Ospreys v Glasgow: Returning internationals boost
The returning internationals are wingers Tommy Seymour and Sean Lamont, stand-off Ruaridh Jackson, scrum-half Chris Cusiter, front rowers Ryan Grant and Pat MacArthur and lock Jonny Gray.
Glasgow will bid to bounce back from last weekend’s surprise home defeat to Newport-Gwent Dragons.
Although he missed the Autumn Tests, British and Irish Lion Stuart Hogg continues at full-back, while Tyrone Holmes and Josh Strauss come into the back row and flanker Ryan Wilson is in the 23 after a shoulder injury.
Coach Gregor Townsend said: “We’ve had to pull together as a squad this week after a disappointing performance on Friday. Our training has been very positive and with the internationals back at training we have added competition for places.
“I’m delighted to welcome back seven of the players who were missing last weekend, as well as Ryan Wilson, who has been missing for a number of months through injury.
“The Ospreys are a tough team to break down in defence and have scored the most tries in the league this year, so it will be another big challenge. We will need to bring a huge amount of effort and togetherness as well as quality and composure to come home with a win.”
Ospreys head coach Steve Tandy, who hands a first Pro12 start to No 10 Sam Davies, is expecting a tough test and said: “Glasgow have been probably the most improved team in the league over the last few seasons
“With good support from their union, they’ve been able to put together a strong squad combining Scottish talent and good overseas players.
“They’ll be strengthened this weekend by the return of their internationals and will no doubt want to keep their good run against us going, which will enable them to leapfrog us in the table,” added Tandy.
“So we are going to have to continue the improvements we’ve seen over the last couple of weeks and compete right across the field.
“This group of players have been working hard in training over the course of the last month and have built towards this game, which we always knew would be a tough challenge. Some of them have really put their hand up and we’ve learnt a lot about the character of the group.
“Now they need to stand up and be counted in their toughest test of the month. Hopefully, the crowd will do their bit to lift the team from the stands as well, and we can kick on from last week’s win over Zebre.
“We are in second place in the Pro12 and after this game, the next league fixtures will be the Christmas derbies when anything can happen, so it’s important we keep building momentum, in the league and for the Heineken double-header against Castres.”
Ospreys: 15 R Fussell, 14 H Dirksen, 13 T Isaacs, 12 B John, 11 J Hassler, 10 S Davies, 9 T Tebaldi, 1 D Jones (capt), 2 S Baldwin, 3 A Jarvis, 4 L Peers, 5 J King, 6 T Ardron, 7 S Lewis, 8 M Allene. Subs, 16 M Dwyer, 17 M Thomas, 18 D Suter, 19 G Knoop, 20 A Ellis, 21 R Webb, 22 M Morgan, 23 A Natoga
Glasgow: 15 S Hogg, 14. T Seymour, 13 M Bennett, 12 S Lamont, 11 DTH vd Merwe, 10 R Jackson, 9 C Cusiter, 1 R Grant, 2 P MacArthur, 3 E Kalman, 4 J Gray, 5 A Kellock (capt), 6 R Harley, 7 T Holmes, 8 J Strauss. Subs, 16 D Hall, 17 G Reid, 18 J Welsh, 19 T Ryder, 20 J Eddie, 21 R Wilson, 22 H Pyrgos, 23 F Russell
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