Danny Wilson is confident a strong spine of quality international players will make Glasgow’s transition to their “other XV” a success during the Autumn Test period.
Despite 14 call-ups to Scotland and a positive Covid-19 test ruling one player out and causing two more to isolate, Wilson has a wealth of experience in his side to face Ospreys in Swansea.
Richie Gray, Sam Johnson, Huw Jones, George Turner and Nick Grigg have been returned to Scotstoun from Scotland camp while the vast experience of Ryan Wilson, Peter Horne and Tommy Seymour bind it all together.
While Wilson sees it as a challenge to maintain a league campaign with so many players away this season on international duty, he likes the look of this team.
“With the players who have been released, there is a really strong spine to this team and I see a really strong back line – Sam (Johnson) hasn’t played for eight months but we all know what an exciting, quality player he is,” said Wilson.
“We also have a strong pack, so I’m really confident with this team. It’s just a new group, that’s all.”
It’ll be a second start for young scrum-half Jamie Dobie, who has impressed Wilson, and will be helped through with the vastly experienced Horne playing at 10 alongside him.
“Jamie is a really exciting youngster,” aid the coach. “He’s going to get out there in a big game and we are all excited about seeing him.
“From the word go you can see the quality in such a young player. There are been good, experienced guys for Jamie to learn from.
“He is very young and we have to remember that, but want to give him the platform to go out there and learn from his experiences over coming games.”
Young second row Hamish Bain is also starting, as Wilson admitted “a little bit out of the blue”.
“Maybe the plan might have been to keep his development going a little bit longer,” said the coach. “He has come from a very different training environment and had to learn how to adapt to the training load of being a professional rugby player at this kind of level.
“He’s a big lump and a good line-out forward. He’s got a great attitude. He’s just a young man so, from our point of view, it’s another player we’re all excited about.”
Glasgow team: Huw Jones; Tommy Seymour, Nick Grigg, Sam Johnson, Ratu Tagive; Peter Horne, Jamie Dobie; Aki Seiuli, George Turner, D’Arcy Rae; Hamish Bain, Richie Gray; Ryan Wilson, Tom Gordon, TJ Ioane.
Replacements: Grant Stewart, Alex Allan, Enrique Pieretto, Fotu Lokotui, Chris Fusaro, Sean Kennedy, Brandon Thomson, Niko Matawalu.