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Smith reckons a big step up is needed to beat Bulls

TEAM ANNOUNCEMENT: Glasgow Warriors coach Franco Smith has gone with consistency and opted to pick the same starting line-up to face the Bulls in the Final of the United Rugby Championship at Loftus Versfeld on Saturday.

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Smith is banking on the same squad that beat Munster last weekend with some minor changes to the bench.

The South African will draw inspiration from his teams’ away win against Munster as they went into that semifinal as complete underdogs.

This time round they return to South Africa knowing their last visit produced losses at the hands of the Bulls and Lions.

Smith knows the conditions in Pretoria well having played there but will be conscious of the fact that his side has a significant disadvantage of having to travel across the equator, and then play at altitude.

The Warriors have become the mauling kings of the URC, but they also managed to score an 85m try against Munster last weekend which shows their attack is something to be aware of.

But Smith reckons his team will need to make a step up from last weekend to beat the Bulls.

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“I don’t think what we did last weekend will not be enough to beat the Bulls here in Pretoria. We will have to make a step up. It is going to be a big step up,” Smith said.

“I am South African, I know their heartbeat, I know how the blood flows through their veins and I know how desperate they want to succeed.

“We’ve taken a lot from that game and we know we will face another hostile crowd, just double the number.

“It could’ve been intimidating but I think we’ve taken a lot from that in our preparation for this week,” Smith said.

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Glasgow Warriors: 15 Josh McKay, 14 Sebastian Cancelliere, 13 Huw Jones, 12 Sione Tuipulotu, 11 Kyle Steyn (captain), 10 Tom Jordan, 9 George Horne, 8 Jack Dempsey, 7 Rory Darge, 6 Matt Fagerson, 5 Scott Cummings, 4 Richie Gray, 3 Zander Fagerson, 2 Johnny Matthews, 1 Jamie Bhatti
Replacements: 16 George Turner, 17 Nathan McBeth, 18 Oli Kebble, 19 Max Williamson, 20 Euan Ferrie, 21 Henco Venter, 22 Jamie Dobie, 23 Duncan Weir

Date: Saturday, June 22
Venue: Loftus Versfeld Stadium, Pretoria
Kick-off: 18.00 (16.00 GMT; 17.00 IRE & UK time)
Referee: Andrea Piardi (Italy)
Assistant referees: Frank Murphy (Ireland) and Craig Evans (Wales)
TMO: Matteo Liperini (Italy)

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