Rufus McLean returns as Glasgow Warriors make four changes for La Rochelle

Flying winger Rufus McLean is back in the Glasgow Warriors side for the pivotal Heineken Champions Cup clash with La Rochelle at Scotstoun on Saturday night.

Rufus McLean will start against La Rochelle. (Photo by Ross MacDonald / SNS Group)
Rufus McLean will start against La Rochelle. (Photo by Ross MacDonald / SNS Group)

The inclusion of McLean for his Champions Cup debut comes at the expense of Cole Forbes and is one of four changes to the side which suffered a 52-17 hammering at the hands of Exeter Chiefs last weekend.

Glasgow are currently eighth in Pool A and need to maintain that position or improve on it if they are to reach the last 16. This is their final match of the group stage.

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Among the other changes, Fraser Brown takes over as starting hooker from George Turner, who is on the bench. Brown will captain the team.

Richie Gray returns from injury to the second row in place of Kiran McDonald, who is among the replacements, and Oli Kebble is picked as loosehead prop ahead of Jamie Bhatti, who is also on the bench.

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Tighthead Simon Berghan is in line for his first appearance since the opening match of the 2021-22 season after recovering from injury to take his place amongst the replacements.

Club co-captain Ryan Wilson is also among the substitutes.

Glasgow coach Danny Wilson said: “Having been in the lead 17-14 after 50 minutes we were really disappointed with the final 30 minutes of the game against Exeter. We have the opportunity to put that right on Saturday night against La Rochelle.

“It’s great to welcome back Rufus McLean, Richie Gray and Simon Berghan into the 23.

“La Rochelle are a powerful team with a quality player base and one of the big European team over recent years. We're looking forward to the challenge of welcoming them to Scotstoun.”

If Glasgow finish ninth, tenth or 11th in the 12-team Pool A they will drop into the Challenge Cup. A bottom-place finish would see them eliminated from Europe.

Glasgow Warriors (v La Rochelle, Heineken Champions Cup, Scotstoun, Saturday, 8pm. TV: live on BT Sport 2)

15. Josh McKay

14. Kyle Steyn

13. Sione Tuipulotu

12. Sam Johnson

11. Rufus McLean

10. Ross Thompson

9. Ali Price

1. Oli Kebble

2. Fraser Brown (c)

3. Zander Fagerson

4. Scott Cummings

5. Richie Gray

6. Matt Fagerson

7. Rory Darge

8. Jack Dempsey

Substitutes

16. George Turner

17. Jamie Bhatti

18. Simon Berghan

19. Kiran McDonald

20. Ryan Wilson

21. George Horne

22. Duncan Weir

23. Ollie Smith

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