Glasgow Warriors seek more Henry Jekyll and less Edward Hyde as Sione Tuipulotu is entrusted with the captaincy
Steyn, who was appointed captain at the start of the season, is missing again with a hamstring injury so Smith has turned to Tuipulotu.
Smith said he sought the counsel of Steyn before giving the outside centre the role for the match against the Bulls at Scotstoun.
“He’s been part of the leadership group from the start,” Smith said of Tuipulotu. “He’s shown through the way he has played, the way he communicates and the respect he has within the squad, that he’s the right man for the job.
“I involved the opinion of Kyle Steyn in this decision because I don’t know the guys that well yet, and he gave me a firm confirmation that Sione is the right guy to lead us in this game.”
Ali Price captained Glasgow in last weekend’s loss to the Ospreys in Wales but the scrum-half drops to the bench against Bulls, with George Horne returning to the starting XV after recovering from a back strain.
“It is absolutely nothing to do with Ali’s performance,” stressed Smith. “George Horne pulled up last week with a stiff back which meant he couldn’t play, but he played really well the week before and merited another start, so that was the communication to Ali as well.
“Ali has got to play a lot of rugby for Scotland going forward. I think that time in the saddle was important for him last week and he did his job well. So, it is absolutely not about that performance but I still feel that George would have loved the opportunity to back up the performance he had against Cardiff, and before we leave for South Africa I think it is important that everyone is on par.”
Glasgow head south next week for games against the Sharks and the Lions but they must first deal with South African visitors to Scotstoun as they seek to replicate the home form that saw them dismantle Cardiff so impressively a fortnight ago.
Unfortunately for Smith and his players, that performance was sandwiched between defeats in Treviso and Swansea as Glasgow showed the contrasting sides of their personality.
The coach will be hoping for more Henry Jekyll and less Edward Hyde as they return home to a venue at which they are unbeaten in the URC in almost a year.
Horne’s inclusion is one of three changes made by Smith. Josh McKay is named at full-back for his first appearance of the season after undergoing ankle surgery in the summer which means Cole Forbes switches to the wing as Rufus McLean drops out with a hamstring injury.
The other change is in the back row where a fit-again Matt Fagerson returns, replacing Jack Dempsey at No 8.
Dempsey suffered a blow to the ribs against Ospreys and it is touch and go for South Africa. The good news is that nothing is broken and Smith remains optimistic.
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