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Back from the abyss, Bath's revival is gathering steam

Johan van Graan has quietly set about improving every facet of the West Country club and results are starting to come

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Franco Smith names 3 debutants in Glasgow side to face Benetton

Warriors Head Coach Franco Smith during a Glasgow Warriors Open Training session at Scotstoun Stadium, on August 29, 2022, in Glasgow, Scotland. (Photo by Ross MacDonald/SNS Group via Getty Images)

New Glasgow coach Franco Smith has named three debutants in his starting XV for Friday’s United Rugby Championship opener away to Benetton.


Tight-head Lucio Sordoni, blindside flanker Sintu Manjezi and fly-half Tom Jordan will all make their first professional appearances for the Warriors as they kick off a new era in northern Italy following the departure of Danny Wilson earlier in the summer.

“We’re all excited to get our season under way tomorrow evening in Treviso,” Smith told Glasgow’s website.

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“The boys have all worked extremely hard throughout pre-season and tomorrow gives them the opportunity to show the results.

“Lucio, Sintu and Tom have all earned the opportunity to make their debut for the club tomorrow and we look forward to seeing them make their mark in a Warriors jersey.”

Benetton won only six of their 18 URC games last term, but Smith, who had a short stint in charge of the Italian national team before becoming their head of high performance, is not expecting a straightforward opening night.

“Benetton are a fit, attack-minded team who like to run the ball from everywhere and we’ll need to be at our best in Treviso,” he said.



New club captain Kyle Steyn will make his 50th appearance in Glasgow colours at the Stadio Comunale di Monigo, while a strong bench includes Johnny Matthews, Oli Kebble, Zander Fagerson, Scott Cummings, Rory Darge and Ali Price.

Allan Dell, Huw Jones and Ross Thompson are among those absent through injury.

1. Jamie Bhatti
2. Fraser Brown
3. Lucio Sordoni
4. Lewis Bean
5. Richie Gray
6. Sintu Manjezi
7. Matt Fagerson
8. Jack Dempsey
9. George Horne
10. Tom Jordan
11. Kyle Steyn (C)
12. Stafford McDowall
13. Sione Tuipulotu
14. Sebastian Cancelliere
15. Cole Forbes


16. JohnnyMatthews
17. Oli Kebble
18. Zander Fagerson
19. Scott Cummings
20. Rory Darge
21. Thomas Gordon
22. Ali Price
23. Duncan Weir


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RUGBYPASS+ Back from the abyss, Bath's revival is gathering steam Back from the abyss, Bath's revival is gathering steam