Central perk is vital to Warriors

ALEX DUNBAR believes his restored centre partnership with Graeme Morrison can play a key part in helping Glasgow Warriors down Treviso at Scotstoun tonight.

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Alex Dunbar missed Glasgow's 1872 Cup triumph due to ankle ligament damage
Alex Dunbar missed Glasgow's 1872 Cup triumph due to ankle ligament damage

Gregor Townsend's troops will look to make it a hat-trick of wins on the bounce against the teak-tough Italians and secure a victory that could push them into the PRO12 top two if results elsewhere go their way.

But Treviso are also in fine fettle, having triumphed twice in their own derby against Zebre and proved exceptionally stubborn opposition in the first encounter between the two sides this term before Warriors came on strong late to claim a 24-13 win.

Now the powerful ball carrier is expecting to have to dig deep for victory once more in tonight's 7.30pm kick-off.

Dunbar said: "It is great to be back and even better given that I am once more playing alongside Graeme Morrison. We had a lot of game time together last season, but both of us have had injury problems this time,

"However, we have a good understanding and hopefully that will be a help tonight to the team.

"With Stuart Hogg at full-back and Tommy Seymour and DTH van der Merwe on the wings, the back row is as strong as any set of Glasgow backs I have played in. That is just as well as Treviso are a very hard side to break down.

"Having played in the first game against them over at the Stadio di Monigo I know just how hard it is going to be because, with their physicality, you would have to say that Treviso are among the hardest sides in Europe.

"In that one they controlled things early on and we really had to dig deep for the win and the one thing we must try and do tonight is start that bit stronger. But we have managed that in both the games against Edinburgh, confidence is high and we are hungry to get at them."

There are four changes to the starting XV who claimed a double over Edinburgh and successfully defended the 1872 Cup last Saturday.

The centre partnership featuring Warriors centurion Morrison and Dunbar that was so effective last season is restored while Tommy Seymour comes in on the wing in place of Sean Maitland.

There are minimal changes in the pack with Tim Swinson in for Tom Ryder to partner skipper Al Kellock in the second row.

Dunbar injured ankle ligaments five weeks back against Leinster and admits his frustration at missing out on the series of monster matches Warriors have been involved in.

He said: "Missing the two 1872 Cup ties was really tough but the main thing is that my rehab is complete and I am ready to produce my best form.

"We know that nothing less will be good enough, but given this is a home game and it comes on the back of the double over Edinburgh, it would be criminal not to get the win."

Glasgow: Hogg, Seymour, Dunbar, Morrison, Van der Merwe, Jackson, Pyrgos, Wilson, Harley, Strauss, Kellock, Swinson, Low, Hall, Grant.

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