Glasgow coach explains Jamie Dobie switch from scrum-half and why no rest for Fagerson brothers

Glasgow Warriors head coach Franco Smith reckons he is making a virtue out of a necessity by selecting scrum-half Jamie Dobie on the wing for tonight's crucial URC clash against Munster at Thomond Park.

“Jamie is a good rugby player who adds a lot of value regardless of where we play him in the back-line," explained the South African. “Sebastian Cancelliere is still in the process of recovery [from his knee injury] and it was important to also give Kyle Steyn a little bit of time away after starting all five matches in the Six Nations.

“Josh McKay is also injured so we are beginning to get short of options on the wing, and we know that Jamie is a good enough player to adapt.

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“But I also like to purposely move the No 9s to the wing so that if something happens to the guy that comes on you still have a quality scrum-half on the field. That’s why George Horne is often moved to the wing in the second part of games. I did the same at Cheetahs and Benetton in the past.

Jamie Dobie has been moved from scrum-half to the wing for Glasgow's trip to Munster. (Photo by Craig Williamson / SNS Group)Jamie Dobie has been moved from scrum-half to the wing for Glasgow's trip to Munster. (Photo by Craig Williamson / SNS Group)
Jamie Dobie has been moved from scrum-half to the wing for Glasgow's trip to Munster. (Photo by Craig Williamson / SNS Group)

“Jamie has proven he’s a real threat when he's moved there mid-game in the past, and the main benefit of it is that it gives you another good passing option from wide which liberates you No 9 a little bit and gives you am extra edge around the park. This is a good opportunity to see that happening."

While club captain Steyn has been given the weekend off, not all of Smith’s Scotland stars are being wrapped in cotton wool. The Fagerson brothers – Zander and Matt – both start in the Warriors pack tonight despite being two of the national team’s hardest working players during the Six Nations.

Tight-head prop Zander missed Scotland's championship opener against England but started the four other games in arguably the most gruelling position on the park, while back-rower Matt was the tournament's top tackler after starting the first four matches and coming off the bench for the last half hour of the final game against Italy.

“Zander hasn’t played much rugby in the last year due to injury, and having now played four games for Scotland he’s getting back into form," said Smith. “In the management plan of the players for the next two weeks it’s important we get the balance between in-form players and those finding form.

“Matt didn’t start the last game against Italy and got 30 minutes at the end of that match, so he is ready to go again. They will have a little bit of time away before the end of the season, but their character forms a big part of the pack’s quality so it’s good to have them ready and keen to contribute this weekend.”

The Fagersons are two of nine Scotland squad members who have been brought straight back into Glasgow’s match-day 23 for this match.

Hooker Fraser Brown, second-row Scott Cummings, flanker Rory Darge, scrum-half Ali Price, centre Stafford McDowall and full-back Ollie Smith all start, while George Horne is on the bench as replacement scrum-half.

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“This Munster game away from home is the first in a series of ‘cup finals’ we’re going to face," concluded Smith. “Like us, they’re competing to have a home semi-final but have to travel to South Africa after this, so this is their last regular season game at home and that will be a big motivation for them."

Glasgow Warriors (v Munster at Thomond Park on Saturday @ 5.15pm UK time): O Smith; C Forbes, S McDowall©, S Johnson, J Dobie; D Miotti, A Price; N McBeth, F Brown, Z Fagerson, J Du Preez, S Cummings, M Fagerson, R Darge, S Vailanu, J. Substitutes: J Matthews, A Dell, L Sordoni, L Bean, A Samuel, G Brown, T Gordon, G Horne, T Jordan.

Munster: M Haley; C Nash, M Fekitoa, J Crowley, S Daly; J Carbery, P Patterson; D Kilcoyne, D Barron, R Salanoa, Jean Kleyn, F Wycherley, J O’Donoghue ©, J Hodnett, G Coombes. Substitutes: S Buckley, J Wycherley, S Archer, R Snyman, A Kendellen, C Casey, R Scannell, S Zebo.



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