Connacht face up their first Magners League away game in over two months as they bid to beat Glasgow at Hughenden for the first time since September 2003.
MAGNERS LEAGUE: Friday, November 3
GLASGOW WARRIORS v CONNACHT, Hughenden, 7.30pm
Team News: Argentinian international Francisco Leonelli has been passed fit to return to the Glasgow side, having missed last week's 69-7 Challenge Cup win over GRAN Parma due to injury.
Scott Barrow makes way for Leonelli's return at full-back. Up front, coach Sean Lineen has given Canadian loosehead Kevin Tkachuk some new front row partners in Fergus Thomson and Justin Va'a.
The only other change to the Warriors' line-up sees Andy Newman replacing Dan Turner in the second row.
Connacht, meanwhile, have made three changes to the side that slipped to an agonising 21-19 Challenge Cup defeat in Bath last Saturday.
Having missed the encounter at the Rec due to injury, both right winger Matt Mostyn and out-half Mark McHugh have returned to the westerners' starting line-up. Keith Matthews and John Hearty have made way, while Paul Warwick moves to outside centre to accommodate McHugh.
At scrum half, Chris Keane comes back in with Tom Tierney out injured.
Keane's deputy on the bench is Conor O'Loughlin, who is making his first appearance in the Connacht matchday 22 this season.
Glasgow: Francisco Leonelli; Rory Lamont, Graeme Morrison, Andy Henderson, Hefin O'Hare; Dan Parks, Graeme Beveridge; Kevin Tkachuk, Fergus Thomson, Justin Va'a, Andy Newman, Alastair Kellock (capt), Andrew Wilson, John Barclay, Jon Petrie.
Replacements: Ben Prescott, Scott Lawson, Dan Turner, Steve Swindall, Sam Pinder, Ruaridh Jackson, Scott Barrow.
Connacht: Daniel Riordan; Matt Mostyn, Paul Warwick, Gavin Williams, Darren Yapp; Mark McHugh, Chris Keane; Ray Hogan, John Fogarty (capt), Brett Sturgess, David Gannon, Andrew Farley, John Muldoon, Ray Ofisa, Colm Rigney.
Replacements: Adrian Flavin, Brett Wilkinson, Michael Swift, Brendan O'Connor, Conor O'Loughlin, Keith Matthews, John Hearty.
Referee: Hugh Watkins (Wales)
Coach Speak: Sean Lineen (Glasgow) - "I think we're playing an exciting brand of rugby and we want to keep building on our home wins so I'd encourage people to come along to the game and give the team their support.
Our last game of last season was against Connacht and it left a bad taste in the mouth as we didn't do very well so it'll be tough, but we're out to turn that scoreline around."
Michael Bradley (Connacht) - "This game is a massive one for us in terms of our season. At this stage it may well be that the Magners League is the best way to qualify for Heineken Cup rugby and as a result, the clash with Glasgow is huge."
Match Odds: Paddy Power - To Win: Glasgow 4/7, Connacht 13/10; Draw: 20/1
PREVIOUS LEAGUE MEETINGS:
December 2001 - Quarter-Final - Connacht 29 Glasgow 34, The Sportsground
October 2002 - Glasgow 29 Connacht 7, Hughenden
September 2003 - Glasgow 19 Connacht 30, Hughenden
February 2004 - Connacht 28 Glasgow 28, The Sportsground
September 2004 - Connacht 31 Glasgow 15, The Sportsground
December 2004 - Glasgow 35 Connacht 0, Hughenden
November 2005 - Glasgow 30 Connacht 15, Hughenden
May 2006 - Connacht 33 Glasgow 7, The Sportsground
- Glasgow's two victories so far in this season's Magners League have been against Munster and Border Reivers, whilst the Scots have won their last three games at Hughenden in all competitions
- Connacht won last time out in the Magners League - 16-9 at home to the Dragons but this game represents their first away game in the league since September 1 when they turned the Borders over 29-15 in Galashiels
- Glasgow have the slight edge in the eight previous meetings between the two sides, gaining four victories to Connacht's three - February 2004's clash at the Sportsground ended in a 28-28 draw with Conor McPhillips bagging two tries for the hosts
- Matt Lacey, John Fogarty, Chris Keane, David Gannon and David Slemen all touched down in last May's 33-7 win over the Warriors in Galway. In their previous two games against Glasgow, Connacht had only scored two tries - both in last November's 30-15 loss to the Scots at Hughenden
- Connacht's fit-again out-half Mark McHugh is the second top scorer in the competition this season, behind Ulster's David Humphreys. McHugh has scored 1 try, 6 conversions, 19 penalties and 1 drop goal for a 77-point haul. Glasgow's top scorer is out-half Dan Parks, who has 48 points from 1 try, 5 conversions and 11 penalties
- Parks has a better kicking success rate at 84.21% (16 successes out of 19 attempts) than McHugh. The former Ireland international has landed 25 of his 32 kicks at goal for 78.13%
- Matt Mostyn is Connacht's top try scorer in the league with three in seven appearances. Glasgow's Thom Evans is one behind him with two in seven outings
- Connacht have the second worst disciplinary record in the league currently, with six sin-binnings in seven games. Only Leinster have performed worse. Connacht's yellow cards have gone to McHugh (2), Gannon, Lacey, Colm Rigney and Ted Robinson