Need to Know: Northampton v Glasgow Match Preview

KO 5.30 at Franklin’s Gardens, Sunday 17th January
Live on BT Sport

Team Talk
This season has been a tough one for the Warriors and their fans. To paraphrase Toulon’s owner, Mourad Boudjellal – it’s difficult to go from Lorne sausage to chipolatas. The current injury list doesn’t make for happy reading but despite this Gregor Townsend has only twice this season named a 23 with more previous appearances for Glasgow. Northampton are without Ah See Tuala (scorer of 2 tries) and Kieran Brookes (destroyer of Ryan Grant) from their trip to Scotstoun but name a strong line-up including rumoured England captain Dylan Hartley.


15 Ben Foden
14 Tom Collins
13 George Pisi
12 Luther Burrell
11 George North
10 JJ Hanrahan
9 Lee Dickson (c)
15 Stuart Hogg
14 Lee Jones
13 Alex Dunbar
12 Sam Johnson
11 Sean Lamont
10 Finn Russell
9 Ali Price

1 Alex Waller
2 Dylan Hartley
3 Paul Hill
4 Courtney Lawes
5 Christian Day
6 Jamie Gibson
7 Tom Wood
8 Teimana Harrison

1 Gordon Reid
2 Pat MacArthur
3 Sila Puafisi
4 Leone Nakarawa
5 Jonny Gray (c)
6 Ryan Wilson
7 Chris Fusaro
8 Adam Ashe

16 Mikey Haywood
17 Ethan Waller
18 Gareth Denman
19 Michael Paterson
20 Jonathan Fisher
21 Tom Kessell
22 Steve Myler
23 Harry Mallinder

16 Shalva Mamukashvili
17 Ryan Grant
18 Zander Fagerson
19 Tim Swinson
20 Simone Favaro
21 Grayson Hart
22 Duncan Weir
23 Taqele Naiyarovoro

Glasgow Greetings:
Sam Johnson makes his first start for the club, becoming the 14th different player to do so this season and the 49th player overall to start a game for the Warriors in 2015/16

Matchday Milestones:
Delayed acknowledgement for birthday boy, Sean Lamont who made his 50th European start (16 of which came for this weekend’s opponents Northampton) last time out against Racing 92. Adam Ashe will play his 25th match for Glasgow and Centurions Pat MacArthur and Chris Fusaro both make their 75th starts for the Warriors.

Warriors One to Watch:
Chris Fusaro. With Northampton opting to go for the all-round game and workrate of Tom Wood rather than a specialist openside, Fuzzy needs to take advantage. He has to be first to as many rucks as possible to disrupt, and hopefully turn over, Saints’ ball. In attack he’ll be part of a very mobile back row trio alongside Ryan Wilson, Adam Ashe and all 3 have to play to their strengths and keep the ball moving quickly rather than getting into an arm wrestle at the breakdown with the bigger Northampton pack.

Head to Head:
Back 3 – EVEN
Centres – ADV Northampton
Half Backs – EVEN
Front Row – ADV Northampton
Second Row – ADV Glasgow
Back Row – EVEN
Subs – EVEN

Toony’s Track Record…
…against English sides in the Champions Cup:

    • 4 wins, 3 losses. 1 Try BP, 1 Losing BP. 18 points in total out of a possible 35.
    • Gregor’s men have only won once away from home against English opposition (Exeter at Sandy Park).
    • Still worth another watch…


Reaction to round 1:

Opening night of the European campaign couldn’t have gone much better for Saints with an away win on the board and their pool rival not even picking up a losing bonus point. In fact the only negative might have been the failure to pick up their own bonus point having notched their third try with almost half an hour remaining. They will look for more of the same and in particular to re-exert their dominance at the setpiece where they ruined the Glasgow scrum and disrupted the lineout. They will have concerns about just how often they were pressed back into their own 22 and while a powerful defensive effort played its part they were also the beneficiaries of some very basic errors in the red zone by the Warriors.

The Warriors will be hoping that improved performances in the front row (with Gordon Reid at its cornerstone) continue this weekend so they can close the large gap between the 2 units from the Scotstoun fixture. However they will be facing a pack who will be much more aggressive in the way they view the scrum and this will be a serious test for all 4 of the props in the 23. Glasgow’s play over recent months has been good enough to get them into scoring positions but when they have got into the 22 or close to the line they have been able to find an endless array of different ways to balls things up. The team need to be taking every opportunity going if there is to be any chance of causing an upset at Franklin’s Gardens for the first time in the club’s history.

Referee: Romain Poite (France)
Touch Judge 1: Cyril Lafon (France)
Touch Judge 2: Stephane Boyer (France)
TMO: Philippe Bonhoure (France)
Citing Commissioner: Jeff Mark (Wales)

A French whistler for the 3rd time in Europe this season for Glasgow but only the 2nd time they’ve been officiated by M. Poite in the past couple of years. They will need to gauge his interpretation at the breakdown and the scrum very early on as discipline will be key to stopping Northampton getting into position to use their juggernaut maul as Racing did so effectively against the Warriors last week.

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