GLASGOW WARRIORS: Cusiter named captain for Leinster visit
Chris Cusiter has been recalled to the Glasgow Warriors starting line-up and will captain the side against Leinster at Scotstoun Stadium tomorrow night (kick-off 7.35pm).
After an 11-month spell on the sidelines the Scotland scrum-half returned to action last month in a substitute appearance against Exeter Chiefs and then went on to feature from the bench against Cardiff Blues and Ulster.
In total Gregor Townsend has made five changes and one positional switch to the side that defeated Ulster at Ravenhill last Friday.
Alex Dunbar, Jon Welsh, Chris Fusaro, Richie Vernon and Cusiter come into the starting XV, with Sean Lamont moving from centre to wing.
Stuart Hogg keeps his place at full-back, with Lamont and DTH van der Merwe occupying the wings. Mark Bennett and Dunbar combine at centre, with Ruaridh Jackson and Cusiter forming the half-back partnership.
The only change to the front row is the inclusion of Jon Welsh in place of Kalman, alongside Pat MacArthur and Ryan Grant.
19-year-old Jonny Gray and Tim Swinson will continue to combine in the second-row, while only Rob Harley keeps his place in the backrow, with Vernon coming in at number eight and Fusaro starting at openside.
The Warriors have won their last eight fixtures at Scotstoun in all competitions, since French Top 14 champions Castres beat them in the Heineken Cup last December.
More than 5,000 tickets have already been sold for tomorrow night’s game, with less than 200 remaining.
Glasgow Warriors head coach Gregor Townsend said: “We’re delighted to have won our first two games of the season but we’ll need to raise our level of performance against Leinster.
“They have been consistently one of the leading teams in Europe for some time now and have only lost once in their last 20 games. It will require one of our very best performances in order to win on Friday.
“There wasn’t much between the sides last season and we came close to winning on a couple of occasions. We learned a great deal from those games; how we will have to work hard for 80 minutes and take any opportunities that come our way.
“Our intensity at training has gone up a notch this week and the players are very focused on what is a highly anticipated match.
“We’re all really pleased to see Chris Cusiter back involved again after his injury lay-off, and as captain he will undoubtedly have a big role to play.
“Our supporters were fantastic in our opening game against Cardiff and they helped us get the win that night. It looks like we’re heading for another sell-out at Scotstoun, which is great news for the club and we’re all looking forward to the game.”
Glasgow Warriors team to play Leinster, RaboDirect PRO12, Scotstoun Stadium, Friday 20 September (kick-off 7.35pm):
15. Stuart Hogg, 14. Sean Lamont, 13. Mark Bennett, 12. Alex Dunbar, 11. DTH van der Merwe, 10. Ruaridh Jackson, 9. Chris Cusiter (Captain), 1. Ryan Grant, 2. Pat MacArthur, 3. Jon Welsh, 4. Jonny Gray, 5. Tim Swinson, 6. Rob Harley, 7. Chris Fusaro, 8. Richie Vernon. Replacements: 16. Dougie Hall, 17. Jerry Yanuyanutawa, 18. Ed Kalman, 19. James Eddie, 20. Josh Strauss, 21. Henry Pyrgos, 22. Scott Wight, 23. Byron McGuigan
Not available due to injury: Mike Cusack (shoulder), Peter Horne (knee), Al Kellock (ankle), Niko Matawalu (foot), Tom Ryder (head) and Ryan Wilson (shoulder).