Hogg set for return

Glasgow’s Stuart Hogg will make his first appearance in a Warriors jersey for three months when he starts against Benetton Treviso at the Stadio Monigo on Friday night in their penultimate game of the regular RaboDirect Pro12 season.

Rugby Union - RaboDirect PRO 12 - Glasgow Warriors v Zebre - Scotstoun Stadium

The full-back has recovered from a hamstring injury that has kept him out since the narrow defeat to Toulon in January and replaces Peter Murchie at full-back.

The Scotstoun men will hope to take another step towards a Pro12 semi-final slot after last week’s narrow win over Edinburgh.

Glasgow Warriors head coach Gregor Townsend said: “Our win over Edinburgh has given everyone at the club a massive boost ahead of the final two games of the regular season, but we face another tough test in Italy.

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“On home soil Treviso perform with an intensity and physicality that makes them one of the most challenging sides you can face in the PRO12 on the road and defensively we’ll need to be at our very best.

“Conceding four tries last weekend really hurt us and we are determined to deliver a much improved defensive performance.

“There is a lot of rugby still to be played this season and we must go out and put in an 80-minute performance if we’re to secure our place in the play-offs.”

As well as Hogg’s inclusion, Townsend has switched Tommy Seymour to the right wing and also recalled Niko Matawalu, who comes in for Sean Maitland on the opposite side.

Peter Horne starts at inside centre while Finn Russell switches to stand-off in place of Ruaridh Jackson.

Henry Pyrgos, who scored a brace of tries when the two teams met at Scotstoun last month, replaces Chris Cusiter at scrum-half.

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In the pack, Gordon Reid comes in for Ryan Grant at loose-head, Pat MacArthur replaces Dougie Hall at hooker and Geoff Cross is named at tight-head in place of Jon Welsh.

Tim Swinson starts ahead of captain Al Kellock after recovering from illness and will partner Jonny Gray in the second row.

Rob Harley continues at blindside flanker, with Tyrone Holmes replacing Chris Fusaro at openside and stand-in skipper Josh Strauss starting at number 8.

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