Need to Know: Glasgow Warriors v Dragons, PRO14 match preview 2020/21

KO 7.35 at Scotstoun Stadium
Saturday 5th December 2020

Live on Premier Sports 1

  • This is the oldest starting XV (average age of 29.0) that Glasgow have fielded in the last four seasons.
  • It’s 287 days since these sides last met at Scotstoun. 7 of the Glasgow XV also started that game. 10 players return for the Dragons.
  • Kiran McDonald looked keen to make up for lost time last week against Cardiff Blues and he is the Warrior to Watch.
  • Props Adam Nicol and George Thornton; centre Paddy Kelly; plus wingers Rufus McLean and Robbie Nairn are the only available members of Glasgow’s full-time squad not included in Saturday night’s 23.

Teams

GLASGOW WARRIORS
15 Glenn Bryce
14 Lee Jones
13 Nick Grigg
12 Robbie Fergusson
11 Niko Matawalu
10 Peter Horne
9 Sean Kennedy
DRAGONS
15 Josh Lewis
14 Jared Rosser
13 Jack Dixon
12 Jamie Roberts
11 Ashton Hewitt
10 Sam Davies
9 Rhodri Williams (c)

1 Aki Seiuli
2 Grant Stewart
3 Enrique Pieretto
4 Lewis Bean
5 Kiran McDonald
6 Robert Harley
7 Fotu Lokotui
8 Ryan Wilson (c)

1 Brok Harris
2 Ellis Shipp
3 Aaron Jarvis
4 Ben Carter
5 Matthew Screech
6 Harrison Keddie
7 Taine Basham
8 Ollie Griffiths

16 Johnny Matthews
17 Alex Allan
18 D’arcy Rae
19 Hamish Bain
20 TJ Ioane
21 Jamie Dobie
22 Brandon Thomson
23 Ratu Tagive

16 Richard Hibbard
17 Conor Maguire
18 Chris Coleman
19 Joe Maksymiw
20 Huw Taylor
21 Tavis Knoyle
22 Nick Tompkins
23 Owen Jenkins

Head to Head:

Back 3 – EVEN
Centres – EVEN
Half Backs – ADV Dragons
Front Row – ADV Glasgow
Second Row – ADV Glasgow
Back Row – ADV Dragons
Subs – ADV Glasgow

Glasgow Greetings:

There’s a first start for Fotu Lokotui who takes over from Tom Gordon at openside.

One year and five days after his last appearance at Scotstoun, Kiran McDonald will return to home territory on Saturday night. The big lock has played four games since then but all of them at other venues. Lee Jones has had an even longer wait for a competitive outing on the famous (artificial) turf having not featured at Scotstoun since February 2019.

Matchday Milestones:

It’s game number 178 for Peter Horne. That means he will overtake Graeme Morrison as the most capped back in Glasgow’s history. Eleven years and nine months on from his first game against Ulster at Ravenhill (alongside fellow debutants Chris Kinloch and Richie Gray), Warrior number 172 has made a huge contribution to the club. Hopefully there are a good few more games still to come!

Warrior to Watch:

Glasgow’s pack is listed at 911kgs – there are only a handful of occasions in the past four seasons that the club have named a heavier starting 8. While his second row partner, Lewis Bean, may provide the ballast it’s the more mobile of the Warrior’s locks, Kiran McDonald, who is the one to watch this week.

As noted above it’s been a stop start 12 months for Kiran but his performance against Cardiff Blues last week was a timely reminder of the kind of form he had hit under Dave Rennie before injuries intervened. 14 carries put him equal top (with Aki Seiuli) for volume of work in attack. He was extremely effective too. 3 clean breaks in a single game was as many as any Glasgow second row managed across the entirety of 2019/20’s fixtures combined! There were 3 broken tackles too boot as he helped get the Warriors on the front foot time and time again.

Chuck in his main selling point – his lineout work, with 2 excellent steals against Cardiff – and the big man has a lot to contribute. He should certainly provide a focal point for the pack’s work with ball in hand when they take on the Dragons.

Glasgow at home to Dragons in the PRO12/14 era:

  • 7 wins
  • 1 loss
  • 5 try BPs
  • 33 points out of a possible 40 (82%)

Previous match-up at Scotstoun:

Officials:

Referee: Chris Busby (IRFU, 3rd competition game)
AR1: Keith Allen (SRU)
AR1: Graeme Ormiston (SRU)
TMO: Neil Paterson (SRU)

Mr Busby is a newcomer to Glasgow matches with just a couple of games under his belt in his debut season in the PRO14. He has already taken charge of the Dragons in their home win over Zebre. Previous experience of Scottish sides comes in the form of Edinburgh’s rain soaked win away to Scarlets a few weeks back. Mr Busby seemed a bit reluctant to sin bin the Welsh side’s props who simply couldn’t cope with Willem Nel’s scrummaging. He was quicker on the draw with a red for Josh Helps’ shocker of a tackle in the same game.

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