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Kellock to make 50th cup appearance


Alastair Kellock is preparing to make his 50th Heineken Cup appearance.

Alastair Kellock is preparing to make his 50th Heineken Cup appearance.

Alastair Kellock is preparing to make his 50th Heineken Cup appearance.

Glasgow skipper Alastair Kellock will make his 50th Heineken Cup appearance against Cardiff Blues at Cardiff Arms Park on Friday night.

The Warriors' lock will rack up his 30th run-out in the competition for his current club having already turned out 20 times for former side Edinburgh.

Head coach Gregor Townsend said: "I'd like to congratulate Al Kellock on his 50th Heineken Cup appearance tomorrow night.

"This is a fantastic achievement for someone who gives his all for Glasgow and we're expecting him to lead by example once again."

Following last week's 28-16 win over Ospreys, Stuart Hogg continues at full-back and DTH van der Merwe keeps his place on the left wing, with Sean Maitland coming in on the right side to replace Tommy Seymour.

Alex Dunbar makes a welcome return at inside centre, following a seven-week spell on the sidelines with a neck and shoulder injuries and will partner Argentina international Gabriel Ascarate in a new centre pairing.

Duncan Weir replaces Ruaridh Jackson at fly-half and Niko Matawalu comes in for Chris Cusiter at scrum-half.

In the front row Ryan Grant continues at loose-head, while Dougie Hall is at hooker and Moray Low comes in at tight-head.

Tom Ryder partners Kellock in the second row, while Josh Strauss and Rob Harley continue at number eight and blind-side flanker, with Chris Fusaro replacing Tyrone Holmes at open-side.

After coming off the bench to score a try last weekend Ryan Wilson is once again named amongst the replacements, along with Leone Nakarawa, who could make his first appearance in the competition.

Townsend said: "We're really looking forward to this double header with Cardiff Blues and we know the outcome of these game will be pivotal to our hopes of progressing in the tournament.

"The Blues had a fantastic result against Toulon in the last round and we know we'll need to start the game well and put pressure on Cardiff throughout the contest.

"There have been a few difficult selection decisions to make this week, with more players back available for this game and also after the team showed great character to record an away win against Ospreys last weekend."

A minute's silence will be observed prior to kick-off on Friday as a mark of respect for those who died in last week's helicopter crash in Glasgow, while the Warriors will also wear black armbands during the game.