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Champions Cup: Glasgow Warriors v Montpellier

Jones agreed his move from South Africa to Glasgow 10 months ago
European Champions Cup
Venue: Scotstoun Stadium Date: Friday, 8 December Kick-off: 19:35 GMT
Coverage: Listen on BBC Radio Scotland (FM), 5 live sports extra & BBC Sport website

Huw Jones makes his debut as Glasgow Warriors seek a way back into Champions Cup contention at home to Montpellier.

The centre is joined by returning Scotland team-mates Tommy Seymour, Finn Russell, Ali Price, Jonny Gray and Zander Fagerson for a must-win contest.

Prop Jamie Bhatti and back-row Samuela Vunisa also return to the starting XV, with Ryan Wilson resuming as captain.

Former Scotland coach Vern Cotter is in charge of the visitors, who include New Zealand fly-half Aaron Cruden.

Fiji wing Nemani Nadolo, South Africa centres Frans Steyn and Jan Serfontein, and hooker Bismarck Du Plessis, also start in a side led by France number eight Louis Picamoles.

Glasgow and Montpellier have both lost their opening two matches in Pool 3 and would need to win the remaining four fixtures to have a chance of progressing.

Warriors opened with a 24-15 defeat at Exeter and were then thumped 34-18 at home by leaders Leinster. Montpellier lost 24-17 at the Irish province in their first game before losing 27-24 at home to Exeter.

Cotter has been in charge of Montpellier since leaving Scotland earlier this year

Jones, 23, agreed his move in February and scored tries against Samoa and Australia in November’s autumn internationals after wrapping up his spell in South African rugby by lifting the Currie Cup with Western Province.

Head coach Dave Rennie says it will be “brilliant” to finally see Jones play for the club.

“Huw’s been on fantastic form,” he told BBC Scotland. “He’s probably been the form midfielder for Scotland, and we have coupled him with Sam Johnson, who has probably been our best midfielder in the first three months of our [Pro14]competition.

“Both are very good attacking players and it will be exciting hopefully if we can get them a lot of ball.

“It was a really tough team to pick. So many boys have put their hands up in recent weeks and it is a testament to our strength in depth that the coaches had a bit of a headache choosing the 23.”

Full-back Stuart Hogg is still out with a hip problem, which will also cause him to miss next week’s return fixture against Montpellier in France.

Fraser Brown is also among 13 unavailable players because of ongoing concussion issues, but fellow hooker George Turner has been cleared to start after suffering concussion himself against Cardiff Blues last week.

Team Played Won Drawn Lost For Against Bonus Pts Points
Leinster 2 2 0 0 58 35 2 10
Exeter 2 2 0 0 51 39 0 8
Montpellier 2 0 0 2 41 51 3 3
Glasgow Warriors 2 0 0 2 33 58 0 0

Glasgow Warriors: R Jackson, L Sarto, H Jones, S Johnson, T Seymour, F Russell, A Price; J Bhatti, G Turner, Z Fagerson, S Cummings, J Gray, R Wilson (capt), C Gibbins, S Vunisa.

Replacements: J Malcolm, A Allen, S Halanukonuka, K McDonald, M Smith, G Horne, P Horne, N Matawalu.

Montpellier: J Mogg, B Fall, F Steyn, J Serfontein, N Nadolo, A Cruden, E Sanga, M Nariashvilli, B Du Plessis, J Jonker, N Janse van Rensburg, J Du Plessis, K Galletier, J Bardy, L Picamoles (capt)

Replacements: R Ruffenach, G Fichten, M Haouas, F Ouedraogo, B Paillaugue, G Ngandebe, H Immelman, K Mikautadze.

Referee: Matthew Carley (England)

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