Six caps back as Glasgow face Exeter in last warm-up

GLASGOW’S build-up to the new season will move up a gear tonight when six more internationalists return to the fold against Exeter.

The final pre-season friendly, at Ayr’s Millbrae ground (7.30pm), follows the Warriors’ defeat away to Sale and coach Gregor Townsend believes that his side will learn quickly and impress against another Aviva Premiership club.

A week away from the RaboDirect kick-off at Ulster, Townsend has opted to reintroduce successful Scotland tourists Duncan Weir, Moray Low, Tom Ryder, John Barclay and Rob Harley, as well as Canadian winger DTH van der Merwe to the starting line-up, with prop Ryan Grant on the bench. There is a first start for Peter Horne, who scored a fine try at Sale in his first game since returning from a long-term shoulder injury.

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Townsend said: “Exeter, like us, are gearing up for a tough 
domestic campaign and the rigours of the Heineken Cup, so they’ll be ideal opposition a week out from the start of competitive rugby.

“It’s great to welcome back half a dozen of our international players, who have proven their quality time and again down the years. Others will follow next week at Ravenhill, to complement the efforts of the core group who have worked extremely hard and productively since the start of pre-season training in June.

“There are a number of areas that we know need to be better than was the case against Sale, and the players are determined to give our crowd a positive performance and result to whet their appetite for the new campaign.”

Fraser Thomson makes his first start at full-back, Gordon Reid starts at loosehead back at his old club, Scott Wight is preferred to Ruaridh Jackson as back-up stand-off and young hooker Finlay Gillies will captain the side, having been made part of the side’s leadership group this season. Admission to the game is £5 for adults and free to under-16s, with all gate receipts and bar takings going to the Ayr club as part of the Warriors’ efforts to integrate more fully with the club game in the west of Scotland.

Glasgow also announced a new sponsorship deal with Glasgow Airport yesterday to promote the Warriors to the seven million passengers who pass through the airport every year.

GLASGOW TEAM: F Thomson; T Seymour, B McGuigan, P Horne, DTH van der Merwe; D Weir, H Pyrgos; G Reid, F Gillies (capt), M Low, T Ryder, N Campbell, R Harley, J Barclay, R Wilson. Subs: A Ashe, M Cusack, G Hunter, J Eddie, A Macdonald, C Fusaro, G Morrison, P Murchie, S Wight, S Kennedy, R Grant.