Glasgow vs Munster: Gregor Townsend swings axe in Warriors’ bid to fell Munster

Glasgow lost to Toulouse 12-9 last weekend

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The Independent Online

Gregor Townsend, the Glasgow Warriors coach, has made massive changes to his side for their table-top game with Munster at Scotstoun after their double-header defeat in Europe.

The Warriors lost home and away to Toulouse as their European Champions Cup ambitions suffered a major dent and they must now return their focus to maintaining their place in the Guinness Pro12 play-off places.

Townsend’s side are just a point behind the table-topping Irish province, and he said: “Munster are incredibly tough opponents and we know we face another huge challenge.

“With both teams coming off the back of losses in Europe, we will see two highly motivated sides and it is shaping up to be a cracking match. Once again we’re expecting a large crowd to get behind the team.”

Glasgow were beaten 12-9 at home by Toulouse last weekend, and Townsend has made 10 changes to that side as he looks for a positive reaction.

Peter Murchie replaces Stuart Hogg at full-back, Sean Lamont comes in for Sean Maitland on the right wing, and the club’s record tryscorer D T H van der Merwe replaces Tommy Seymour on the opposite side. Richie Vernon continues at outside centre, with Peter Horne coming in for the injured Alex Dunbar. Finn Russell keeps his place at stand-off, while Niko Matawalu comes in for Henry Pyrgos at scrum-half.

It is an all-new front row with Gordon Reid, Fraser Brown and Euan Murray replacing Ryan Grant, Pat MacArthur and Jon Welsh. Leone Nakarawa replaces Tim Swinson in the second row, with Jonny Gray continuing in the engine room.

In the back row Rob Harley moves to the blindside, Tyrone Holmes comes in at openside and Josh Strauss once again captains the side at No 8.