Need to Know: Sale v Glasgow Warriors, Champions Cup match preview 2019/20

KO 5.30pm
AJ Bell Stadium

Saturday 18th January 2020
Live on BT Sport 3

Champions Cup stats:

  • Glasgow have won 2 and lost 8 of their games when they been away from home in the Champions Cup in Round 6.
  • The wins were 23-16 versus Dragons in 2010/11 and 43-0 against Leicester in 2016/17.
  • That victory over the Tigers is one of just two Warriors’ wins on English soil in this tournament – from 23 attempts. (The other came against Exeter in 2013/14).
  • The club are attempting to make it to the Champions Cup quarter-finals for the 3rd time in 4 years having never previously made that stage in nearly 20 years of trying. (All the permutations that might see Glasgow progress can be found here.)

15 Joe Carpenter
14 Denny Solomona
13 Luke James
12 James Williams
11 Marland Yarde
10 Thomas Curtis
9 Will Cliff
ADV Glasgow
ADV Sale
ADV Glasgow
ADV Glasgow
ADV Glasgow
ADV Glasgow
ADV Glasgow
15 Glenn Bryce
14 Kyle Steyn
13 Huw Jones
12 Sam Johnson
11 DTH van der Merwe
10 Adam Hastings
9 Ali Price

1 Ross Harrison
2 Curtis Langdon
3 Willgriff John
4 Matthew Postlewhaite
5 James Phillips
6 Tom Curry
7 Ben Curry
8 Jono Ross (c)
ADV Sale
ADV Glasgow
ADV Glasgow
ADV Glasgow
ADV Glasgow
ADV Sale
ADV Sale

1 Aki Seiuli
2 Fraser Brown
3 Zander Fagerson
4 Scott Cummings
5 Jonny Gray
6 Leone Nakarawa
7 Tom Gordon
8 Ryan Wilson (c)

16 Rob Webber
17 Ben Carlile
18 Jake Cooper-Woolley
19 Sam Dugdale
20 Cameron Neild
21 Fergus Warr
22 Cameron Redpath
23 Thomas Roebuck
ADV Sale
ADV Glasgow
ADV Sale
ADV Glasgow
ADV Glasgow
ADV Glasgow
ADV Glasgow

16 George Turner
17 Oli Kebble
18 Adam Nicol
19 Robert Harley
20 Chris Fusaro
21 George Horne
22 Peter Horne
23 Niko Matawalu

Starting XV stats:

1   Champions Cup tries   23
36   Champions Cup appearances   113
23.8   Average age   27.4
2   Capped players   5

883kg   Pack weight   900kg
574kg   Tight 5 weight   592kg
69   Champions Cup appearances   183
25.6   Average age   27.0
2   Capped players   6

Changes from Round 1:

Rugby is a sport that requires significant squad depth. That’s evidenced by there being no fewer than 20 players from the matchday squads in November who won’t be involved on Saturday. 15 return for Glasgow with 11 from Sale. There are just 12 of the combined starting XVs filling the same roles for the return fixture – 7 for the Warriors and 5 for their hosts.

Glasgow Greetings:

Re-debuts have been a bit of a theme for Glasgow in recent years and Leone Nakarawa will become the fourth member of the current squad to kick off a second spell as a full-time pro with the Warriors. It’s been 1,335 days since the big Fijian’s last appearance for Glasgow (not that OTOTM has been counting!) and given he didn’t seem a likely candidate for a return it’s going to be fun having the chance to watch him go to work once again.

Matchday Milestones:

More records will be gathered by the machine that is hoovering up all the appearances’ crowns. Rob Harley will become the first man in Warriors’ history to make 50 appearances in the Champions Cup and this game will also see him tie Gordon Bulloch’s all-time club record for European matches. Could there be a quarter-final to allow Bob to move into first place all on his own this season?

Once a Warrior:

No sign of Warrior number 209, Byron McGuigan, this time round as Sale seem to be taking the chance to maximise their English-qualified player appearances. No doubt injuries are playing their part but from their Champions Cup squad there’s no De Klerk, D du Preez, J-L du Preez, R du Preez Janse van Rensburg, MacGinty, McGuigan or van der Merwe.

Warrior to Watch:

Following his first call-up for Scotland this week there will probably be more eyes than usual on Tom Gordon as he takes over from suspended skipper Callum Gibbins in the number 7 shirt. His minutes have been limited so far this season but every time he has appeared he’s been a hyperactive presence in attack and defence.

12 carries and 16 tackles per 80 minutes is a really good quantity of work. The quality has been high too with tackle completion over 90% and averaging 3.0 metres per carry – among the top 3 for Glasgow forwards from a man who is elusive but also deceptively strong given he’s certainly no monster among back rows.

Glasgow’s Track Record…

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

    • 14 wins (12 at home, 2 away)
    • 26 losses (8 at home, 18 away)

Most recent meeting in Europe:


Referee: Pascal Gauzere (Fra)
AR1: Maxime Chalon (Fra)
AR2: Julien Dufort (Fra)
TMO: Eric Gauzins (Fra)

Previous Warriors’ matches with M. Gauzere as referee:

  • 2013/14 – lost to Cardiff Blues (H)
    Penalties: 21 (For 14 – 7 Against)
  • 2015/16 – lost to Northampton (H)
    Penalties: 27 (For 16 – 11 Against)
  • 2015/16 – beat Scarlets (A)
    Penalties: 23 (For 13 – 10 Against)
  • 2015/16 – lost to Saracens (A)
    Penalties: 23 (For 4 – 9 Against)
  • 2018/19 – lost to Exeter (A)
    Penalties: 20 (For 10 – 10 Against)

It’s a second encounter of the season for Glasgow with M. Gauzere after he took charge of the away fixture against Exeter. The French official carded Kiran McDonald on that occasion. With the Warriors having racked up 6 yellows and a red in their last 5 matches, Dave Rennie will be looking for his side to avoid incurring the ref’s wrath in this one.

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