Need to Know: Leicester v Glasgow Match Preview (CC 2016/17)

KO 5.30 at Welford Road, Saturday 21st January
Live on BT Sport

  • Glasgow are looking to win 2 away matches in a Champions Cup season for the first time in their history.
  • It would also be only the 9th time the club had won outside of Scotland in Europe’s premier tournament.
  • This will be the Warriors 4th trip to Welford Road. The previous 3 occasions have ended in defeat and the concession of 165 points…
  • That’s not an uncommon experience for sides visiting the Tigers – they have only lost once at Welford Road in the last decade of European competition.

The starting line-ups that face off in this match show a number of changes from the last time the two sides met in Round 1. For Glasgow only 3 members of the backline that cut Leicester to shreds return – but the entire pack that laid the foundations for that victory are back again. Largely due to Leicester’s injury woes nearly half of the team that started at Scotstoun (3 backs and 4 forwards) won’t be there for the opening whistle at Welford Road.

Starting XV stats:

  • Average age – GLA 25.7   LEI 27.2
  • Capped internationals – GLA 15   LEI 6
  • Test caps won – GLA 289   LEI 207
  • Scottish / English qualified players – GLA 15   LEI 10
  • Pack weights – GLA 893kg   LEI 887kg


15 Matthew Tait
14 Adam Thompstone
13 Peter Betham
12 Jack Roberts
11 Tom Brady
10 Freddie Burns
9 Ben Youngs
ADV Glasgow
ADV Glasgow
ADV Glasgow
ADV Leicester
ADV Glasgow
ADV Leicester
15 Stuart Hogg
14 Tommy Seymour
13 Mark Bennett
12 Alex Dunbar
11 Lee Jones
10 Finn Russell
9 Ali Price

1 Greg Bateman
2 Tom Youngs (c)
3 Dan Cole
4 Ed Slater
5 Mike Fitzgerald
6 Mike Williams
7 Lachlan McCaffrey
8 Luke Hamilton

ADV Glasgow
ADV Leicester
ADV Glasgow
ADV Glasgow
ADV Glasgow
ADV Glasgow

1 Gordon Reid
2 Fraser Brown
3 Zander Fagerson
4 Tim Swinson
5 Jonny Gray
6 Rob Harley
7 Ryan Wilson
8 Josh Strauss

16 Harry Thacker
17 Ellis Genge
18 Pat Cilliers
19 Dom Barrow
20 Will Evans
21 Sam Harrison
22 Owen Williams
23 Matt Smith

ADV Leicester
ADV Leicester
ADV Leicester
ADV Glasgow
ADV Glasgow
ADV Leicester

16 Pat MacArthur
17 Alex Allan
18 D’arcy Rae
19 Brian Alainu’uese
20 Chris Fusaro
21 Henry Pyrgos
22 Nick Grigg
23 Peter Murchie

Matchday Milestones:
Robert Harley and Stuart Hogg will both make their 29th Champions Cup starts for Glasgow, taking them into equal 5th place on the club’s all-time list – just ahead of Jason White and Graeme Morrison. The men they have still to catch are Al Kellock (33), John Barclay (34), Tommy Hayes (35) and Gordon Bulloch (40).

Warriors One to Watch:
Really just a baby in propping terms – he only turned 21 on Thursday – Zander James Ragnar Fagerson has very quickly made himself an indispensable part of both his club and national sides. Already closing in on 50 appearances for the Warriors, Zander is also likely to more than double his caps tally as Scotland’s first choice tighthead in the continued absence of WP Nel for the Six Nations.

Zander has shown himself to be more than capable of locking out the scrum – or even destroying unwary looseheads. He’s more than just a scrummager though, very much in the modern prop mould in terms of his workrate around the park. He will be Glasgow’s primary ball-carrying option in the front row; will come in among the top tacklers in the pack; and has also demonstrated some decent breakdown skills to turn over ball. Z may face off against Ellis Genge later in the game in what could be a potential taster for a battle to come at Twickenham in March – but right now the birthday boy’s focus will be entirely on ensuring the Warriors make it to the Champions Cup quarter finals.

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

    • 5 wins, 4 losses. 2 Try BPs, 2 Losing BPs. 24 points in total out of a possible 45.
    • The Warriors have only won once on the road in England under Gregor Townsend – against Exeter Chiefs (in fact this is the club’s only win down South in the history of European competition!)

Key stats from Round 1:
The Good
329: Metres gained by Glasgow’s 13, 14 and 15 – their biggest attacking threats. It was a night when the home side really took advantage of the Scotstoun surface to put on a masterclass of running rugby. Among a strong team performance Bennett, Sarto and Hogg were to the fore, causing havoc in the Leicester defence. Conditions may not be quite so favourable at Welford Road but Gregor Townsend will expect his backline to take advantage of any opportunities to break that come their way.

The Bad
37: Percentage of possession in the second half. After dominating the first period, pinning Leicester back and giving them barely a sniff of the ball, Glasgow couldn’t quite maintain the same intensity after the break. That slight lack of ruthlessness is something that the leadership group will need to work on if they are to truly take a place at Europe’s top table. If the Warriors get ahead in this game they cannot afford to take their foot off their opponent’s throat (metaphorically speaking of course!)

The Ugly
11: Penalties conceded – there was also a yellow card for Ryan Wilson. Most of the team’s troubles came in the first 20 minutes when M. Raynal whistled them off the park. 8 of the penalties and the sin bin came in that spell before Glasgow managed to settle down. As Stuart Hogg’s card last week against Munster demonstrated, discipline can be crucial when it comes to close contests in this competition. If the Warriors are to maximise their chances of a win they need to stay on the right side of the ref.

Home and Away:
Leicester last 6 pool matches (H) – W W W W W W
Glasgow last 6 pool matches (A) – L W L L L W

Referee: Mathieu Raynal (Fra)
Assistant Referees: Thomas Charabas (Fra), Thomas Dejean (Fra)
TMO: Philippe Bonhoure (Fra)
Citing Commissioner: Jeff Mark (Wal)

As mentioned above Glasgow had a few early issues with M. Raynal in the opening game of the tournament. He has been a bit of a lucky charm for them though – they have picked up bonus point wins on each of the 3 previous occasions he has refereed them! The penalty count has also been in the club’s favour in each of those fixtures. A continuation of both of those stats on Saturday would go down a treat with the Warriors’ faithful.


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