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The Warriors are level on points with Dragons, who are at home to Edinburgh tomorrow, but with a superior points difference, a sizeable bonus-point win should be enough for Danny Wilson’s side.
It has yet to be decided how many PRO14 teams will be in next season’s Champions Cup, and fourth place may not be enough. But one thing is certain: fifth place will definitely not be enough.
If it does come down to a points chase this afternoon against Benetton, who have yet to win a league match this season, scrum-half Horne is the ideal man to have on your side, especially given the lack of resources elsewhere in a team hit by injuries and absences.
“We’ve not seen George since Leinster at home, so it’s great to have him back,” head coach Wilson said. “He’s busting to play – he’ll be chomping at the bit to get out there and show what he’s made of.”
That Leinster game was back in November, and it was in a Scotland training session later that month that Horne sustained a foot injury which later needed surgery. With Jamie Dobie joining Ali Price in the Scotland squad, his return is particularly timely.
There is no place in the squad for Horne’s older brother Pete, who made his own return from injury last week, as Wilson opts for Robbie Fergusson in midfield for what will be his last game before joining the Team GB Olympic 7s training programme. There are six changes in all to the team that lost to the Dragons last weekend.
Ollie Smith and Ratu Tagive are the new men in the back division in addition to Horne, while James Scott, Fotu Lokotui and TJ Ioane come into the pack.