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Glasgow rest big names ahead of Guinness Pro12 clash with Zebre

Published 28/04/2016

Glasgow Warriors head coach Gregor Townsend has decided against risking some of his big names against Zebre on Friday night
Glasgow Warriors head coach Gregor Townsend has decided against risking some of his big names against Zebre on Friday night

Glasgow have rested a string of big names ahead of Friday night's Guinness Pro12 clash with Zebre as head coach Gregor Townsend keeps one eye on tougher challenges ahead.

Warriors can secure their place in the play-offs for the fifth consecutive season if they can see off the Italian strugglers in their final home match of the regular campaign.

But, with next weekend's trip to second-placed Connacht to come, and the possibility of a home semi-final still up for grabs, Townsend is taking no risks with some of his Scotland caps.

Skipper Jonny Gray and full-back Stuart Hogg are left out completely, while fly-half Finn Russell, lock Tim Swinson, flanker Ryan Wilson and wing Tommy Seymour start only on the bench.

Friday's match, does, though offer the Scotstoun crowd their chance to wave goodbye to the likes of Glenn Bryce, Taqele Naiyaravoro, Duncan Weir, Jerry Yanuyanutawa and Leone Nakarawa, who are all set to depart in the summer.

Townsend said: "We've had a good few weeks on and off the field and we're looking forward to being back at Scotstoun tomorrow night for our final regular season home match.

"Zebre are challenging Treviso for a place in next season's Champions Cup and they'll be coming here looking for a result to get them over the line, so we'll have to be at our best to deliver a positive result.

"It'll be a particularly special and emotional night with the likes of James Eddie and Mike Blair having announced their retirements, while a number of players could be making their final appearances in a Warriors shirt at Scotstoun.

"The contribution of our Fijian players has definitely formed some special memories here over the last few years and I'm sure our supporters will give them and our other leavers a great reception."

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