Glasgow Warriors v Ospreys: 21 missing but Danny Wilson is happy with team

Glasgow Warriors host Ospreys tonight knowing a win is essential to their hopes of overhauling the Welsh side and claiming third place in Conference A of the Guinness Pro14.

On-loan forward James Scott will make his first start for Glasgow Warriors against Ospreys. Picture: Craig Williamson/SNS

A top-three finish would guarantee a place in next season’s Heineken Champions Cup and Danny Wilson’s side are running out of games.

Their cause is not helped by being without 21 players but the Glasgow coach declared himself happy with his starting XV which shows seven alterations from Saturday’s win over Zebre.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

“Most of those changes have been forced upon us,” said Wilson. “We have 21 players unavailable at the moment; 12 injured, two suspended and seven away with Scotland.

“I’ve not known a season like this. It’s phenomenal, isn’t it? You want to build something in terms of combinations and momentum but we keep having to make massive, massive changes.

“But, having said that, I’m looking at that team and going the other way and thinking it’s a good team actually on paper considering we have 21 unavailable. That’s a positive. Ospreys will be in a similar position with injuries and players away with Wales. Not as many as us but enough to make a dent. So it should be two evenly-matched teams for that reason which should make for a good game.

“We’re chasing them - they’re sitting 10 points above us and they’ve got two games left while we’ve got three. If we can knock them off this weekend, then they’ve got to go to Leinster.

“Three wins is what we’re targeting. We had a good bonus point win away from home last week, now we’ve got to capitalise on that this week at home.”

Richie Gray remains out with a head knock which means a first start for James Scott, who is on loan from Worcester.

Rufus McLean and Jamie Dobie have been released by Scotland and the former will start on the wing, with Dobie among the substitutes.

Meanwhile, Chris Fusaro and Gregor Brown are both expected to miss the rest of the season due to knee injuries.

Glasgow Warriors (v Ospreys, tonight, 8pm): Ollie Smith; Rufus McLean, Nick Grigg, Robbie Fergusson, Lee Jones; Ross Thompson, Sean Kennedy; Aki Seiuli, Grant Stewart, Enrique Pieretto, James Scott, Leone Nakarawa, Rob Harley, Thomas Gordon, Ryan Wilson (c).

Replacements: Johnny Matthews, Dylan Evans, D’arcy Rae, Kiran McDonald, TJ Ioane, Jamie Dobie, Ian Keatley, Ratu Tagive.

A message from the Editor:

Get a year of unlimited access to all of The Scotsman's sport coverage without the need for a full subscription. Expert analysis of the biggest games, exclusive interviews, live blogs, transfer news and 70 per cent fewer ads on - all for less than £1 a week. Subscribe to us today