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Kellock and Hall to face Cardiff

Captain Al Kellock and hooker Dougie Hall will start for Glasgow Warriors in their crucial Guiness PRO12 match against Cardiff Blues at Scotstoun on Friday night.

Both players have announced that they will retire from rugby at the end of the season and Warriors head coach Gregor Townsend, whose side are two points ahead of Ulster at the top of the table, is hoping fans turn up to give the duo an extra cheer.

He said: "Tomorrow will be a special night for Al and Dougie, who have announced that they will retire at the end of the season and this is an opportunity for our supporters to join us in celebrating their careers."

Warriors supporters will see several changes to the side which drew 34-34 with Leinster at the RDS a fortnight ago.

Peter Murchie comes in at full-back in place of Stuart Hogg, while Tommy Seymour and DTH van der Merwe continue on either wing.

Peter Horne switches from fly-half to inside, with Richie Vernon moving down the line to take the number 13 jersey.

After pulling out of the Leinster game with an ankle injury, Finn Russell returns at stand-off and makes his first Warriors appearance since late-January, while Henry Pyrgos replaces Niko Matawalu at scrum-half.

In the pack Fijian international Jerry Yanuyanutawa comes in at loose-head in place of Alex Allan, Hall starts at hooker and Mike Cusack replaces Zander Fagerson at tight-head.

Tim Swinson and Kellock once again combine in the second row engine room.

Rob Harley and Chris Fusaro keep their place at blind-side and open-side respectively, while Scotland international Adam Ashe replaces Josh Strauss at number eight.

Gordon Reid, Jon Welsh and Duncan Weir all return from injury and are named on the bench, while Leone Nakarawa is also included among the replacements following the conclusion of his suspension.

Lee Jones could also feature, after returning from Scotland sevens duty in Hong Kong and Tokyo.

Townsend said on the club's website: "This is another big game for the club, with just four matches left in the regular season, as we chase a play-off spot.

"Cardiff Blues always give us a tough game and we're well aware of the challenge they will pose.

"It's great to see some players back from injury with Gordon, Jon and Duncan on the bench, after working really hard to get back to full fitness.

"However, Sean Maitland, who has also worked really hard during his rehab, got some tough news last week when it became clear that his shoulder would require surgery.

"The operation at Spire Murrayfield Hospital was a success and he's targeting to be back for the Rugby World Cup.

"I'd like to take this opportunity to thank Sean for his contribution to the club, he's been an excellent player for us and we wish him well at the Rugby World Cup and also next season at London Irish."


From Belfast Telegraph