BRANDON THOMSON had been handed the number ten jersey by Glasgow Warriors head coach Dave Rennie for Sunday’s crucial Champions Cup clash against Cardiff Blues at Scototoun, with Adam Hastings dropping to the bench and Pete Horne unavailable due to a knee injury.
Inside centre Sam Johnson is the only member of the back-line which started in last weekend’s defeat away to Benetton to retain a place in the side.
In the pack, D’Arcy Rae is entrusted with anchoring the team’s under-scrutiny scrum, while the experienced Petrus du Plessis is brought in to provide cover at tight-head from the bench, as Siua Halanukonuka is unavailable with a calf injury.
Jonny Gray is out with a shoulder injury, so Scott Cummings starts in the second-row alongside Rob Harley, who will be making his 200th appearance for the club.
Ryan Wilson starts at blind-side flanker, making his 150th appearance for the club, alongside his co-captain Callum Gibbins at open-side, and Matt Fagerson at number eight.
Head coach Dave Rennie believes that a tightening up in accuracy and clarity of thought will allow the team to return to winning ways after disappointing run which has seen the team suffer back-t0-back defeats to Edinburgh followed by that loss in Italy.
“Obviously the last three weeks have been disappointing, but we’ve created a lot of opportunities in those games and just haven’t been as clinical as we’ve needed to be and the quality of our decision making hasn’t been good enough,” he said. “It’s hurt us but there’s no sense of panic, we need to be sharper and we know this is a massive game for us in the context of Europe and we’ve picked the side accordingly.”
Although Warriors cannot win Pool 3 in this round of games, they will qualify as one of the three best runners-up provided they win on Sunday and results in Pools 2 and 5 go their way.
More to follow …
Glasgow Warriors (versus Cardiff Blues at Scotstoun Stadium, Sunday at 3.15pm, live on BT Sport): Stuart Hogg, Tommy Seymour, Nick Grigg, Sam Johnson, DTH van der Merwe; Brandon Thomson, Ali Price; Oli Kebble, Grant Stewart, D’Arcy Rae, Rob Harley, Scott Cummings, Ryan Wilson, Callum Gibbins, Matt Fagerson. Substitutes: Kevin Bryce, Alex Allan, Petrus du Plessis, Tim Swinson, Chris Fusaro, George Horne, Adam Hastings, Lee Jones.
Cardiff Blues: Dan Fish; Owen Lane, Harri Millard, Willis Halaholo, Tom James; Steven Shingler, Lloyd Williams; Brad Thyer, Matthew Rees (c), Dillon Lewis, George Earle, Rory Thornton, Shane Lewis-Hughes, Josh Navidi, Seb Davies. Substitutes: Ethan Lewis, Rhys Carre, Scott Andrews, Macauley Cook, Nick Williams, Tomos Williams, Jarrod Evans, Aled Summerhill.
Warriors players unavailable through injury: Fraser Brown (knee), Alex Dunbar (thigh), Zander Fagerson (ankle), Jonny Gray (shoulder), Siua Halanukonuka (calf), Pete Horne (knee), Niko Matawalu (illness), Robbie Nairn (knee) and George Turner (ankle).