Glasgow boost as Scots return for Toulouse clash

Glasgow Warriors will take on Toulouse in the European Rugby Champions Cup on Sunday. Picture: SNS

Glasgow Warriors will take on Toulouse in the European Rugby Champions Cup on Sunday. Picture: SNS

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GLASGOW head coach Gregor Townsend will have seven of his Scotland internationals back for Sunday’s European showdown with French club Toulouse.

Stuart Hogg, Sean Maitland, Alex Dunbar, Tommy Seymour, Finn Russell, Jonny Gray and Rob Harley all return to face the four-time Heineken Cup winners after starring for the Dark Blues in last month’s Test clashes against Argentina, New Zealand and Tonga.

Now Townsend hopes his side can build on their impressive start to the European Rugby Champions Cup by making it three wins on the bounce in southern France.

He said: “We’ve started our campaign with two wins over Bath and Montpellier, but we know we face another tough game in Toulouse on Sunday.

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“This is a crucial double header, with us hosting Toulouse in Glasgow just six days later, and in order to win in France we will need to produce an outstanding defensive display.

“Toulouse are one of the biggest sides in European rugby with a number of world class players, so we are well aware of the challenge we face.”

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Jon Welsh, meanwhile, will become the latest Glasgow Warriors player to make 100 appearances for the Warriors when he runs out at the at the Stade Ernest-Wallon.

Townsend added: “It’ll be a special day for Jon who is set to make his 100th appearance for the club and I’d like to congratulate him on this fantastic achievement.”

The last time the Warriors played against Toulouse in France in 2010 they lost 36-10. However, a year before that, they triumphed 33-26 at the Sept Deniers.

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Glasgow will field the same back three which played for Scotland against Argentina and the All Blacks in November, with Hogg operating at full-back and Seymour and Maitland on either wing.

Peter Horne is retained at inside centre following Sunday’s 19-15 win over the Dragons and will partner Dunbar, who last featured for the Warriors in their 15-13 win over Montpellier in October.

After playing in all three of Scotland’s autumn Tests, Russell will start at stand-off, with Henry Pyrgos named at scrum-half.

In the pack, Ryan Grant and Welsh will pair up with Pat MacArthur, who starts at hooker.

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After signing a new two-year contract with the club this week, Leone Nakarawa will play alongside Gray in the engine room.

Harley and Chris Fusaro will start in the back-row, alongside Josh Strauss, who will captain the side after also committing his future to the club this week.

On the bench are Scotland internationals Fraser Brown, Gordon Reid, Tim Swinson, Ryan Wilson, Duncan Weir and Richie Vernon, as well as Niko Matawalu and Rossouw de Klerk.

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