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

KO 1.00pm
Allianz Park

Saturday 19th January
Live on BT Sport 2

Champions Cup stats:

  • Glasgow have won 2 and lost 7 of their games when they been away from home in the Champions Cup in Round 6.
  • The wins were 23-16 versus Dragons at Dave Parade in 2010/11 and, rather more famously, 43-0 against Leicester at Welford Road in 2016/17.
  • The Warriors are looking for their 5th consecutive win in the Champions Cup having already set a new club record streak last Sunday.
  • Across all tiers of European competition the Warriors have faced Sarries 9 times with their only victory coming in the 2nd leg of the Challenge Cup in 2003/04 – and the margin in that game was not enough to overturn the deficit from the first leg.

15 Alex Goode
14 Liam Williams
13 Nick Tompkins
12 Brad Barritt (c)
11 Alex Lewington
10 Owen Farrell
9 Ben Spencer
ADV Glasgow
ADV Saracens
ADV Saracens
ADV Glasgow
ADV Saracens
ADV Glasgow
15 Stuart Hogg
14 Tommy Seymour
13 Nick Grigg
12 Sam Johnson
11 DTH van der Merwe
10 Adam Hastings
9 Ali Price

1 Mako Vunipola
2 Jamie George
3 Vincent Koch
4 Maro Itoje
5 George Kruis
6 Jackson Wray
7 Schalk Burger
8 Billy Vunipola
ADV Saracens
ADV Saracens
ADV Saracens
ADV Saracens
ADV Glasgow
ADV Saracens
ADV Saracens

1 Oli Kebble
2 Grant Stewart
3 Siua Halanukonuka
4 Tim Swinson
5 Jonny Gray
6 Robert Harley
7 Chris Fusaro
8 Ryan Wilson (c)

16 Christopher Tolofua
17 Richard Barrington
18 Christian Judge
19 Will Skelton
20 Calum Clark
21 Richard Wigglesworth
22 Alex Lozowski
22 David Strettle
ADV Saracens
ADV Saracens
ADV Glasgow
ADV Saracens
ADV Saracens
ADV Glasgow
ADV Glasgow
ADV Glasgow

16 Kevin Bryce
17 Alex Allan
18 D’arcy Rae
19 Adam Ashe
20 Matt Smith
21 George Horne
22 Huw Jones
23 Niko Matawalu

Starting XV stats:

37   Champions Cup tries   29
246   Champions Cup appearances   152
28.6   Average age   27.2
7   Capped players   6

922kg   Pack weight   895kg
581kg   Tight 5 weight   585kg
291   Champions Cup appearances   192
28.6   Average age   28.0
4   Capped players   6

Changes from Round 1:

There’s more consistency of selection available for Saracens who have 19 players returning. Glasgow’s injury issues mean half their first choice pack is missing but the backline is closer to full strength than it was for the sides’ first meeting of the season at Scotstoun. Overall 12 of the Warriors’ 23 from that game play again this weekend.

Glasgow Greetings:

There’s a return for a classic loose forward trio with Robert Harley, Chris Fusaro and Ryan Wilson starting together at 6,7, and 8 for the 14th time. It will be the first occasion this unit has been sighted for almost 18 months though.

Matchday Milestones:

After last week’s monumental milestones it’s all quiet this week. Jonny Gray could soon become a Centurion though, playing his 98th game for Glasgow when he takes to the field against Saracens. With 6 Nations duty about to intrude it’s just possible if the Warriors make the European quarter-finals that Jonny’s 100th appearance could also come at Allianz Park…

Warriors to Watch:

This is going to be a tough afternoon. Saracens are already through but will be looking for the win which would secure them a home quarter-final and a home country semi-final. With the final itself being held in Newcastle, Saracens wouldn’t need to leave England to win back the trophy they last won in 2017.

To that end Glasgow will travel more in hope than expectation – but bear in mind it’s 10 years ago this week that the Warriors did much the same on their way to Toulouse before coming away with a famous win! A big performance that shows how far the club has come and the true nature and style of Glasgow’s play would go down very nicely. A few tries scored is top of the agenda and two men who could contribute are starter DTH van der Merwe and substitute Niko Matawalu.

DTH and Niko are both currently on 9 European tries for the Warriors – just one off the club record currently held by Tommy Hayes. Could we see one (or both) of Glasgow’s wide men topping that tally after a big afternoon in Barnet?

Glasgow’s Track Record…

…against English sides in the pool stages of the European Cup:

    • 13 wins (11 at home, 2 away)
    • 26 losses (8 at home, 18 away)

That Leicester win gets another mention with the Warriors’ only other victory on English soil in the Heineken Cup coming against Exeter in 2013/14.

Most recent meeting in Europe:


Referee: Pascal Gauzere (Fra)
AR1: Maxime Chalon (Fra)
AR2: Jean-Luc Rebollal (Fra)
TMO: Eric Gauzins (Fra)

Previous Warriors’ matches with M. Gauzere as referee:

  • 2013/14 – lost to Cardiff Blues (H)
    Penalties: 21 (For 7 – 14 Against)
  • 2015/16 – lost to Northampton (H)
    Penalties: 27 (For 11 – 16 Against)
  • 2015/16 – beat Scarlets (A)
    Penalties: 23 (For 10 – 13 Against)

Glasgow have done pretty well in the penalty count (although maybe not so well on the scoreboard) when M. Gauzere has been in charge. It has been a while since he’s reffed a Warriors’ match though. In the interim period he has been a regular for Scotland games, officiating in 6 of their Tests. In those fixtures the dark blues have only lost the penalty count once. Hopefully that favourable outlook on Scottish sides continues on Saturday!

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