Match preview: Glasgow Warriors v Dragons RFC, Round of 16, Challenge Cup 2022/23

KO 5.30 at Scotstoun Stadium
Saturday 1st April 2023

Live on Viaplay Sports 1

  • Glasgow have competed in European group stages 26 times but this is the first occasion that they have qualified from their pool and earned the right to host a knockout tie.
  • The Warriors have only played 3 European matches at Scotstoun in the last 1,176 days (3 years, 2 months and 21 days).
  • It is just 9 weeks since these sides last met but that game in Wales probably means little given that just 3 of the home side’s starting lineup (Cole Forbes, Sione Vailanu and Jack Dempsey) and 6 players for the visitors also started that previous match.
  • 17 of the Glasgow 23 are full capped internationals – the equal most of the season alongside the game against Cardiff in Round 2 of the URC.
  • Reborn veteran, Richie Gray, is the Warrior to Watch.




O. SMITH (9)
K.STEYN (c) (10)
H. JONES (4)
C. Forbes (11)
D. MIOTTI (10)
G. HORNE (13)


J. Williams (13)
R. DYER (11)
S. Hughes (16)
M. Clark (13)
J. Rosser (8)
W. Reed (9)
R. WILLIAMS (c) (16)

A. DELL (3)
J. Matthews (12)
R. GRAY (12)
R. DARGE (5)


A. SEIULI (16)
C. Coleman (18)
B. CARTER (11)
G. Nott (10)
T. BASHAM (13)

G. TURNER (11)
N. McBeth (12)
J.P. du Preez (18)
L. Bean (16)
J. DOBIE (10)
T. Jordan (18)


E. DEE (9)
R. JONES (9)
L. BROWN (2)

H. Taylor (6)
S. Lonsdale (16)
B. Fry (10)
L. Jones (16)
I. Davies (0)

(players in CAPITALS are full capped internationals, numbers in brackets are previous appearances for Glasgow / Dragons this season only)

Head to Head:

Back 3 – EVEN

Centres – ADV Glasgow

Half Backs – ADV Glasgow

Front Row – EVEN

Second Row – ADV Glasgow

Back Row – ADV Glasgow

Subs – ADV Glasgow

Glasgow Greetings:

Allan Dell will make his European debut for the Warriors. The 34-times capped prop isn’t short of experience in this competition though, having played 16 Challenge Cup matches for Edinburgh and London Irish. There’s also the welcome sight of Ryan Wilson on the bench – the veteran back row returning after an injury-enforced absence of 113 days from the lineup.

Matchday Milestones:

The big one is Scott Cummings becoming the latest Warrior Centurion. The lock seems to have barely aged a day since making his debut at the start of the 2015/16 season! Richie Gray is the only Glasgow player to feature in all eight of the club’s Challenge Cup ties across the last three seasons. Jonny’s brother is closing in on the all-time leaders for appearances in this tournament for the Warriors – Graeme Beveridge (11), Dan Parks (11), Andy Henderson (10), Gordon Bulloch (9) and Euan Murray (9).

Richie’s fellow second row, JP du Preez, is named in the matchday squad for the 20th fixture in succession.

Ryan Wilson will play his 54th European match for the Warriors, just two games behind all-time leader Rob Harley. The only other Glasgow player to manage 50 appearances in Europe is Gordon Bulloch.

Once A Warrior:

Warrior number 308, Aki Seiuli, played against his old side nine weeks ago at Dave Parade and has already experienced what it’s like to be an away player at Scotstoun from a game in December 2021. The big prop has been on the losing side in the last four league encounters between these teams (twice for Glasgow and twice for Dragons). Much as Aki is one of the real nice guys of rugby, fingers crossed that his losing streak continues on Saturday!

Warrior to Watch:

It’s been very much a case of rolling back the years for Richie Gray, who is arguably playing better than ever aged 33. During 2021/22 he started 21 matches for Glasgow (the only other season he managed 20+ starts for any of his clubs was for Castres back in 2013/14) displaying remarkable endurance and consistency but this season under Franco Smith he has taken his game up to another level.

During the current campaign, he has still managed to rack up a dozen games for the Warriors despite returning to being a Scotland regular after an extended absence from the international scene. For Glasgow, the big man still rules the air at the lineout and adds plenty of heft at scrum time. He has a bit more licence to carry wider at club level than he does for the national side. He is a supremely reliable defender whatever jersey he is wearing.

The veteran is part of a dwindling group of players born in the 1980s – Fraser Brown and Ryan Wilson are the only others at the club now. Recently, Glasgow had to take on the Lions in Johannesburg without this trio, representing the first time the club had played a match with just players born in the 1990s and 2000s. Does anyone else feel old? Richie certainly doesn’t seem to be feeling his age and Warriors’ fans will be hoping the Graynaissance continues for a good while yet.

Glasgow at home to Dragons in all competitions – last 10 years:

  • 6 wins
  • 2 losses
  • 221 points for
  • 139 points against
  • 28 – 17 average score

Previous match-up v Dragons at Scotstoun:


Referee: Tual Trainini (France)
AR1: Adrien Marbot (France)
AR2: Benoit Rousselet (France)
TMO: Eric Briquet-Campin (France)

M. Trainini’s regular season record for 2022/23:

Matches – 15
Average penalty count – 24.6 per game
Home side penalties conceded percentage – 51.6%
Average card count – 1.5 per game
Penalties per card – 16.8

M. Trainini took charge of Glasgow’s match at the same stage of the Challenge Cup when they travelled to take on Newcastle in the Round of 16 last season. It was a comfortable win and the Warriors dominated for long spells, however they did come out on the wrong end of the penalty count, 11 – 10.

Glasgow also have more recent experience with the French official, who refereed their URC encounter away to Zebre in early December. On that day the penalties went more in their favour (13 – 16) although M. Trainini did yellow card Matt Fagerson just 9 minutes into the contest.

Additional ref stats from:

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