely fantastic for us all season and we hope to have another big crowd cheering us on at Scotstoun on Friday night."

Tickets are still available for this crucial league game at Scotstoun Stadium on Friday night, which will not be televised. Tickets are available from www.glasgowwarriors.org or by calling 0844 800 3490.

Glasgow Warriors team to play Cardiff Blues in Round 17 of the RaboDirect PRO12, Scotstoun Stadium, Friday 1 March (kick-off, 7.35pm).

15 Peter Murchie
14 Byron McGuigan
13 Alex Dunbar
12 Peter Horne
11 DTH van der Merwe
10 Duncan Weir
9 Niko Matawalu

1 Gordon Reid
2 Pat MacArthur
3 Jon Welsh
4 Tim Swinson
5 Al Kellock (Captain)
6 Josh Strauss
7 John Barclay
8 Ryan Wilson

16 Fraser Brown
17 Ofa Fainga'anuku
18 Moray Low
19 Tom Ryder
20 James Eddie
21 Henry Pyrgos
22 Scott Wight
23 Graeme Morrison

Not available for selection due to injury: Mike Cusack (shoulder), Chris Cusiter (shoulder), Chris Fusaro (groin), Finlay Gillies (neck), Rory Lamont (ankle) and Tommy Seymour (ribs).