DCSIMG

Glasgow’s scrum-half duo eager to stake a claim

Sean Kennedy in action for Scotland Sevens

Sean Kennedy in action for Scotland Sevens

  • by DAVID FERGUSON
 

AS HENRY Pyrgos prepares to grasp his chance on the international stage in Aberdeen, 
opportunity beckons tonight for two more young scrum-halves in Glasgow colours.

Sean Kennedy has made an indelible mark on the Warriors this season after being called across from Edinburgh, where he is an Elite Development Player. And, in the absence of Pyrgos, the injured Chris Cusiter and Murray McConnell, and Fijian Test man Niko Matawalu, Townsend has also returned to his old club Gala and called in George Graham to back-up Kennedy in tonight’s RaboDirect PRO12 clash with Leinster.

Graham is in Gala’s starting line-up for tomorrow’s RBS Premiership match with Melrose at the Greenyards and so is unlikely to be be risked unnecessarily at Scotstoun, but it is another opportunity for the talented youngster to push himself into the pro environment.

Also back in the side is hooker Pat McArthur, prop Moray Low and winger DTH van der Merwe, all returning from injury, while internationalists Peter Murchie, Tommy Seymour, Alex Dunbar, Tom Ryder and Ruaridh Jackson return to the starting line-up. That brings experience around the young scrum-halves, but Townsend is confident in 
the abilities of Kennedy and 
Graham.

“It’s certainly unusual to have all our four scrum-halves unavailable at the same time,” he said, “but I’ve been very 
impressed with Sean since he joined us. I thought he was our best player against Zebre. The tests show that he’s one of the fittest players in the country and I expect huge things of him in the future. He’s similar in profile to Chris Cusiter, with great speed and he likes to break. His work ethic and attitude in training are excellent and, even with those other players available, he would be pushing for a starting place.

“George has come in this week and been very professional in his approach to training. 
It’s a great experience for him as he has impressed a lot of people this year with his performances for Gala.”

The Warriors are bidding to extend their new record of 
consecutive league wins in one season to seven tonight, and consolidate their place in the top four.

They are currently third, five points ahead of Leinster in sixth, and as they go in search of more points the Irishmen have experienced and skilful performers in backs Isa Nacewa, Fionn Carr, Ian Madigan and Isaac Boss, and skipper Leo Cullen, Kevin McLaughlin, Shane Jennings and Sean O’Brien up front providing a good core to their side.

Glasgow

15 P Murchie

14 T Seymour

13 A Dunbar

12 P Horne

11 DTH V D Merwe

10 R Jackson

9 S Kennedy

1 G Reid

2 P MacArthur

3 M Cusack

4 T Swinson

5 T Ryder

6 R Harley

7 C Fusaro (capt)

8 J Strauss

Subs

16 F Gillies

17 O Fainga’anuku

18 M Low

19 J Eddie

20 R Wilson

21 G Graham

22 S Wight

23 B McGuigan

Leinster

15 I Nacewa

14 D Kearney

13 B Macken

12 A Goodman

11 F Carr

10 I Madigan

9 I Boss

1 J McGrath

2 A Dundon

3 J Hagan

4 L Cullen (capt)

5 Q Roux

6 K McLaughlin

7 S Jennings

8 S O’Brien

Subs

16 T Sexton

17 J O’Connell

18 M Moore

19 D Toner

20 J Murphy

21 J Cooney

22 N Reid

23 A Conway

 

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