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Hogg back for Glasgow

British and Irish Lion Stuart Hogg will make his competitive return to the Glasgow side as they take on Ulster at Ravenhill on Friday night.

The full-back was part of the Lions squad who returned victorious from Australia with a 2-1 series win, although he did not take part in any of the three Tests, and makes his first start since returning from Down Under.

He will be joined in the team who travel across the Irish Sea by another Lions tour member Ryan Grant as well as DTH van der Merwe, Ruaridh Jackson, Jonny Gray, Tyrone Holmes and Josh Strauss as head coach Gregor Townsend makes seven changes to the side who kicked-off their RaboDirect Pro12 campaign with a 22-15 win over Cardiff Blues at Scotstoun last Friday.

Townsend said: "We're delighted to be able to welcome back Stuart Hogg and Ryan Grant into the squad. They returned to pre-season training slightly later than the rest of the group, but have trained really well over the last few weeks.

"We're also pleased to be able to welcome back DTH van der Merwe and Josh Strauss for this game, while Ruaridh Jackson will make his first start since he played for Scotland in the summer.

"Al Kellock's injury is still being assessed, so Henry Pyrgos will captain the side, as he did in our win against Exeter Chiefs a few weeks ago.

"Our games against Ulster last season were very competitive and I see Friday's contest following a similar pattern."

Glasgow were the last Scottish team to win at Ravenhill back in December 2009 and Townsend hopes to see a repeat after last week's opening day success.

He said: "Although it wasn't our most accurate performance last week, we were pleased to win our opening game against Cardiff Blues.

"The players showed great resilience and ambition in the final quarter to deliver our first victory of the season.

"Our work in defence and in the contact area on Friday was positive and is something we can build on going into our game against Ulster.

"We are well aware of the strengths of our opponents and their home record, so we will have to be close to our best at Ravenhill."


From Belfast Telegraph