Glasgow Warriors have received a major boost ahead of this Friday night’s Magners League clash against Connacht (17 September, kick-off 7.30pm) as they welcome Scotland international flanker, John Barclay, back to frontline action.
Warriors head coach Sean Lineen is continuing to ponder over final selection and today named a 26-man squad for the Friday night showdown – which returns to the regular time-slot of 7.30pm.
However, Lineen has not hesitated to hand Barclay the captaincy which he inherits a week before his 24th birthday. The flanker takes over the role from fullback Bernardo Stortoni who has led the team over the past month.
Although delighted to be handed the added on-field responsibility, Barclay admits there are leaders all around him who will have a significant impact on the team.
He said: "I captained the team a couple of times last year and enjoyed the challenge but we've got guys around me with experience and who have captained the team in the past, so they will be helping me out."
Barclay has been sidelined due to an Achilles injury which has ruled him out of selection for the first two weeks of the Magners League season.
That opening fortnight brought with it a home win over Leinster before a disappointing away loss to Newport Gwent Dragons.
Having sat out those first two games of the season, Barclay admits he experienced two very different kinds of frustration.
"It was difficult watching the Leinster game," he said. "Obviously you want to be involved, but when the guys won I was delighted, especially with the manner in which they won. Watching the Dragons game last weekend was a different kind of frustration.
"But I'm certainly looking forward to being back, being involved and being in a Glasgow Warriors shirt again."
The final team selected to play Connacht will be announced before 12noon on Thursday (16 September).
Glasgow Warriors squad to play Connacht at Firhill on Friday 17 September (kick-off 7.30pm):
Forwards: Ryan Grant, Ed Kalman, Moray Low, Kevin Tkachuk, Jon Welsh, Pat MacArthur, Fergus Thomson, Richie Gray, Aly Muldowney, Tom Ryder, John Barclay, Calum Forrester, Rob Harley, Ryan Wilson, Richie Vernon
Backs: Colin Gregor, Henry Pyrgos, Ruaridh Jackson, Duncan Weir, Rob Dewey, Max Evans, Graeme Morrison, Peter Murchie, Hefin O'Hare, DTH van der Merwe, Bernardo Stortoni