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Smith handed debut in Swansea

Guinness PRO14 Rugby Editor

24 Feb 2017

Horne Glasgow

Matt Smith will make his Glasgow Warriors debut against the Ospreys on Sunday, while Ratu Tagive could also feature for the first time off the bench.

Jamie Bhatti is handed his first start and Pat MacArthur is in line to make his 150th appearance for the club, becoming only the eighth player to reach that landmark.

A product of the BT Sport Scottish Rugby Academy, Smith signed a professional contract in January and is named as open-side flanker for the visit to the Liberty Stadium.

Smith, who has played nine times for Scotland U20, was joined in signing a professional deal earlier this season by Lewis Wynne, who starts at Number 8, while Rob Harley returns from Scotland camp to pack down on the blind-side.

Scott Cummings, who scored twice against Ulster last weekend, continues his partnership with Brian Alainu’uese in the second-row.

In the front-row Jamie Bhatti’s good week continues, with the loose-head prop making his first start for the Warriors, following the announcement that he’s signed his first professional contract for next season.

Corey Flynn and Sila Puafisi also bring their international experience to the front of the scrum.

Brandon Thomson had a debut to remember at the Kingspan, scoring a try from full-back and he moves up the field to his more familiar position of stand-off, starting outside of Grayson Hart.

Peter Horne will captain the side from inside-centre, with Nick Grigg outside of him wearing 13.

Peter Murchie returns to the side at full-back, he is flanked by Junior Bulumakau and Rory Hughes on the wings.

On the bench MacArthur will look to make his 150th appearance, while Australian-born Tagive looks to make his first, having arrived at Scotstoun earlier this season.

D’arcy Rae signed a new two-year deal this week and is named amongst the replacements as is Alex Allan who returns from international duty with Scotland.

Glasgow Warriors head coach Gregor Townsend said: “Matt (Smith) and Jamie (Bhatti) have an opportunity to start for the first time and we are looking forward to seeing them play.

“There is a good blend of youth and experience throughout the 23 and there has been an edge to our training this week as all our players have been pushing hard to be selected.

“With Ratu (Tagive) potentially making his debut and Pat (MacArthur) set to play his 150th game for the club, we have a group of players keen to make an impact from the bench.

“We’ll have to take the game to the Ospreys for 80 minutes as they have been very impressive this season.”

Glasgow Warriors team to play the Ospreys in the Guinness PRO12 at the Liberty Stadium, Sunday 26 February, live on BBC ALBA (kick-off 1.05pm). You can also follow the action on Twitter @GlasgowWarriors. Glasgow Warriors appearances in brackets:

15. Peter Murchie (112)
14. Junior Bulumakau (7)
13. Nick Grigg (13)
12. Peter Horne (107) CAPTAIN
11. Rory Hughes (20)
10. Brandon Thomson (1)
9. Grayson Hart (31)

1. Jamie Bhatti (3)
2. Corey Flynn (12)
3. Sila Puafisi (36)
4. Brian Alainu’uese (9)
5. Scott Cummings (11)
6. Rob Harley (155)
7. Matt Smith (0)
8. Lewis Wynne (11)
 
Replacements

16. Pat MacArthur (149)
17. Alex Allan (42)
18. D’arcy Rae (18)
19. Tjiuee Uanivi (4)
20. Chris Fusaro (119)
21. Nemia Kenatale (1)
22. Richie Vernon (87)
23. Ratu Tagive (0)

Players who have made 150+ appearances for Glasgow: Graeme Morrison (177), Al Kellock (157), Rob Harley (155), Jonny Petrie (155), Dougie Hall (153), John Barclay (152) and Moray Low (150).

Not available due to injury: Adam Ashe (head), Lee Jones (head), Sam Johnson (ankle), Sean Lamont (leg), James Malcom (ankle), Greg Peterson (shoulder) and Leonardo Sarto (shoulder).

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