Glasgow Warriors welcome the Stormers to Scotstoun on Saturday in the United Rugby Championship quarter-finals. 

It should be a thrilling encounter between the sides who finished fourth and fifth in the regular season table, and with a trip to Munster in store for the winners after they beat Ospreys on Friday evening. 

Here we look at all the key numbers, the head-to-head battles and take a look at the man in the middle for tonight's huge match.

  • This is the most experienced starting XV named by Franco Smith for any of his 51 games in charge of Glasgow, in terms of – previous appearances (1,193); URC games (869); Test caps (454); and average age (28.9).
  • The Warriors start with an all-international pack for the third time this season – also Stormers (H) and Ulster (H).
  • At the beginning of the current calendar year, Stormers had only won four of the 20 games they had played in the northern hemisphere in the URC and Champions Cup. During 2024 so far they have won all three of their matches in Europe, dispatching Stade Francais (for a first victory in France), Dragons and Connacht (for a first victory in Ireland).
  • The visitors have never previously played a URC playoff match away from home, with all six of their previous knockouts in the tournament taking place at the DHL Stadium.

In fact you have to go back to 2010 for the last time that the Stormers played a knockout fixture anywhere other than at home, and it is two decades since the side from Cape Town last played a knockout match outside South Africa.

The teams

Glasgow vs Stormers teamsGlasgow vs Stormers teams (Image: Kevin Millar)

(players in CAPITALS are fully capped internationals, numbers in brackets are appearances this season in the URC for Glasgow/Stormers)

Head to Head

Glasgow vs Stormers head-to-heads (Image: Kevin Millar)

Glasgow Goodbyes

It will most likely be a case of hello, goodbye when George Turner returns to the Scotstoun pitch for the first time since 19th January. This will almost certainly be the hooker’s final outing at home before he moves on, reportedly to Japan.

Oli Kebble is another who will be saying farewell to the stadium he has graced for the last seven years. It’s fitting that this should come against the side that he represented in Super Rugby.

The big prop’s first appearance on home soil for the Stormers was more than a decade ago in April 2014. Alongside Oli on the bench that evening in Cape Town – Brok Harris, who had already played about a million matches by that point (est.).

On the opposition side at Scotstoun all these years later – the very same Brok Harris, who, in the intervening period, managed to knock out 138 games for the Dragons before returning to play another 61 times for the Stormers.

Matchday Milestones

George Turner will become the latest Warriors centurion when he comes off the bench on Friday. The Scotland hooker has had to wait 142 days since making his 99th appearance for the club but will finally get the chance to make it an even 100 on Saturday evening.

Nearly seven years ago, Turner arrived at Glasgow on what was initially a one year loan, having played just 296 minutes for Edinburgh across four seasons in the capital.

Fast forward to 2024 and he has 4,099 minutes under his belt for the Warriors as well as 2,055 for Scotland and has established himself as first choice for both club and country. It’s certainly up there as one of the best loans Glasgow have been involved in!

A player who will shortly make the reverse journey along the M8 is also among the milestones as Ross Thompson brings up a half century of appearances before he heads off to join Edinburgh.

The stand off is 13 points short of 300 for the club – any chance of a late flurry of scoring when he joins the action as a replacement?

Strengths and Weaknesses

Based on the URC’s stats, Glasgow are the number one ranked side in the competition for:

  • Metres gained – 7,846 (Stormers 5th – 6,957)
  • Defenders beaten – 458 (Stormers 2nd – 383)
  • Clean breaks – 173 (Stormers 2nd – 158)
  • Tackle success – 91.2% (Stormers 7th – 88.1%)
  • Lineouts won – 244 (Stormers 8th – 215)
  • Scrums won – 118 (Stormers 13th – 99)

Warriors’ matches feature plenty of action – lots of scrums, lots of lineouts and lots of running rugby.

The Stormers are probably the side in the league that comes closest to Glasgow’s tendency to hang on to the ball, even in their own half of the pitch, which could certainly make for some dramatic moments – both in terms of big breaks but also turnovers in dangerous positions.

Stormers are top among the 16 sides for:

  • Offloads – 220 (Glasgow 5th – 165)
  • Scrum penalties won – 49 (Glasgow 14th – 18)

The team from Cape Town love an offload and to keep the ball alive, so the forecast dry conditions for Saturday evening should be to their liking.

There may be contrasting approaches at scrum time. The home side tend to view this setpiece as a platform to get the backline moving and as a result they win relatively few penalties.

The Stormers take more risks (only two teams have a higher percentage of scrums lost) but look for their reward in the form of penalties to gain points or field position.

It’s probably also relevant to note that the visitors are second for kicks retained with an aggressive and athletic back 3 leading the chase. The Warriors’ own unit will need to be secure under the high ball.

Current form

(Image: Kevin Millar)

Glasgow’s Track Record…

…at home to South African sides in the PRO14/URC era:

  • 10 wins
  • Seven try bonus points
  • 47 points out of a possible 50 (94%)
  • The Warriors also won their Challenge Cup quarter-final against the Lions in 2022/23.

Previous Match-up v Stormers at Scotstoun 


Referee: Chris Busby (IRFU, 43rd league game) AR1: Frank Murphy (IRFU) AR2: Peter Martin (IRFU) TMO: Mark Patton (IRFU)

Busby’s regular season record for 2023/24:

· Matches – 18

· Average penalty count – 20.1 per game

· Home side penalties conceded percentage – 45.6%

· Average card count – 1.2 per game

· Penalties per card – 17.2

Mr Busby has certainly been a busy boy with 18 games under his belt already during the current campaign. That includes the match between these two sides at Scotstoun six months ago in Round 3 of the URC.

The penalty count that evening was even Stevens at 12 apiece but the visitors had both Evan Roos and Joseph Dweba yellow carded for fairly daft tackles.

Having taken charge of four Edinburgh home fixtures, and that previous Glasgow v Stormers encounter, Mr Busby has certainly spent a fair bit of time in Scotland during the current season.

The Irish whistler only refereed his first Warriors’ game in December 2020 but has been a pretty regular appointment for the Scotstoun-based side since then.

This will be the tenth time he has been the man in the middle for a Glasgow match – six of them in the Franco Smith era (five wins and one loss).