Benetton V Glasgow Warriors: Team Selection
Head coach Franco Smith has announced that his side will face Italian side Benetton in the Italian-Scottish Shield’s first clash in the BKT United Rugby Championship. During this day 23, there are 3 beginners.
The first rookie comes in first as Argentinian Lucio Sordoni makes it a first international rank by joining Jamie Bhatti and Fraser Brown.
The engine room remains unchanged as Lewis Bean and Richie Gray come together again. Gray will look to continue his outstanding performance in the line-up, having completed more steals than any other player in the 2021/22 Championship.
New signing Sintu Manjezi will make his Glasgow debut in the back row, teaming up with Matt Fagerson and last season’s top hauler Jack Dempsey.
George Horne teams up with Tom Jordan – making his first professional start for the club – at half-backs.
After missing out on the pre-season clash at Inverness, Sione Tuipulotu enters the starting XV, joining Stafford McDowall in midfield.
Skipper Kyle Steyn is about to turn 50e appearance for the club on the wing and is joined by Sebastian Cancelliere on the opposite wing and Cole Forbes completing the starting XV at the back.
Smith went for a 6-2 split off the bench to take on the physical challenge at Treviso. Last season’s top try scorer Johnny Matthews, Oli Kebble and Zander Fagerson are named on the front row. Scott Cummings joins them alongside Rory Darge and Thomas Gordon. Ali Price and Duncan Weir are the only two backs on the bench to provide extra cover.
Overall I think they’re a team that looks solid, although I think the extra pre-season game would have helped solve other issues. Interesting call to nominate Brown over Matthews, as Matthews has performed much better than Brown in the past. Smith’s desire to improve the team’s fitness will be necessary for this match, as Benetton likes to run.