Glasgow Warriors team to face Scarlets in PRO14 semi-final is named

Glasgow Warriors head coach Dave Rennie has named his starting XV and replacements for tomorrow's Guinness PRO14 semi-final clash with Scarlets at Scotstoun.

Glasgow Warriors' players huddle during a training session at Scotstoun ahead of the PRO14 semi-final clash with Scarlets. Picture: SNS Group
Glasgow Warriors' players huddle during a training session at Scotstoun ahead of the PRO14 semi-final clash with Scarlets. Picture: SNS Group

Finn Russell, who won the game with a last-gasp touchline conversion in Warriors’ last semi-final at Scotstoun, will play his last game for Glasgow before his switch to Racing 92.

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Sam Johnson returns in midfield after missing the final game of the season against Edinburgh, and will partner Nick Grigg while George Horne gets the to link-up with Russell at scrum-half.

Tommy Seymour also returns to the starting XV, and is part of a strong back three along with DTH van der Merwe and Stuart Hogg.

Jonny Gray and Tim Swinson start in the second-row while Jamie Bhatti, Fraser Brown and Zander Fagerson make up the front row.

Ryan Wilson will cpatain the side at No.8 with Matt Fagerson and Callum Gibbins selected on the flanks.

Pete Horne also missed the game against Edinburgh but is named among the replacements alongside experienced colleagues Chris Fusaro, Rob Harley, Ruaridh Jackson and Henry Pyrgos.

However, there are no places for Huw Jones, Alex Dunbar and Ali Price in the 23-man squad. Dunbar and Jones recently returned to fitness after overcoming injuries while Price has lost his place to George Horne despite his time with Scotland this season.

Warriors head coach Dave Rennie said the side had prepared well for the visit of Scarlets, adding: “At the start of the season our goal was to be playing finals footy at home in front of our family and friends and we’re excited to be running out in front of a 10,000 strong Scotstoun tomorrow night.

“It’s great to be able to bring back Jonny Gray, Sam Johnson, Pete Horne and Tommy Seymour, who were late withdrawals ahead of our last game [against Edinburgh at BT Murrayfield].

“Scarlets are a quality side, they’re reigning Champions for a reason and we’re looking forward to the challenge on what is will be a special night for our players and supporters.”

He added: “We’ve just picked on form. We’re fortunate we’ve got a lot of depth in those key positions.

“Nick [Grigg] and Sam [Johnson] have been really strong for us throughout the year and George [Horne] has had a fantastic season.”

Glasgow are without the services of Adam Ashe and Oli Kebble, who are both nursing ankle injuries, while shoulder complaints rule out Pat MacArthur and Leo Sarto.

Scarlets are without the experienced Leigh Halfpenny but have Johnny McNicholl back from injury. Scotland skipper John Barclay, capped 71 times for his country, starts at No.8 while Wales international quartet Gareth Davies, Rob Evans, Samson Lee and Ken Owens, who have 152 caps between them, are all named in Wayne Pivac’s starting XV.

Glasgow Warriors team to face Scarlets in Guinness PRO14 semi-final at Scotstoun Stadium, 18 May 2018, kick-off 7.45pm

15. Stuart Hogg, 14. Tommy Seymour, 13. Nick Grigg, 12. Sam Johnson, 11. DTH van der Merwe, 10. Finn Russell, 9. George Horne, 1. Jamie Bhatti, 2. Fraser Brown, 3. Zander Fagerson, 4. Tim Swinson, 5. Jonny Gray, 6. Matt Fagerson, 7. Callum Gibbins, 8. Ryan Wilson (capt).

Replacements: 16. George Turner, 17. Alex Allan, 18. Siua Halanukonuka, 19. Rob Harley, 20. Chris Fusaro, 21. Henry Pyrgos, 22. Pete Horne, 23. Ruaridh Jackson.

Scarlets: 15. Johnny McNicholl; 14. Tom Prydie, 13. Scott Williams, 12. Hadleigh Parkes, 11. Steff Evans; 10. Rhys Patchell, 9. Gareth Davies; 1. Rob Evans, 2. Ken Owens (capt), 3. Samson Lee, 4. Tadhg Beirne, 5. Steve Cummins, 6. Aaron Shingler, 7. James Davies, 8. John Barclay.

Replacements: 16. Ryan Elias, 17. Wyn Jones, 18. Werner Kruger, 19. Lewis Rawlins, 20. Will Boyde, 21. Jonathan Evans, 22. Dan Jones, 23. Steffan Hughes.

Referee: John Lacey. AR1: Andrew Brace. AR2: Frank Murphy. TMO: Olly Hodges (all IRFU)