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

KO 1.00pm
Stadio Sergio Lanfranchi
Saturday 6th March 2021
Live on Premier Sports 2

  • Sam Johnson, Oli Kebble and Ryan Wilson are the only Warriors who started the last match between these two sides at the Stadio Sergio Lanfranchi in November 2019 (Zebre also only have 3 returning starters from that game).
  • Rob Harley, Ryan Wilson and Ian Keatley have 542 previous PRO14 appearances among them. The remaining 20 players in the Glasgow squad have a combined tally of 541 games in this competition.
  • Embodying the “Whatever it takes” mantra, Ryan Wilson is the Warrior to Watch.


15 Michelangelo Biondelli
14 Pierre Bruno
13 Tommaso Boni
12 Enrico Lucchin
11 Mattia Bellini
10 Paolo Pescetto
9 G Palazzani
15 Ollie Smith
14 Rufus McLean
13 Huw Jones
12 Sam Johnson
11 Cole Forbes
10 Ross Thompson
9 Jamie Dobie

1 Daniele Rimpelli
2 Oliviero Fabiani
3 Eduardo Bello
4 Samuel Ortis
5 Ian Nagle
6 Lorenzo Masselli
7 Potu Junior Laevasa
8 Renato Giammarioli

1 Oli Kebble
2 Grant Stewart
3 Enrique Pieretto
4 Robert Harley
5 Hamish Bain
6 Gregor Brown
7 Tom Gordon
8 Ryan Wilson (c)

16 Marco Manfredi
17 Paolo Buonfiglio
18 Matteo Nocera
19 Mick Kearney
20 Charles Alaimalo
21 Nicolo Casilio
22 Antonio Rizzi
23 Gabriele Di Giulio

16 Johnny Matthews
17 Dylan Evans
18 D’arcy Rae
19 James Scott
20 Leone Nakarawa
21 Sean Kennedy
22 Ian Keatley
23 Nick Grigg

Head to Head:

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

Glasgow Greetings:

After his debut last week Gregor Brown makes his first start for Glasgow. On the bench Ian Keatley is in line to become Warrior number 325.

Matchday Milestones:

There is a lot going on for Ryan Wilson this week! The game in Parma will be the 50th time he has captained Glasgow. In a nice bit of synchronicity, Ryan’s very first game as skipper was against the same opposition, on the same ground (although it was called the Stadio XXV Aprile in those days) back in February 2013.

This match also sees Ryan make his 30th consecutive start for the Warriors – he hasn’t missed a single match since returning from the RWC in 2019. There are only two players in the club’s history who have managed longer uninterrupted streaks of starts – Jon Petrie (37) and Bernardo Stortoni (36 and 43).

On top of that, Ryan will also be making his 184th appearance for Glasgow. That moves him ahead of Chris Fusaro and into second place all-time. Only Rob Harley has made played more games for the Warriors.

Warrior to Watch:

It’s a big day in terms of records for Ryan Wilson, but the captain’s primary concern will be the team’s performance on the day. In a tough season Ryan has put his body on the line time and time again, going to those dark places on a rugby pitch that most people would avoid at all costs!

During the current campaign he’s in the top 10 in the PRO14 for both carries and tackles, illustrating his workload on both sides of the ball. He’s become an incredibly valuable setpiece option with more lineout takes already in this season than any other. He even threw in his first kick from hand for nearly nine years against Cardiff Blues!

Ryan has a bit of an unfair reputation when it comes to his discipline. In fact the yellow card he received against Munster earlier in this campaign was the first time he had been sin binned while playing for Glasgow in more than five years.

The skipper has been an inspirational leader in the most challenging circumstances faced by the club in more than a decade. The early careers of the likes of Ryan and Rob Harley were forged in similarly difficult times and he will be keen to ensure the young players involved are learning as much as possible. There will be better times ahead.

Glasgow away to Zebre (Aironi) in the PRO12/14 era:

  • 9 wins
  • 0 losses
  • 7 Try BPs
  • 43 points out of a possible 45 (96%)

Previous match-up:


Referee: Andrea Piardi (FIR, 12th competition game)
AR1: Matteo Liperini (FIR)
AR2: Clara Munarini (FIR)
TMO: Stefano Penne (FIR)

Sig Piardi’s record last season in the PRO14:

Matches – 4 (all refs – 101)
Average penalty count – 21.0 per game (all refs – 19.1)
Home penalty percentage – 56% (all refs – 52%)
Average card count – 1.3 per game (all refs – 1.3)
Penalties per card – 17 (all refs – 15)

This will be Glasgow’s first encounter with Sig Piardi. Given his recent involvements as an Assistant Referee during the Six Nations the Italian official looks to be on the fast track to taking over from Marius Mitrea as the FIR’s top whistler. As a young, up-and-comer the expectation has to be that he will be a stickler for the laws and quick on the whistle. Good discipline will be required to stay on the right side of the ref and maximise the Warriors’ chances of coming away with the win.

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