Belfast Telegraph

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Glasgow hope to reward packed house

Glasgow head coach Gregor Townsend says a packed-out Scotstoun could make the difference to his side's Guinness Pro12 title bid.

The Warriors are hoping to snatch top spot in the league and with it a home semi-final as a thrilling four-team duel goes to the wire.

Townsend's side are locked on 70 points with Ospreys and Munster at the top of the table, with Saturday's opponents Ulster just a point back.

Glasgow chiefs have erected two temporary stands at their home in the west end of the city and hope the extra noise created by the additional fans can help propel them to first place.

With an increased capacity of around 10,000 it will be the club's biggest home crowd for a regular season game and tickets for this match sold out in record time.

Townsend said: "Ulster are a really strong side who have been playing excellent rugby and we know we'll face an extremely tough challenge at Scotstoun tomorrow afternoon.

"We've had some titanic battles with Ulster over the last few seasons and they play with a lot of passion and competitiveness and they will fight hard for everything.

"With all the games being played simultaneously it will be an exciting afternoon of rugby and we're very motivated to improve on last week's performance against the Ospreys.

"Playing in front of around 10,000 supporters at home for only the second time in our history is sure to be a great experience for our players. We will be doing all we can to reward our supporters with a home semi-final the following week."

Retiring skipper Al Kellock returns to the side in place of the injured lock Tim Swinson for what could be his final appearance at Scotstoun.

Following last week's defeat to the Ospreys, Sean Lamont returns from injury and replaces Niko Matawalu on the left wing, with the Fiji international moving to scrum-half in place of Henry Pyrgos.

The only other change to the backline sees Finn Russell come in for Duncan Weir at stand-off.

In the pack, Dougie Hall replaces Pat MacArthur at hooker and Rossouw de Klerk returns from injury to take the place of Jon Welsh at tight-head.

Kellock comes into the second row to make his 156th appearance for the club.

Josh Strauss moves to blindside flanker replacing Rob Harley, with Adam Ashe returning from injury at number eight.

Mike Cusack also makes a return from injury for this game and the prop has been named among the replacements.


From Belfast Telegraph