Glasgow Warriors and Scotland no.8 Johnnie Beattie will make his return to frontline action tomorrow night when he takes the field against current Magners League leaders Munster at Musgrave Park in Cork (8 January, kick-off 7.30pm).
Beattie has been out with a shoulder injury since he returned from Scotland’s historic Test series win in Argentina last summer and head coach Sean Lineen is delighted to have another of his key players back available for selection.
“It’s great to have John back,” said Lineen. “He’s worked incredibly hard and it’s been frustrating for him more than me.
“John is a model professional and I think he’s matured over the last few months. We’ve had him involved in a lot of meetings and analysis and he’s delivered really well there. But now he’s fit and ready to go.”
Meanwhile, despite the exit of Beattie from the treatment room, four others make their way in following last weekend’s bruising derby against Edinburgh. All do so, however, on a short term basis.
Beattie takes the place of Richie Vernon who picked up a dead leg in last weekend’s derby against Edinburgh whilst hooker Fergus Thomson is also sideline with a dead leg. Thomson is replaced by fellow internationalist Dougie Hall.
The third change to the forwards simply sees props Ryan Grant and Jon Welsh swap places in the staring XV and on the bench.
The only adjustment in the backs sees winger Alex Dunbar line up for his second start in place of Hefin O’Hare who has a calf injury.
Dave McCall is another to make a welcome return to the starting XV and is named among the replacements. McCall returns in place of Federico Aramburu who continues to be treated for an ankle injury.
Looking forward to Saturday’s match, Lineen continued: “There was relative disappointment following the second Edinburgh game having experienced euphoria after the first.
“As for Munster, there’s such a confidence in them. The name Munster just seeps of rugby.
“Munster have quality players right throughout their team and are on fire at the moment at the top of the league.
“They have particular strength at nine and ten with players like Peter Stringer, Tomas O’Leary, Ronan O’Gara and Paul Warwick who direct the mighty Munster ship so well.
“But we need to match their physicality and that starts up front with the forwards.”
Glasgow Warriors team to play Munster in the Magners League at Musgrave Park on Saturday 8 January (kick-off 7.30pm)
15 Bernardo Stortoni
14 Alex Dunbar
13 Max Evans
12 Peter Murchie
11 DTH van der Merwe
10 Ruaridh Jackson
9 Colin Gregor
1 Ryan Grant
2 Dougie Hall
3 Moray Low
4 Richie Gray
5 Alastair Kellock CAPTAIN
6 Robert Harley
7 John Barclay
8 Johnnie Beattie
Substitutes: 16 Pat MacArthur, 17 Kevin Tkachuk, 18 Jon Welsh, 19 Aly Muldowney, 20 Ryan Wilson, 21 Henry Pyrgos, 22 Dave McCall, 23 Peter Horne