Sean Lineen confident his team are capable of beating Montpellier

Glasgow Warriors will look to deliver what head coach Sean Lineen believes would be “one of the best results in the club’s history” when they travel to face Montpellier in the Heineken Cup on Saturday (kick-off 4.40pm local time (3.40pm UK time), live on Sky Sports via red button).

After a 20-15 success at Firhill last Sunday, a further triumph would see the Warriors do the double over last year’s French Top 14 finalists and stay right in the hunt to progress from Pool 3.

But with Montpellier having already beaten the likes of Toulon and Clermont Auvergne at the Stade Yves du Manoir, and come within a minute of seeing off European champions Leinster at home in Round 1, the scale of the challenge facing Glasgow this weekend is obvious.

Lineen said: “This is a simply massive game for the whole club. We’ve put ourselves in a reasonable position by beating Bath and Montpellier at home, but if we’re serious about progressing from the pool we need to win on the road, and we know from our experience in Dublin how difficult that is.

“We know it will be just as tough in southern France this weekend. Montpellier showed at Firhill that they’re a terrifically physical team with a lot of ability, and they’ve won their last three games in the Top 14, beating sides like Clermont and Biarritz. We’re also coming into the game with a bit of form, having lost only one of our last nine matches, but we’re well aware that beating a quality Top 14 team on home turf is going to take something special.

“We’ve got the players to deliver it, but we’ll need everyone firing on all cylinders across the 80 minutes to send our supporters home happy. We’ll certainly need to start much better than we did on Sunday, where it took us a good half hour to get into our stride.

“The players know that, and although it’s been a relatively quick week in terms of the turnaround, I’ve been delighted with the really positive and determined vibe that’s been coming from the group. They’re up for the challenge of securing what would be one of the best results in Glasgow Warriors’ history.”

Lineen’s starting line-up for the clash shows five changes from the weekend. In the backline, Troy Nathan comes in for Graeme Morrison at inside centre, while Ruaridh Jackson replaces Duncan Weir at stand-off.

Up front, meanwhile, Jon Welsh cedes to Ryan Grant at loose-head prop, Johnnie Beattie takes the No.8 shirt, and Chris Fusaro is rewarded for a string of impressive displays with a starting role at openside flanker.

The inclusion of the former Heriot’s man, who recently signed a two-year contract extension, means that John Barclay switches to the blindside. Rob Harley, a stalwart of the side so far this season, misses out with a hand injury sustained in Sunday’s game.

Glasgow have only once tasted victory on French soil in the Heineken Cup, the famous 33-26 beating of Toulouse in January 2009.

They have, however, beaten Montpellier away, 30-11 in December 2003 in the European Challenge Cup.

Starting XV:
15 Stuart Hogg
14 Federico Aramburu
13 Peter Murchie
12 Troy Nathan
11 Rory Lamont
10 Ruaridh Jackson
9 Chris Cusiter
1 Ryan Grant
2 Pat MacArthur
3 Mike Cusack
4 Richie Gray
5 Al Kellock (C)
6 John Barclay
7 Chris Fusaro
8 Johnnie Beattie

Replacements:
16 Dougie Hall
17 Jon Welsh
18 Moray Low
19 Tom Ryder
20 Henry Pyrgos
21 Ryan Wilson
22 Rob Dewey
23 Duncan Weir

Not considered for selection due to injury:
Rob Harley (hand),
Gordon Reid (hand),
DTH van der Merwe (shoulder),
Rob Verbakel (hamstring).

This article is from

Rugby World – Rugby World is the voice of global rugby and the biggest-selling rugby magazine anywhere. Through its team of respected and professional writers, it offers unrivalled access to the players and coaches behind the thrilling clashes that define the sport of international rugby union.

Subscribe to Rugby World in print » | Read the digital edition »