Glasgow v Zebre: Teams
At Scotstoun Stadium, Friday September 28, kick off 19.35pm
Last Updated: 26/09/12 2:08pm
Gregor Townsend: Has picked a team he believes can secure the points
Zebre go in search of their first RaboDirect PRO12 victory of the season when they take on the Glasgow Warriors on Friday.
The Italians, who are in their debut campaign in the competition, are winless from three games while Glasgow are targetting three straight wins after toppling Ospreys and Connacht recently.
Warriors' new signing Josh Strauss will start at number eight, with Fiji scrum-half Niko Matawalu and Tonga prop Ofa Fainga'anuku in line to make their debuts from the bench.
In all, there are 13 changes to the starting XV that ran out against Connacht, with Scotland international Stuart Hogg named among the replacements having made a prompt recovery from his recent ankle injury.
Young backs Byron McGuigan, part of the Scotland 7s squad last season, and Scottish Rugby Elite Development players Fraser Thomson and Sean Kennedy will be making their first competitive starts.
Up front, former All Black back-rower Angus Macdonald will make his first start for the Warriors at blindside flanker, with the team set to be captained by inspirational openside Chris Fusaro.
"First and foremost, we've picked a team that we strongly believe has the right attributes to win Friday's game against Zebre," commented head coach Gregor Townsend.
"We're fortunate this season to have such a good amount of strength in depth, and the players we've brought in this week have all been chomping at the bit to get out there and prove they're worthy of regular selection.
"Our aim is to be competing at the business end of both the RaboDirect PRO12 and Heineken Cup season, and as such we have to manage the workload of our players while maintaining a high level of consistency on the pitch regardless of the team we send out.
"We have a lot of faith in the side that will take the field on Friday, both individually and collectively. We're excited to see them in action in what will be another extremely tough test for us."
Zebre did not have a game last week after their clash with Ulster was postponed following the tragic death of Nevin Spence.
Winger Leonardo Sarto will make his debut for the visitors while lock Michael Van Vuren Van Vuren is fit and available after recovering from a shoulder injury.
Among the backs Daniel Halangahu moves to full-back leaving space for the return of captain Gonzalo Garcia while Matteo Pratichetti completes their centre options.
Alberto Chillon and Luciano Orquera retain their places in the halves while Samoan Sinoti will provide the width with Giovanbattista Venditti rested for the clash.
"Our work is always trying to grow our effectiveness through seeking different solutions within a squad that includes experienced players and young guys. Youngsters especially need to grow by playing games, this includes also taking gambles," said Zebre's technical director Christian Gajan.
"In Scotland it is always difficult and the weather should not be the best Friday night. It's always important to have goals. We worked much on the attitude and individual support. These are our goals for this game, to improve as a team and also the responses of individual players."
Glasgow: 15 Fraser Thomson, 14 Tommy Seymour, 13 Byron McGuigan, 12 Graeme Morrison, 11 DTH van der Merwe, 10 Ruaridh Jackson, 9 Sean Kennedy, 8 Josh Strauss, 7 Chris Fusaro (c), 6 Angus Macdonald, 5 Tim Swinson, 4 Tom Ryder, 3 Mike Cusack, 2 Finlay Gillies, 1 Gordon Reid.
Replacements: 16 Dougie Hall, 17 Ofa Fainga'anuku, 18 Moray Low, 19 James Eddie, 20 Ryan Wilson, 21 Niko Matawalu, 22 Peter Horne, 23 Stuart Hogg.
Zebre: 15 Daniel Halangahu, 14 Leonardo Sarto, 13 Matteo Pratchetti, 12 Gonzalo Garcia (c), 11 Sinoti Sinotti, 10 Luciano Oruera, 9 Alberto Chillon, 8 Andries Van Schalkwyk, 7 Mauro Bergamasco, 6 Filippo Cristiano, 5 Michael Van Vuren, 4 Quintin Geldenhuys, 3 Luca Redolfini, 2 Davide Giazzon, 1 Matias Aaguero.
Replacements:16 Andrea Manici, 17 Carlo Fazzari, 18 Andrea De Marchi, 19 Emiliano Caffini, 20 Nicola Belardo, 21 Luca Martinelli, 22 Paolo Buso.