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Home strength vital to Townsend

Glasgow head coach Gregor Townsend has targeted an extended run of home victories as he seeks a launchpad for another successful season.

The Scotstoun side kick off their new RaboDirect PRO12 campaign against Cardiff on Friday night looking to maintain an unbeaten home record which stretches back to a 6-0 defeat to Leinster last November.

The seven victories which followed at their new stadium set them up for a trophy assault that was only halted at the play-off semi-finals when eventual winners Leinster again triumphed, 17-15, in May.

Now Townsend wants to see his side excel once again on home turf.

Townsend said: "We're all really looking forward to getting our new season under way in front of our home support.

"The players have worked extremely hard over the last few months and they are in great physical shape going into this game.

"Cardiff Blues have a very strong squad, and have been in impressive form in pre-season, so we'll have to be at our best to get our season off to a winning start.

"We finished last season with a run of seven straight victories at home and those selected will be doing all they can to continue that form into the new season.

"We had some great nights at Scotstoun last season and our supporters always give the team a huge boost, so I'm sure they'll get right behind them again tomorrow night."

Townsend has recalled Al Kellock for the visit of the Blues, partnering new Scotland cap Tim Swinson in the second row, with Scotland Under-20 captain Jonny Gray providing cover amongst the replacements.

The only change to the back line which started the 29-26 win over Exeter Chiefs last Saturday is the inclusion of Mark Bennett at outside centre.

Sean Lamont moves to the right wing, with Tommy Seymour dropping to the bench.


From Belfast Telegraph