The popular fly-half rejoined the club in the summer from Worcester Warriors and will partner Sean Kennedy at half-back against the Falcons.
There is also a debut for Sione Tuipulotu who has been selected at outside centre. The Scottish-qualified back, who is comfortable on the wing or in midfield, moved to Glasgow from Japanese club Yamaha Jubilo in the close season.
Warriors coach Danny Wilson has named 14 players on the bench and all are likely to see action at some point. Included among the substitutes are two Super6 players; the Stirling County winger Logan Trotter and the Ayrshire Bulls prop George Thornton who was released by Glasgow at the end of last season.
The match marks the return of supporters to Scotstoun for the first time since February 2020, although the east and west stands will not be in use due to athletics events taking place at the stadium.
Glasgow Warriors(v Newcastle Falcons, Scotstoun, Friday 7pm)
15 Ollie Smith; 14 Rufus McLean, 13 Sione Tuipulotu, 12 Stafford McDowall, 11 Ratu Ragive; 10 Duncan Weir, 9 Sean Kennedy; 1 Tom Lambert, 2 Johnny Matthews, 3 Murray McCallum, 4 Lewis Bean, 5 Richie Gray, 6 Kiran McDonald, 7 Rory Darge, 8 Ryan Wilson.
Substitutes: George Thornton, Grant Stewart, Murphy Walker, Rob Harley, Max Williamson, Scott Cummings, Thomas Gordon, Rory Jackson, Jamie Dobie, Ross Thompson, Logan Trotter, Peter Horne, Finlay Callaghan, Cole Forbes.