Glasgow have been urged to raise their game in the deciding leg of the 1872 Cup against Edinburgh at Firhill on New Year's Day.
Glasgow have been urged to “raise their game” and deliver a winning performance in the deciding leg of the 1872 Cup against Edinburgh at Firhill on New Year's Day.
Sean Lineen's men were left with mixed emotions after the 23-23 draw in the first of the back to back festive derbies at Murrayfield on Monday. The side showed tremendous character in twice overturning 10-point deficits, but there was also frustration in the camp that they didn't ultimately force a win.
“As with our other recent draws on the road at Dragons and Montpellier, it's indicative of the standards we've set ourselves that we came away from Murrayfield feeling unsatisfied,” Lineen told glasgowwarriors.org
“We really want to assert our own game and ensure it's the opposition that are scrambling to stay in contention. Key to that is starting better than we have in the last few matches, and we've spoken on the topic this week.
The Warriors starting line-up for the game bears seven changes from the deadlock at the national stadium. Two of these switches are injury-enforced, Jon Welsh replacing Ryan Grant (ankle) at loose-head prop, and Colin Shaw taking the wing berth vacated by Rory Lamont.
The 26-cap back-three man suffered a blow to the head/face during the first game, and was taken to hospital for a precautionary scan. He was discharged later that night, and has since been subject to further assessment from the Warriors medical team. The medics are happy with Lamont's progress, but he has not been deemed ready to play this weekend.
The majority of the other changes come in the pack, where Dougie Hall and Moray Low form an all-new front row with Welsh, Ryan Wilson starts at number eight, and Chris Fusaro occupies the openside flanker berth, John Barclay moving to the bench.
In the backs, meanwhile, Peter Murchie replaces Troy Nathan and will start at full-back, with Stuart Hogg moving to outside centre.
“We've freshened things up in the forwards, bringing in guys who have performed well as replacements in recent weeks and have really put their hand up for a start,” commented Lineen.
Meanwhile, Edinburgh Head coach Michael Bradley has challenged his players to stake their claim for selection in a “season-defining month” for the club. There are 13 changes to the visitors' squad.
“Sunday will be very different to our match at Murrayfield, with the tighter confines of Firhill and the importance of challenging our whole squad ahead of a season defining month, influencing our approach,” said Bradley.
“After Glasgow we have a five-day turnaround to an important home match against Ulster before we return to Heineken Cup rugby. The challenge for us as coaches is to get the best out of our squad over the course of this crucial period.
“It speaks volumes for the squad that we're in a position to field another very strong side in our second match against Glasgow, with an opportunity for these players to show they deserve to be part of another huge month for Edinburgh Rugby.”
Scotland capped Simon Webster, Alan MacDonald and Phil Godman all return to the front-line along side some of this season's top performers – Stuart McInally (number eight), Tom Brown (wing) and Matt Scott (centre).
The return of Jim Thompson and John Houston from injury completes the back-line while Andrew Kelly, one of the club's most seasoned players with 150 competitive appearances, returns to the front-row between Kyle Traynor and Jack Gilding.
At lock, Esteban Lozada partners Steven Turnbull, while Netani Talei completes the back-row alongside McInally and MacDonald.
Form: Glasgow Warriors have incredibly recorded three draws in their last four matches in all competitions, whilst their seven match unbeaten run in the RaboDirect PRO12 is a new Warriors record for the tournament. Edinburgh Rugby have lost just one of their last four encounters in the RaboDirect PRO12, but their only away win the tournament since December 2010 remains the 22-11 victory in Treviso on 5 November 2011. The two Scottish ProTeams drew 23-all at Murrayfield on Boxing Day – their first tie since 2002. Edinburgh have won just one of their last six encounters against Glasgow, and have not been victorious on Glasgow soil since a 25-16 win at Hughenden on 27 December 2003.
Glasgow: 15 Peter Murchie, 14 David Lemi, 13 Stuart Hogg, 12 Graeme Morrison, 11 Colin Shaw, 10 Duncan Weir, 9 Chris Cusiter, 8 Ryan Wilson, 7 Chris Fusaro, 6 Rob Harley, 5 Al Kellock (c), 4 Richie Gray, 3 Moray Low, 2 Dougie Hall, 1 Jon Welsh.
Replacements: 16 Pat MacArthur, 17 Mike Cusack, 18 Ed Kalman, 19 Tom Ryder, 20 John Barclay, 21 Henry Pyrgos, 22 Troy Nathan, 23 Ruaridh Jackson.
Edinburgh: 15 Jim Thompson, 14 Simon Webster, 13 Matt Scott, 12 John Houston, 11 Tom Brown, 10 Phil Godman (c), 9 Chris Leck, 8 Netani Talei, 7 Alan MacDonald, 6 Stuart McInally, 5 Esteban Lozada, 4 Steven Turnbull, 3 Jack Gilding, 2 Andrew Kelly, 1 Kyle Traynor.
Replacements: 16 Alun Walker, 17 Robin Hislop, 18 Lewis Niven, 19 Grant Gilchrist, 20 Ross Rennie, 21 Mike Blair, 22 Harry Leonard, 23 Lee Jones.
Date: Sunday 1 January
Kick-off: 17.35 GMT
Referee: Peter Allan