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Lineen urges Beattie to take Aironi chance

Guinness PRO12 Editor

4 Nov 2011


Glasgow No.8 Johnnie Beattie has to take his chance when the Warriors travel to Aironi this weekend in the RaboDirect PRO12, according to head coach Sean Lineen.

Beattie returns to the Glasgow team in place of the in-form Ryan Wilson as one of 11 changes made by Lineen.

It will be only Beattie’s third start of the season as he looks to regain the form which made him one of the stars of the 2010 RBS 6 Nations.

And Lineen has warned this is Beattie’s opportunity to stake his claim ahead of the first round of Heineken Cup matches next weekend when Glasgow will host Bath.

“It’s a massive game for Johnnie,” said Lineen. “We all know what he can do, but he hasn’t done it for a while and he knows that. We’re all working really hard to get the best out of him.

“Ryan has played exceptionally well and it’s for Johnnie to respond to that. He has to do everything a little bit quicker. He needs to be up there.

“The way we play is made for a guy like Johnnie Beattie.

“He has trained really well. He wants the ball, wants to make tackles. He’s been animated and leading discussions, which is what we want to see from him.”

Returning Scotland internationals Al Kellock, John Barclay and Dougie Hall will all make their first starts of the season for the Warriors, while Chris Cusiter and Duncan Weir are again entrusted with the half-back keys.

And Lineen is hopeful that the club’s new-found strength in depth will serve them well when it comes to Europe’s elite competition.

He added: “It’s about developing strength in depth in the squad and making sure players get a run. At the same time, it’s got to be competitive.

“We’ve got the Heineken Cup coming up and we’re still integrating players who are coming back in. We thought long and hard about it. The players had an idea of what we were doing last week. I won’t do it all the time, but it gives them a sense that we trust every player.”