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Kellock back for Warriors

Glasgow are boosted by the return of Al Kellock to the starting line-up for their game against Zebre in what will be a landmark outing for the captain.

The second row was carried off on a stretcher in the opening game against Cardiff Blues three weeks ago, but has recovered to take his place in the team for the RaboDirect PRO12 game.

Kellock will skipper the side in the clash at Stadio XXV Aprile in Parma on Friday in what will be his 150th league appearance.

In all, Warriors head coach Gregor Townsend has made nine personnel changes and one positional switch from the side that defeated Leinster at Scotstoun Stadium last week.

Sean Maitland makes his first appearance of the season, replacing Stuart Hogg at full-back, while Gabriel Ascarate makes his first competitive start for the club in place of Mark Bennett at outside centre.

Byron McGuigan and Henry Pyrgos are promoted from the bench in the absence of Sean Lamont and Chris Cusiter respectively.

In the forwards, Gordon Reid comes in for Ryan Grant at loosehead and Scotland hooker Dougie Hall replaces Pat MacArthur.

Rob Harley moves from blindside flanker to second row and will combine with Kellock, while James Eddie takes Harley's place and Josh Strauss comes in for Richie Vernon at number eight.

Fijian scrum-half Niko Matawalu broke a metatarsal in his right foot during pre-season training and is set to feature for the first time this season after being named on the bench.

After his man-of-the-match performance against Leinster, 19-year-old Jonny Gray is also included amongst the substitutes.

Townsend said: "We're delighted to have Al and Niko back after their injuries and we also welcome back Sean Maitland after his involvement with the British & Irish Lions during the summer."

Warriors sit top the table and are the only side with a 100 per cent record this season.

Townsend added: "Beating Leinster last Friday was a fantastic result for the club, but our focus is now on

backing that up with a win against Zebre.

"They are a very difficult team to play against and after winning their first game in the league last week they will

be full of confidence.

"We have selected a strong squad and we've been pleased with the intensity in training this week.

"Our players are acutely aware of the improvement Zebre have made since they entered the competition last season and how we must limit any opportunities they have to attack."

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