Need to Know: Glasgow Warriors v Lyon, Champions Cup match preview 2018/19

KO 1.00 at Sold Out Scotstoun Stadium
Saturday 15th December
Live on BT Sport 2

Champions Cup stats:

  • Glasgow have won 4 and lost 4 of their games when they have been at home in Round 4 of the Champions Cup.
  • There have only been 2 occasions (in 17 attempts) when the Warriors have won both legs of the Round 3 and Round 4 double header in this tournament – against Scarlets in 2015/16 and Racing 92 in 2016/17.
  • A third consecutive win would match Glasgow’s longest winning streak in the Heineken Cup. The previous run straddled the end of 2010/11 and start of 2011/12, taking in victories over Wasps (H), Dragons (A) and Bath (H).
  • Lyon’s only European win outside of France in the last 7 years came against London Welsh in the Challenge Cup in 2015.

15 Stuart Hogg
14 Tommy Seymour
13 Huw Jones
12 Stafford McDowall
11 Niko Matawalu
10 Adam Hastings
9 Ali Price
ADV Glasgow
ADV Glasgow
ADV Glasgow
ADV Lyon
ADV Glasgow
15 Jean-Marcellin Buttin
14 Xavier Mignot
13 Pierre-Louis Barassi
12 Thibaut Regard
11 Alexis Palisson
10 Jean-Marc Doussain
9 Charl McLeod

1 Oli Kebble
2 George Turner
3 Siua Halanukonuka
4 Tim Swinson
5 Jonny Gray
6 Ryan Wilson (cc)
7 Callum Gibbins (cc)
8 Matt Fagerson
ADV Glasgow
ADV Glasgow
ADV Glasgow
ADV Lyon
ADV Glasgow

1 Raphael Chaume
2 Virgile Lacombe
3 Hamza Kaabeche
4 Etienne Oosthuizen
5 Hendrik Roodt
6 Loann Goujon
7 Patrick Sobela
8 Deon Fourie

16 Grant Stewart
17 Jamie Bhatti
18 Petrus du Plessis
19 Robert Harley
20 Chris Fusaro
21 Nick Frisby
22 Peter Horne
23 Robbie Nairn
ADV Lyon
ADV Lyon
ADV Glasgow
ADV Lyon
ADV Glasgow
ADV Glasgow
ADV Lyon

16 Jeremie Maurouard
17 Albertus Buckle
18 Kevin Yameogo
19 Francois van der Merwe
20 Carl Fearns
23 Quentin Delord
22 Adrien Seguret
21 Rudi Wulf

Starting XV stats:

23   Champions Cup tries   11
129   Champions Cup appearances   84
25.8   Average age   27.5
6   Capped players   5

887kg   Pack weight   882kg
581kg   Tight 5 weight   565kg
129   Champions Cup appearances   92
27.7   Average age   29.0
6   Capped players   2

Changes from last week:

With a hectic festive season in prospect, which then runs straight through January and into the 6 Nations, Glasgow head coach Dave Rennie has rotated his resources, making 8 alterations. There are only a couple of fresh faces in the starting XV though with 6 of the switches seeing players from last week’s 23 promoted from the bench.

Lyon have made wholesale changes with Alexis Palisson (moving from full back to wing) and Hamza Kaabeche (the only tighthead the French side have available with at least some top level experience) the only men retained from the starting lineup that went down 42-22 at home in Round 3.

Glasgow Greetings:

There’s a Champions Cup debut for newly minted full-time professional Stafford McDowall, celebrating signing his deal with the Warriors by making his 4th start at inside centre in the last 5 matches. Nick Frisby and Robbie Nairn will also make their first ever appearances in the tournament when they come off the bench. Stafford, Nick and Robbie will be the 228th, 229th and 230th men to feature in Europe for Glasgow (and will take this season’s tally of players to 35).

Matchday Milestones:

Robert Harley’s 41st match in the Heineken Cup draws him level with former Warriors’ hooker Gordon Bulloch as the players with the most appearances in this competition for the club.

Gordon made his tournament debut on 8th September 1997 in a win over Ulster at Ravenhill and his final outing came on 14th January 2005 away to Northampton. Big Bad Bob first played in the Champions Cup back in the Firhill days on 10th October 2010, starting at 6 in a (in those days rare) win over the Dragons. Current squad members Ruaridh Jackson and DTH van der Merwe also played in that match more than 8 years ago.

There were another 9 appearances for Gordon in the Challenge Cup so Bob still has some work to do if he wants the overall record for most matches played in Europe for Glasgow!

Warrior to Watch:

Matt Fagerson is one of just 5 players who have started all of Glasgow’s Heineken Cup games so far this season – and the only one to start the club’s last 6 fixtures in the tournament. The back rower will be playing the 36th match of his Warriors’ career, closing in on half-Centurion status already. It’s worth emphasising that Matt is still only 20 years old!

With 11 defenders beaten and 3 clean breaks in the three Champions Cup matches so far, Matt is way out in front among the pack in terms of his attacking output. In fact most of the backs can’t even match those numbers! He’s also grafted hard in defence and is starting to become a handy option in the lineout too. All this and just one more try will make him top scorer in the Fagerson family despite big brother Zander having played twice as many games!

Glasgow’s Track Record…

…at home against French sides in the pool stages of the European Cup:

    • 8 wins
    • 1 draw
    • 10 losses

In matches at Scotstoun only, Glasgow have managed 2 victories (Montpellier and Racing 92) and 4 defeats (Castres, Toulon, Toulouse and Montpellier).

Most recent meeting in Europe:


Referee: Ben Whitehouse (Wal, 11th competition game)
AR1: Gwyn Morris (Wal)
AR2: Aled Evans (Wal)
TMO: Geoff Warren (Eng)

Having a PRO14 official in the shape of Mr. Whitehouse should give Glasgow a bit of a head start in knowing what the ref is likely to be looking for. He has only taken charge of 4 games involving the Warriors so far though so there may still be a bit of an air of mystery… In fact this will be the Welsh whistler’s very first visit to the bearpit tranquil haven for referees that is Scotstoun Stadium.

Glasgow were on the wrong end of the penalty count last Saturday (7 for to 16 against) so they’ll need to make a few tweaks this time round. Lyon themselves can be a completely different prospect outside the Stade de Gerland. Their last 3 home games have seen them concede a combined total of 20 penalties. They committed that same number of offences in a single match in their most recent away fixture against Clermont, along with no fewer than 3 yellow cards.

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