Glenn Bryce will be filling the full-back’s shirt facing the returning Stuart Hogg at Scotstoun as Glasgow Warriors have named a positive attacking team to try and gain the necessary full five points from Exeter.
The defeat to La Rochelle at home badly shook the Warriors’ hopes of a Heineken Champions Cup quarter-final place for the second year in succession, leaving them having to win both their final two games against Gallagher Premiership opposition, starting with the English league’s leaders.
The fact that Chiefs have Hogg making a homecoming just six months after leaving Scotstoun and the Devonians have already bookmarked Jonny Gray for next season adds just a little more spice to the contest.
“They have so many tricks to concern ourselves with, that you can’t just isolate Hoggy,” said head coach Dave Rennie. “We know a lot about him, he is very dynamic with the ball but the boys all know what foot he steps off and will all be screaming at him when he has the ball.
“He has such a big kicking game and is a great player. We know a lot about him but we know a lot about all their players.”
Bryce’s inclusion is an attempt to counter Exeter’s kicking game, which got them the upper hand in the first meeting between the two sides, believes Rennie.
“I thought Glenn was playing pretty well at the start of the year, but he then picked up a bit of an issue with his knee which kept him out for about a month and by that stage we were playing Tommy (Seymour) there quite a bit.
“He’s very quick, has a really good kicking game and is an excellent distributor, and it’s a big game for him. But he does have a point of difference and we’ve got to be able to match Exeter’s kicking game.
“Having Tommy on the wing gives us a good kicking presence there and Kyle (Steyn) also kicks well. Huw Jones also has a good kicking game and then we’ve also got George and Adam at nine and ten. It’s a good mix, we reckon.
“We lost the kicking game down there in the first 20 minutes of the second half, we did not have a great number of options on the field around our kicking game, you have to be able to share the load.
“They were able to apply a lot of pressure to Adam [Hastings] who did a lot of the kicking but we have done a lot of work round that part of our game to make sure everyone is chipping in round our options and we are prepared to play and kick from wide channels when that is on as well.”
Glasgow welcome back Matt Fagerson to No 8 after he served his suspension for the sending off against La Rochelle, while Leone Nakarawa could be involved next week against one of the teams he reportedly turned down to come back to Glasgow, Sale Sharks.
“We know we need to win this game,” added Rennie. “We are not talking about bonus points because in the end you just need to go out and win and if you can pick up four tries that would be great.
“If we lose we are out, If we win we are in with a slim chance. We will see how the other things pan out but our job is just to get a win this weekend.”
Team: Glenn Bryce; Kyle Steyn, Huw Jones, Sam Johnson, Tommy Seymour; Adam Hastings, George Horne; Oli Kebble, Fraser Brown, Zander Fagerson; Scott Cummings, Jonny Gray; Ryan Wilson, Callum Gibbins (capt), Matt Fagerson.
Replacements: George Turner, Alex Allan, Adam Nicoll, Rob Harley, Chris Fusaro, Ali Price, Pete Horne, Niko Matawalu.