Cross set for Warriors debut as Horne returns from injury

Prop Geoff Cross is set to make his Glasgow Warriors debut at Scotstoun Stadium tomorrow night in the rescheduled RaboDirect PRO12 game against Benetton Treviso.Geoff Cross

Cross, who recently joined the club from Edinburgh Rugby until the end of the season as injury cover, replaces Jon Welsh at tight head.

Peter Horne has been named among the replacements and features in a Warriors squad for first time this season, after more than nine months out of action with an ACL injury sustained on Scotland’s tour to South Africa last summer.

Peter Murchie continues at full-back, with Sean Maitland coming in for last week’s try-scorer Tommy Seymour on the right wing and Niko Matawalu continuing on the left side.

After helping Scotland 7s win the Bowl at the Hong Kong 7s last weekend, Mark Bennett comes in for Alex Dunbar at outside centre and forms a new centre partnership with Finn Russell.

With Duncan Weir and Chris Cusiter both rested this week after featuring for Scotland during the RBS 6 Nations, Ruaridh Jackson comes in at fly-half and Henry Pyrgos has been named at scrum-half.

Gordon Reid continues at loose head and Pat MacArthur keeps his place at hooker, alongside Cross in the front row.

Tim Swinson and captain Al Kellock both return from injury to line up in the second-row.

Rob Harley continues at blindside, Tyrone Holmes replaces Chris Fusaro at openside and Ryan Wilson comes in for Josh Strauss at number 8.

Kevin Bryce could make his second appearance for the Warriors from the bench after recently signing a new two-year deal with the club, while Lee Jones and James Eddie are also named among the replacements, after featuring for Scotland 7s in Hong Kong last weekend.

Glasgow Warriors head coach Gregor Townsend said: “There is no doubt that our victory over the Ospreys last weekend was one of the most important of our season.

“In terms of developing momentum as we go into the final six games it was a massive victory and one which ultimately came down to the determination and effort from the players to get the job done.

We are fully aware of the challenge Benetton Treviso will pose tomorrow and the work rate the players put in last Friday will have to be repeated if we’re to get a positive result and back up last week’s win.

“Geoff (Cross) has settled in really well since he joined us a couple of weeks ago and we’re looking forward to seeing him in a Warriors shirt.

“We’ve been handed a big boost with Al (Kellock), Tim (Swinson) and Peter (Horne) all able to return tomorrow night.

“Peter has had a frustrating nine months with injury but has worked really hard and featured in a couple of club games recently so he’s ready to be involved with us again.

“It’s great to have continuity with three successive games at Scotstoun and the crowd last week were really vocal and got behind the team. We’re hoping for more of the same tomorrow night to help us overcome tough and very competitive opponents.”

Tickets for the non-televised game against Benetton Treviso at Scotstoun Stadium tomorrow (kick-off 7.35pm) are available from www.glasgowwarriors.org and from the ticket office at Scotstoun Stadium from 10.30am on Friday right up until kick-off.

Glasgow Warriors team to play Benetton Treviso, RaboDirect PRO12, Scotstoun Stadium, Friday 4 April (kick-off 7.35pm):

15. Peter Murchie
14. Sean Maitland
13. Mark Bennett
12. Finn Russell
11. Niko Matawalu
10. Ruaridh Jackson
9. Henry Pyrgos

1. Gordon Reid
2. Pat MacArthur
3. Geoff Cross
4. Tim Swinson
5. Al Kellock (Captain)
6. Rob Harley
7. Tyrone Holmes
8. Ryan Wilson

Substitutes

16. Kevin Bryce           
17. Jerry Yanuyanutawa
18. Moray Low
19. Leone Nakarawa
20. James Eddie
21. Peter Horne
22. Richie Vernon
23. Lee Jones

Not available due to injury: Mike Cusack (medical/illness), Ryan Grant (hamstring), Ed Kalman (back), Sean Lamont (knee), Tom Ryder (knees), Tommy Seymour (shoulder) and DTH van der Merwe (shoulder).