Racing 92 v Glasgow: Mike Blair starts in Warriors' Euro opener

Blair moved to Glasgow in the summer after two seasons at Newcastle
Blair moved to Glasgow in the summer after two seasons at Newcastle
Champions Cup Pool 3
Date: Saturday, 14 November Venue: Stade Yves-du-Manoir Kick-off: 15:15 GMT
Coverage: Updates on BBC Radio Scotland

Mike Blair has been named in the starting line-up for Glasgow Warriors' European Champions Cup Pool 3 opener against Racing 92 on Saturday.

The veteran scrum-half replaces Grayson Hart in the starting XV.

Finn Russell, Peter Horne and Mark Bennett make up the midfield in an all-Scottish backline.

New Zealand's World Cup winner Dan Carter is not in the Racing side, with the fly-half yet to return to playing since the All Blacks' recent triumph.

Ryan Grant replaces Gordon Reid in Glasgow's front row, and new signing Shalva Mamukashvili could make his first appearance for the club from the bench.

Captain Jonny Gray and Leone Nakarawa continue their partnership in the second row.

Chris Fusaro drops out of the back row to make way for Rob Harley, who starts at blindside. Josh Strauss at number eight and Simone Favaro at openside complete the back row.

Racing's side includes South Africa cap Johan Goosen, former All Blacks Joe Rokocoko and Chris Masoe and Wales lock Luke Charteris.

The France squad is also well represented in coaches Laurent Labit and Laurent Travers' side.

'A good test'

Glasgow Warriors head coach Gregor Townsend said: "The European Rugby Champions Cup is the biggest club tournament in the world and there has been a real buzz around the club this week as we prepare to begin our campaign in Paris tomorrow.

"You've got to play close to your best rugby for all of the six pool games to have a chance of progressing to the knockout stages, because the quality of the opposition is very high.

"We've never played Racing 92 before, so it'll be a good test against a highly ambitious team. They have put together a strong squad with a lot of internationals, so we're well aware of the challenge we face."

Racing 92: Goosen, Rokocoko, Chavancy, Dumoulin, Andreu, Tales, Machenaud (capt); Ben Arous, Chat, Tameifuna, Charteris, Van der Merwe, Lauret, Le Roux, Masoe.

Replacements: Szarzewski, Brugnaut, Gomes Sa, Dubarry, Nyanga, Chauveau, Dambielle, Laulala.

Glasgow Warriors: Hogg, Seymour, Bennett, Horne, Lamont, Russell, Blair; Grant, MacArthur, Puafisi, Nakarawa, Gray (capt), Harley, Favaro, Strauss.

Replacements: Mamukashvili, Reid, Fagerson, Swinson, Wilson, Hart, Vernon, Naiyaravoro.

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