Friday nights under the lights at Scotstoun return tomorrow with Glasgow Warriors aiming to put on a show against the Stormers. 

The South African side have travelled to Scotland without their World Cup winners but they sit top of the URC after two bonus point wins in their opening two games. Glasgow has endured an indifferent start after a disappointing defeat to Connacht last weekend followed by an impressive triumph against Leinster. 

The Warriors are expected to secure a play-off berth again this season but they’ve been dealt a major blow ahead of tonight’s clash after captain Kyle Steyrn was ruled out for around three months. 

The Scotland international sustained an ankle injury against Connacht and although Glasgow hoped the diagnosis wouldn’t be too severe, head coach Franco Smith has confirmed it’s bad news. 

“Kyle is getting operated on this afternoon at 3 o’clock so he’ll be out for 10 to 12 weeks,” said Smith. “It’s an ankle injury. It might be a little earlier but it will be around then. Hopefully, before Christmas, we’ll have him back training on the field and then we’ll see how he develops.

“With the type of game that we’re in and the length of the seasons, we expect this. Rory Darge had a big one last year, as did Scotty Cummings. They can come back at the right time of the season. 

“The season is so long that you could get injured twice and still be involved in the back end. Nobody wants that of course. But that’s why I said from the beginning that a proper squad is the most important thing in this competition so that we have someone who can replace them.”

Smith made the bold decision to name Steyn as club captain early into his tenure in Glasgow and he praised the 29-year-old’s leadership skills.

“I think more,” Smith replied when asked if Steyn had lived up to his expectations. “A lot of work is done off the field and you see only a very small part of it on matchday.

“He’s been an exceptional choice. The players have all the respect for him and we as a coaching group have all the respect for him. He’s been doing exactly what was expected from our side and much more and we’re very happy with him.”

READ MORE: Kyle Rowe on injury torment and Scotland training boost 

Huw Jones also sustained an ankle injury against Connacht and Glasgow is sweating on his diagnosis as initial tests proved inconclusive. Smith, however, welcomes three Scotland internationals back into this starting team with Matt Fagerson, Siona Tuipulotu and Ollie Smith returning. 

“With Huw, we’ve had a mixed bag of feedback,” Smith confirmed. “We’re waiting for the final outcome as more imagining was required. It’s a particular one as it’s his toe so we want to make sure that we get more clarity on that. It can be good news or very bad news – we’re still waiting.”

“I’m very excited to see Sione coming back. He’s been playing well so what an excellent replacement for Huw. It’s also good to see Jamie Bhatti back. He’s still getting into the swing of things so it will be a big challenge for him to step up into our environment

“Matt Fag brings a lot of energy and that’s important to have him back into the fold. Now in the back row, we have guys who have played a lot of rugby but also fresh players who can reset and prepare for the next challenge.”

George Turner, Ali Price and Jack Dempsey are yet to return to the fold since the World Cup as Glasgow targets a repeat triumph over the Stormers. The Warriors claimed a statement 24-17 win over the South Africans last season and Smith believes it was a pivotal moment as people within rugby began to view Glasgow as a credible force. 

“It was a really good night and we got across the linen,” Smith admitted. “There was a little bit more belief instilled in the squad and it helped the growth. They are a very accomplished side with experience of finals rugby in both years that they’ve been involved. Finals rugby comes through quarters, semis and finals so the depth of their squad has also been challenged. They have a very experienced squad, not just a good team. 

“They will have known this for a long time. South Africa will have expected to play in the final so they’d have prepared for this outcome. They still have accomplished players and they’ve shown a lot of points in their first two games. Although they just beat the Lions, it was still an away game so they’ve shown that they can play against anyone. We will just concentrate on ourselves because we know that they’ll be a tough opponent. There are no easy games in this competition and we will need to step up.”

The weather forecast looks ominous for tonight but Smtih joked that Glasgow’s opponents will be ready for it.

“They are called the Stormers so they are probably aligned with this weather.” he laughed. “I don’t think they liked training her on Wednesday very much with the rain, but nobody would’ve liked training in Scotland.”