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Gregor Townsend warns Glasgow to remain focused against Ospreys

Gregor Townsend has warned Glasgow they cannot afford to switch off if they want to avoid a slip-up in Swansea on Sunday.

Warriors travel to Wales to take on third-placed Ospreys still bruised by last weekend's defeat to Ulster in Belfast.

That result was highly damaging to the Scotstoun outfit's attempts to regain their place in the Guinness PRO12 play-off slots, and their head coach has cautioned his men they must not repeat the lapses of concentration which hurt them at the Kingspan Stadium.

Townsend said: "We'll have to take the game to the Ospreys for 80 minutes as they have been very impressive this season."

With Glasgow again stretched by the loss of their Scotland internationals this weekend, 20-year-old flanker Matt Smith will be handed his senior Warriors debut.

Prop Jamie Bhatti is also handed his first start while Pat MacArthur could make his 150th appearance for the club if he appears from the bench.

Smith, who has played nine times for Scotland Under-20s, was joined in signing his first professional deal back in January 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.

Corey Flynn and Sila Puafisi add some international experience to the scrum as they join Bhatti in the front row.

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.

Townsend added: "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 ."


From Belfast Telegraph