Need to Know: Benetton v Glasgow Warriors, PRO14 Rainbow Cup match preview 2020/21

KO 1.00pm GMT (2.00pm local time)
Stadio Monigo
Saturday 24th April 2021
Live on Premier Sports 2

  • It’s just four weeks since these two sides last met but there are no fewer than 19 changes to the XVs that started at Scotstoun in March.
  • Energiser bunny, George Turner is the Warrior to Watch.
  • There are 15 players in the Glasgow squad who have come through the academy system – the equal most in any matchday 23 this season.
  • At 918kgs this is the heaviest pack fielded by the Warriors during the 2020/21 campaign.


15 Jayden Hayward
14 Leonardo Sarto
13 Juan Ignacio Brex
12 Marco Zanon
11 Monty Ioane
10 Paolo Garbisi
9 Dewaldt Duvenage
15 Cole Forbes
14 Rufus McLean
13 Nick Grigg
12 Sam Johnson
11 Kyle Steyn
10 Ross Thompson
9 George Horne

1 Thomas Gallo
2 Corniel Els
3 Filippo Alongi
4 Niccolo Cannone
5 Federico Ruzza
6 Riccardo Favretto
7 Michele Lamaro
8 Toa Halafihi

1 Oli Kebble
2 George Turner
3 Zander Fagerson
4 Richie Gray
5 Robert Harley
6 Fotu Lokotui
7 Fraser Brown
8 Ryan Wilson (c)

16 Gianmarco Lecchesi
17 Tomas Baravalle
18 Ivan Nemer
19 Irne Herbst
20 Manuel Zuliani
21 Alberto Sgarbi
22 Luca Petrozzi
23 Edoardo Padovani

16 Grant Stewart
17 Tom Lambert
18 D’arcy Rae
19 Leone Nakarawa
20 Rory Darge
21 Ali Price
22 Ian Keatley
23 Ollie Smith

Head to Head:

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

Glasgow Greetings:

Debuts in the offing for loosehead prop Tom Lambert and newly converted from the dark side back row Rory Darge. Kyle Steyn is back in action more than a year after his last game for the Warriors.

Once A Warrior:

As is now traditional when Glasgow come up against Warrior number 263, Leonardo Sarto, let’s throwback to the time he engaged beast mode against Munster at Scotstoun! If Leo hadn’t had to deal with two major shoulder injuries he could have had 40 or 50 tries for Glasgow under his belt by now and be on his way to becoming a club legend.

Warrior to Watch:

George Turner is an absolute beast for hard graft. Across the 2019/20 season he averaged 31.3 carries + tackle attempts per 80 minutes. Among the Glasgow squad that figure was only topped by Jonny Gray on 31.6 – a man whose freakish work rate is well known to Warriors, Scotland and now (sadly) Exeter fans.

During the Six Nations, George demonstrated many of the qualities he has embodied since breaking through with the Warriors. He’s outstanding in the loose (eg his carry and pass for Duhan van der Merwe’s try v England). He hits like a cement truck (eg being one of the few Scots to stop CJ Stander in his tracks against Ireland). He loves a scrap for the ball on the floor (eg any number of rucks throughout the championship).

Glasgow away to Benetton in the PRO12/14 era:

  • 7 wins
  • 1 loss
  • 5 try BPs
  • 1 losing BP
  • 34 points out of a possible 40 (85%)
  • Benetton also won the first encounter between these two sides on Italian soil when it was still the Magners League.

Previous match-up:


Referee: Marius Mitrea (FIR, 100th Championship appearance)
AR1: Matteo Liperini (FIR)
AR2: Gianluca Gnecchi (FIR)
TMO: Steffano Penne (FIR)

Sig. Mitrea’s regular season record for 2019/20 in the PRO14:

Matches – 7 (all refs – 101)
Average penalty count – 18.7 per game (all refs – 19.1)
Home penalty percentage – 38% (all refs – 48%)
Average card count – 1.9 per game (all refs – 1.3)
Penalties per card – 10 (all refs – 15)

Sig. Mitrea is making his 100th appearance in the PRO14 and joining fellow centurions, Nigel Owens and George Clancy. Surprisingly given he is one of the league’s most experienced officials, it has been more than two years since the Italian official took charge of a Warriors’ game. It was a good one though as Glasgow managed a rare victory in Dublin against Leinster.

That match featured possibly the best performance of the 2019/20 season. With a strong side selected, Danny Wilson will be looking for one of the high points of the 2020/21 campaign on Saturday afternoon.

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