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Glasgow and Leicester to get Champions Cup under way

Scotland and Glasgow prop Gordon Reid

The match against Leicester Tigers will be Gordon Reid’s 16th in European competition

Scotland prop Gordon Reid will make his 100th Glasgow Warriors appearance when Leicester Tigers visit Scotstoun for the European Rugby Champions Cup tie.

The capacity crowd will no doubt warmly welcome the return at full-back of Stuart Hogg, who has signed a new deal to stay at Glasgow until May 2019.

Australia international centre Matt Toomua will make his Leicester debut.

And Tom Brady makes his first European appearance for the club after scoring in the Premiership win over Worcester.

Mike Fitzgerald starts in the back row as Leicester are without 24-year-old forward Mike Williams, who has broken his arm for the third time in 12 months.

Ed Slater returns from an ankle injury to join the squad and Freddie Burns is also fit.

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Leicester’s Tom Brady holds off a challenge from David Seymour of Sale Sharks

Leicester boss Richard Cockerill described Toomua, capped 33 times by Australia, as a “top-quality player”.

“He makes everything look very easy, and there is no substitute for quality,” Cockerill said. “He has only been here a short period of time, but he’s a great footballer and he learns quickly.

“Any points in Europe, especially away from home, are vital, and this is not the easiest European pool in which to win away matches, is it? There are no games where you think, ‘oh, we will go there and win’.

“If we do go and win at Scotstoun, or against Munster or Racing 92 away later in the campaign, it will be a very good day at the office.”

For the hosts, Reid continues at loose-head following the bonus-point Pro12 win in Parma last weekend, with Zander Fagerson coming in at tight-head and Fraser Brown keeping his place at hooker.

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Hogg hopes others sign on at Glasgow

Italy international Leonardo Sarto comes in on the right wing and Rory Hughes will make his European debut for the club on the opposite side.

Alex Dunbar and Sam Johnson combine in midfield, with Finn Russell returning at fly-half and Henry Pyrgos coming back in at scrum-half.

Tim Swinson returns from injury and will partner Jonny Gray in the engine room after being rested last weekend.

Rob Harley moves from second row to blind-side flanker, with Ryan Wilson and Josh Strauss switching places, with Wilson starting at open-side and Strauss at number eight.

“Leicester have been one of Europe’s leading sides for a number of years and we know they’ll provide a tough test,” said Warriors head coach Gregor Townsend.

“But there is a lot of excitement within our squad and we’re looking forward to opening our campaign at home.”

Glasgow Warriors: Stuart Hogg, Leonardo Sarto, Alex Dunbar, Sam Johnson, Rory Hughes, Finn Russell, Henry Pyrgos,Gordon Reid, Fraser Brown, Zander Fagerson, Tim Swinson, Jonny Gray, Rob Harley, Ryan Wilson, Josh Strauss.

Replacements: Pat MacArthur, Alex Allan, Sila Puafisi, Matt Fagerson, Lewis Wynne, Ali Price, Mark Bennett, Sean Lamont.

Leicester Tigers: Telusa Veainu, Adam Thompstone, Mathew Tait, Matt Toomua, Tom Brady, Owen Williams, Ben Youngs, Ellis Genge, Tom Youngs, Dan Cole, Dom Barrow, Graham Kitchener, Mike Fitzgerald, Brendon O’Connor, Lachlan McCaffrey.

Replacements: Harry Thacker, Logovi’i Mulipola, Greg Bateman, Ed Slater, Will Evans, Sam Harrison, Freddie Burns, Peter Betham.

Article source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/rugby-union/37645772