Glasgow Warriors tackle familiar foe as Scots line up for Sale
FORMER Glasgow No 8 Richie Vernon will line up against his old side this afternoon and ex-Edinburgh lock Fraser McKenzie will also start for Sale in the Mark Cueto Testimonial match, but Richie Gray’s first match for his new club will start on the bench.
Even without leading internationalists including Duncan Weir, Stuart Hogg, Al Kellock, Sean Lamont, Ryan Grant and Rob Harley, Glasgow have a strong side that will be captained by last season’s ‘Player of the Year’ Chris Fusaro and includes summer signings Angus Macdonald, Tim Swinson, Taylor Paris and Byron McGuigan. Rory Lamont and Jon Welsh are both out injured, the former expected back from his RBS Six Nations injury in October and the Scotland prop in January after a serious shoulder operation.
The Warriors have played one friendly match already, losing to Castres in a training game two weeks ago, but this will be their first serious pre-season game and they will meet familiar foe. Vernon joined the Sharks from Glasgow at the start of last season and has become a popular figure at the club, while McKenzie was on the verge of a Scotland call-up for the RBS Six Nations when he suffered a serious shoulder injury in January.
He will make his return to the game after a seven-month absence today. Gray, who left Glasgow this summer, starts among a group of replacements that includes new signings Danny Cipriani and Corne Uys as well as Wales and British and Irish Lions scrum-half Dwayne Peel.
The match, being staged as a testimonial for former England and Lions wing Cueto, is at Sale’s old Heywood Road ground and with an under-18s match beforehand is expected to attract a large crowd. Cueto, unfortunately, has been ruled out of the game by a calf injury.
The Sharks have brought coach Bryan Redpath, the former Scotland scrum-half and captain, back to the club where, as skipper, he helped inspire the team to the English Premiership and European Challenge Cup. With Steve Diamond as executive director, Scots owner Brian Kennedy is hoping for a similar Sharks renaissance with a push for English and European honours this season, which should make for a stiff test for new Glasgow coach Gregor Townsend and his team.
No 8 Ryan Wilson, James Eddie and Peter Horne are all back from injury and among their bench choices are exciting elite development players Fraser Thomson, Adam Ashe and Sean Kennedy.
Townsend said: “Pre-season should be a process of continual improvement, in terms of fitness and skills, and we’ve certainly seen progress on both those fronts. The guys are buzzing to get back out on the pitch and I’m confident we’ll see a strong performance from them.”
Sale: R Miller; C Amesbury, W Addison, J Leota, T Brady; N Macleod, C Willis; E Lewis-Roberts, J Ward, T Buckley, F McKenzie, J Gaskell, M Easter, D Seymour (capt.), R Vernon. Subs: M Jones, V Cobilas, A Croall, R Harrison, R Gray, T Holmes, J Doyle, D Peel, D Cipriani, J Davies, C Uys, C Ingall.
Glasgow: P Murchie; T Seymour, B McGuigan, A Dunbar, T Paris; R Jackson, H Pyrgos; G Reid, P MacArthur, M Cusack, T Swinson, N Campbell, A Macdonald, C Fusaro (capt.), R Wilson. Subs: F Gillies, M Low, E Kalman, J Eddie, A Ashe, T Nathan, S Wight, P Horne, S Kennedy, F Thomson.
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Tuesday 21 May 2013
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