SAM JOHNSON has been released by Scotland to play for Glasgow at home to Munster tonight and will take his place in a starting line-up that includes 12 full internationals. The Warriors could go top of the URC if they win the rearranged match with a bonus point, and in addition to Johnson’s return they have been boosted by the availability of two other current Scotland squad members, Rufus McLean and Scott Cummings.

Head coach Danny Wilson is unable to attend the match after testing positive for Covid, but will be able to issue instructions should he feel the need, according to attack coach Nigel Carolan. “Danny was here in the early part of the week, so he’s firmly put his stamp on preparations,” Carolan said. “He’s very much here in spirit.

“He’s got his own lines of communication into us should he need to. 

“At the moment he’s just trusting us to facilitate in his absence and to call the shots as we see how things are panning out. If he wants to get in contact, we’re available to him.”

Johnson would clearly be disappointed to be left out of Scotland’s trip to Wales after starting in last week’s Calcutta Cup victory, but Carolan said he was eager to turn out against Munster. “It’s quite a sensitive one, to be fair. We only got wind a couple of days ago that Sam  could be available to us, so it was about seeing what head space he was in. 

“The feedback to Sam is that he’s done nothing wrong - it’s all about rotation. Sam jumped at the opportunity to play a home game against Munster this week for us.”

Full-back Josh McKay is still on the injury list, while stand-off Ross Thompson is unavailable after contracting Covid, but Ollie Smith and Duncan Weir were more than capable deputies for them in the big away win over Connacht a fortnight ago.

“Josh has an ongoing ankle issue,” Carolan added. “He’s got another week of rehab - but again we’re very pleased with the way Ollie Smith has shown up, so we’re maybe fortunate that Ollie has come good at a time when Josh is unavailable for us.

“Ross wasn’t going to be involved this week. We were going to continue with Duncan  again to reward his efforts in Galway last week - I thought he was tremendous. But as it happens Ross is another one that has been caught out.” 

Glasgow (v Munster at Scotstoun tonight, 8.15pm): O Smith; S Cancelliere, R Fergusson, S Johnson, R McLean; D Weir, G Horne; O Kebble, F Brown (co-captain), S Berghan, S Cummings, R Gray, R Wilson (co-captain), T Gordon, J Dempsey. Substitutes: J Matthews, N McBeth, E Pieretto, K McDonald, A Miller, J Dobie, D Miotti, S McDowall.

Munster: M Haley; S Daly, C Farrell, R Scannell, S Zebo; B Healy, N Cronin; J Loughman, D Barron, S Archer, J Kleyn, F Wycherley, J O'Donoghue (captain), C Cloete, G Coombes. Substitutes: K O'Byrne, J Wycherley, J Ryan, C Hurley, A Kendellen, P Patterson, J Crowley, J Hodnett.