Need to Know: Glasgow Warriors v USA Perpignan, Champions Cup match preview 2022/23

KO 8.00 at BT Murrayfield Stadium
Friday 16th December 2022

Live on Viaplay Sports 1

  • Glasgow have won 11, drawn 1 and lost 13 of their matches at home to French opposition.
  • This will be the 27th match the Warriors have played at Murrayfield during the professional era (W8 D1 L17) and the 3rd time it has been designated a home game.
  • While it is deeply unfortunate we won’t get to see just the second home European fixture of 2022 at Scotstoun, this is the only realistic option to ensure the game can go ahead and avoid handing a walkover and all 5 match points to USAP.
  • The Glasgow back row (348kg) is heavier than the Glasgow front row (335kg).
  • 18-year old Posolo Tuilagi made his European debut for USAP last week. The youngster was just 3 years old when his skipper, Mathieu Acebes, made his own European debut back in January 2008.
  • USAP haven’t won away from home in a European game against a side from one of the three top leagues since they defeated Benetton in January 2011.
  • Skipper Sione Tuipulotu is the Warrior to Watch.

Teams

GLASGOW

USAP

J. McKay (6)
S. CANCELLIERE (2)
S. TUIPULOTU (c) (6)
H. JONES (20)

R. MCLEAN (3)
D. WEIR (39)
G. HORNE (21)

15
14
13
12
11
10
9

T Tedder (0)
G. Tilsley (5)
A. TAUMOEPEAU (12)
D. Laborde (3)
M. Acebes (c) (7)
J. McIntyre (7)
T. Ecochard (9)

J. BHATTI (22)
G. TURNER (24)
M. WALKER (0)
L. Bean (6)
R. GRAY (47)
M. FAGERSON (19)
S. VAILANU (8)
J. DEMPSEY (5)

1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8

G. TETRASHVILI (13)
S. LAM (2)
S. HALANUKONUKA (8)
P. FAASALELE (33)
T. Labouteley (6)
L. Velarte (1)
K. GALLETIER (38)
G. MAMEA LEMALU (3)

J. Matthews (4)
N. McBeth (2)
S. BERGHAN (30)
J.P. du Preez (5)
S. Manjezi (0)
E. Ferrie (1)
A. PRICE (37)
T. Jordan (0)

16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23

M. TADJER (10)
X. CHIOCCI (49)
A. Joly (22)

P. Tuilagi (1)
L. Bachelier (4)
S. Deghmache (5)
L. Dubois (5)
B. Goutard (1)

(Players in BLOCK CAPITALS are full internationals; numbers are previous appearances in European competitions)

Head to Head:

Back 3 – ADV Glasgow

Centres – ADV Glasgow

Half Backs – EVEN

Front Row – ADV Glasgow

Second Row – EVEN

Back Row – ADV Glasgow

Subs – ADV Glasgow

Changes to Starting XVs from Round 1:

Glasgow have made 10 changes to the starting XV from their away win at Bath – Huw Jones, Rufus McLean, Jamie Bhatti, George Turner and Lewis Bean are the players retaining their places. In all, there are 12 players in the 23 who were not involved in Round 1. Across their last 3 fixtures Glasgow will have used 39 different players.

USAP have made 13 changes to the starting XV from their home defeat to Bristol Bears. Tristan Labouteley is the only player to start in the same position. Lucas Valente was at hooker last week but shifts to blindside for Friday night. In all, there are 15 players in the 23 who were not involved in Round 1. Across their last 3 fixtures USAP will have used 40 different players.

Glasgow Greetings:

A trio of players are in line to make their first appearances in European competition for the Warriors – Murphy Walker, Sintu Manjezi and Tom Jordan.

Once A Warrior:

USAP’s tighthead, Siosiua Halanukonuka – Warrior number 291 – played 31 times for Glasgow during the 2017/18 and 2018/19 campaigns. The Tongan prop was selected to play in every game that he was fit and available for before returning injured from the 2019 RWC and missing the entirety of his final season with the Warriors.

Warrior to Watch:

While Sione Tuipulotu‘s performances for Scotland have shown him to be equally adept at inside centre, he has appeared exclusively in the number 13 shirt while on Glasgow duty so far this season. After 3 matches partnering Sam Johnson and 3 outside Stafford McDowall, Sione will be paired up with Huw Jones for the first time. It would seem reasonable to expect this duo to be fairly flexible with their alignments though, depending on what the circumstances require.

The former Melbourne Rebels man is less than 15 months into his Warriors’ career but this will already be his 27th appearance for the club – and that’s despite missing games on international duty where he has racked up a dozen caps. Sione’s speciality is getting the side on the front foot with his aggressive carrying. There’s plenty more to his play though with nimble footwork, good distribution and a handy kicking game making him a well rounded threat for Glasgow.

Glasgow at home to USAP:

This is the first meeting between these two teams.

Officials:

Referee: Anthony Woodthorpe (England)
AR1: Simon Harding (England)
AR2: Peter Allan (England)
TMO: Andrew Jackson (England)

Mr Woodthorpe’s regular season record for 2021/22:

Matches – 7
Average penalty count – 24.3 per game
Home side penalties conceded percentage – 51.8%
Average card count – 1.3 per game
Penalties per card – 18.9

Another week, another new ref for Glasgow to contend with. Mr Woodthorpe made his European debut last weekend when he took charge of Lions v Dragons RFC. That game took place in Johannesburg in balmy temperatures of 24°. Murrayfield will certainly provide a contrast and will be some 21° colder!


Additional ref stats from: https://www.cardiffrfcfans.com/analysis/referee_heads.php?countryID=2

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