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Townsend wants focused Warriors

Glasgow Warriors head coach Gregor Townsend has told his men they must match Munster in the mental stakes if they are to continue their unbeaten league run.

The Scotstoun side host their Irish opponents on Friday night looking to complete a sixth straight victory in the RaboDirect Pro12.

But Townsend has warned that any drop in focus will see his side suffer in the top-of-the-table clash.

He said: "We've been pleased with our early season form and we're aiming to build on this in front of our home supporters tomorrow night.

"It's been a quick turnaround for us this week but the squad have recovered well from Sunday's game against Exeter.

"Our last home league game was against the reigning champions Leinster and we need a similar focus and intensity to what we displayed that night if we are to get a positive result.

"Munster are a quality side who mix up their attacking game by moving the ball wide at times, as well as being direct if they get into the opposition half.

"Our two games against Munster last season couldn't have been more different, losing by 28 points in Ireland and then winning by 27 points at Scotstoun.

"We are expecting a physical contest with first place in the league at stake."

Sean Lamont will return to the Warriors starting line-up at Scotstoun. The versatile back has recovered from a calf injury and lines up at centre alongside Byron McGuigan as the Warriors look to continue their unbeaten league run.

It is the same back three which picked up the side's first Heineken Cup win of the season against Exeter Chiefs last weekend, with Sean Maitland lining up at full-back and DTH van der Merwe and Tommy Seymour on the wings.

Duncan Weir replaces Ruaridh Jackson at stand-off, while Chris Cusiter comes in for Niko Matawalu at scrum-half and will captain the side.

In the pack, Ryan Grant, Pat MacArthur and Moray Low make up the front row, with the injured Ed Kalman unavailable this weekend.

Following his call-up to the Scotland squad, Jonny Gray comes into the side in place of captain Al Kellock and he will partner Tim Swinson in the engine room.

Tyrone Holmes, Rob Harley and Josh Strauss, meanwhile, continue in the back-row.


From Belfast Telegraph