With less than a fortnight to go until Glasgow’s opening European fixture of the season the club’s 41-man squad to tackle Saracens, Lyon and Cardiff Blues in Pool 3 is on the EPRC site. Here’s a quick summary of who’s in and who’s out compared to the initial selection in 2017/18.
Note – Kiran McDonald was not in the original squad last season but was added in place of Tim Swinson ahead of rounds 5 and 6.
Squad composition – 2018/19 v 2017/18
3 v 3 – LH prop
3 v 4 – Hooker *
4 v 4 – TH prop
4 v 5 – Locks
8 v 7 – Back row
3 v 4 – Scrum half
2 v 2 – Stand off
6 v 5 – Centre
8 v 7 – Back 3
41 v 41 – Total
There are 48 players in Glasgow’s main squad this season. Stafford McDowall from the Scottish Rugby Academy has been included in the European selection. That leaves 8 full-time pros who have missed out as things stand:
Hooker – James Malcolm (on loan at Doncaster Knights)
Lock – Tim Swinson (injured)
Lock – Brian Alainu’uese (rumoured to be leaving)
Back row – Matt Smith
Back row – Lewis Wynne (on loan at London Scottish)
Centre – Patrick Kelly
Wing – Lelia Masaga
Wing – Ratu Tagive
The rules allow for 3 changes to the squad during the group stage (and a further 3 during the knockouts) so the door isn’t closed for these players. At least 1 of these replacements must be a front row though. The club may well bring in another tighthead prop on loan or a short-term contract to cover for injuries to Zander Fagerson and Siua Halanukonuka. If someone does arrive it’s likely they’ll jump straight into the Champions Cup squad.
Here is the complete squad Depth Chart with their Champions Cup experience analysed (click for large version):
* Kevin Bryce is currently listed as a tighthead prop on the EPRC site but that would seem to be a hangover from his time at Edinburgh. Glasgow will almost certainly be using him in his original position of hooker with Fraser Brown and George Turner the only other men listed to cover that position.