Match preview: Glasgow Warriors v Connacht, United Rugby Championship 2022/23

KO 7.35 at Scotstoun Stadium
Saturday 22nd April 2023

Live on Viaplay Sports 1

  • Glasgow will finish in 4th place in the URC – and host a playoff quarter-final – no matter their result against Connacht.
  • Saturday evening’s match could have an impact on who the Warriors play in 2 weeks’ time – although this will also depend on results elsewhere with Munster, Connacht and Bulls their potential opponents.
  • More than 4 years have passed since Connacht last played at Scotstoun on 22nd February 2019.
  • The visitors have managed 2 victories in Glasgow, most recently on 17th September 2010 when they won 19 – 17 at Firhill.
  • The matchday 23 have made 1,398 previous appearances for the Warriors. The only selection with more during the current season was last week v Scarlets (1,562).
  • Connacht can top that though with no less than 1,776 games played for the province by their squad.
  • In a break from the norm, head coach Franco Smith is the Warrior to Watch.




H. JONES (56)
C. Forbes (37)
S. McDowall (c) (53
S. JOHNSON (103)
J. DOBIE (50)
T. Jordan (21)
A. PRICE (126)


J. Porch (77)
T. Farrell (96)
C. Forde (12)
B. Ralston (12)
J. CARTY (c) (192)
C. BLADE (167)

A. DELL (4)
F. BROWN (138)
R. GRAY (98)
R. DARGE (28)


D. Buckley (225)
D. Tierney-Martin (21)
F. BEALHAM (186)
O. Dowling (41)
N. Murray (53)
J. Murphy (15)
C. Oliver (60)

J. Matthews (46)
J. BHATTI (85)
J.P. du Preez (21)
L. Bean (37)
G. HORNE (95)
D. MIOTTI (18)


E. de Buitlear (2)
P. Dooley (17)
S. Illo (10)
D. Murray (8)
S.Hurley-Langton (16)
K. MARMION (226)
T. Daly (74)
S. Jennings (3)

(players in CAPITALS are full capped internationals, numbers in brackets are previous appearances for Glasgow / Connacht)

Head to Head:

Back 3 – EVEN

Centres – ADV Glasgow

Half Backs – ADV Connacht

Front Row – ADV Connacht

Second Row – ADV Glasgow

Back Row – ADV Glasgow

Subs – ADV Glasgow

Matchday Milestones:

Tom Jordan (15 starts and 3 subs) will be be the first Glasgow back to feature in every round of the league’s regular season since Bernardo Stortoni played in 18 out of 18 (all starts) during the 2009/10 Celtic League campaign.

In all, this will be TJ’s 22nd game of the season – 6 more than any other back (George Horne, Stafford McDowall and Ali Price have played 16 times each).

Warrior to Watch:

Franco Smith has been a perfect fit for Glasgow during a campaign that might reasonably have been expected to be a bit of a write-off and a mission to rebuild. The former Italy coach has reinvigorated the squad without a drastic overhaul in personnel, getting the best out of a group who were largely in place for the previous season.

Scotstoun is a fortress again, with no defeats during 2022/23. The away day blues have been banished with 6 wins on the road (so far…) representing the club’s best return since 8 victories in 2018/19. The second half collapses that blighted last season have been brought under control.

Praise has been heaped on the Warriors for their attacking style of rugby and they certainly have scored some sensational tries. Franco has built from the front though. The head coach has opted for a 6 forwards, 2 backs split on the bench in every game bar one this season.

The pack has been powered up with all-time heaviest selections par for the course. That size and strength has been put to good use with Glasgow the most efficient side in the URC on visits to their opponent’s 22 (62% ending in a try or penalty awarded). In total, the forwards have scored 50 tries (for the first time in the club’s history) in the 23 games played so far – that’s 2 ahead of the backs’ tally.

The arrival of Franco has helped reinvigorate players such as Stafford McDowall and Richie Gray as well as fostering an environment where the likes of Sebastian Cancelliere and Sione Vailanu have been able to hit career peaks. Hopefully, this is just the start of where the man from Bloemfontein can take the Warriors!

Glasgow at home to Connacht in the PRO12/PRO14/URC era:

  • 8 wins
  • 5 Try BPs
  • 37 points out of a possible 40 (92%)

Previous match-up v Connacht at Scotstoun:


Referee: Gianluca Gnecchi (FIR, 23rd league game)
AR1: David Sutherland (SRU)
AR2: Sam O’Neil (SRU)
TMO: Stefano Roscini (FIR

Sig. Gnecchi’s regular season record for 2022/23:

Matches – 10
Average penalty count – 23.5 per game
Home side penalties conceded percentage – 43.4%
Average card count – 1.3 per game
Penalties per card – 18.1

Sig. Gnecchi has visited Scotstoun a couple of times before (Glasgow’s wins against the Lions and Munster during 2021/22) but this will be his first Warriors’ fixture this season.

By contrast, this will be the 4th time during the current campaign that the Italian official has taken charge of a match involving Connacht. There was a bit of a stooshy early on in the season when Bundee Aki reacted poorly to being red carded by Sig. Gnecchi against the Stormers – and his conduct towards the ref lead to a longer ban. Illness for the Connacht centre means the two won’t be reunited – might be for the best!

Additional ref stats from:

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