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Preview: Glasgow v Edinburgh

23rd December 2009 15:08

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SKY_MOBILE Bath v Edinburgh

Braving the cold: The Scots

Edinburgh Head Coach Rob Moffat has made three changes to his XV for the opening leg of the 1872 Cup against Glasgow on Sunday.

After defeating Bath at Murrayfield last week in the Heineken Cup, Moffat has chosen to retain the same back division with Chris Paterson leading in the absence of the injured Mike Blair.

But Moffat has reintroduced Scotland duo Allan Jacobsen and Scott MacLeod into Edinburgh's front-five while young openside Roddy Grant reclaims his place in the pack.

"Scott MacLeod was rested last week in order to help to him to recover from a slight injury, but Craig Hamilton came in and did well," he said.

"We will soon have four quality second rows challenging for two positions because Jim Hamilton's return is imminent."

With Edinburgh narrowly behind current Magners League leaders Glasgow on points difference, Moffat has urged his players to not only win on Sunday, but to also entertain the nation's rugby fans.

"We want to win every match and we will go into this one against Glasgow at Firhill with a positive mindset," he added.

"Winning is our main priority, but, in front of what is expected to be a big crowd at Firhill and with lots of TV viewers watching, we want to be able to entertain people as well.

"Glasgow are going well at the moment and they have a proud record at Firhill, so we know just how difficult the match is going to be, but we'll be ready for the challenge."

Meanwhile, Glasgow Head Coach Sean Lineen believes that playing at Firhill will not benefit the Warriors' performance.

"We're not usually at home for the first leg, but that gives us no real advantage, it's what we make of it," said Lineen.

"There are some terrific match-ups all over the field, but it's not about individuals, but about how we work as a team."

Thom Evans is the only change to the line-up that were beaten by Gloucester in their Heineken Cup match last weekend.

The winger returns from a knee injury to replace Dave McCall, swapping back to his favoured left side while DTH van der Merwe moves to the right wing.

Form: This is a mouth watering top of the table encounter between leaders Glasgow Warriors and the best away side in the Magners League, Edinburgh. The Warriors' are unbeaten in their last four games in the Magners League since their 16-26 reversal at home to Ospreys on 25 September. Edinburgh's last two games in the Magners League have both been won by the away side on the day, whilst Edinburgh are formidable on the road in the league with victories in five of their last six matches. The last eleven meetings between the two teams have all been won by the home side on the day, whilst the only team to buck that trend in league history being Edinburgh with their 25-16 victory at Hughenden in 2003.

The teams:

Glasgow: 15 Bernardo Stortoni, 14 DTH van der Merwe, 13 Max Evans, 12 Graeme Morrison, 11 Thom Evans, 10 Dan Parks, 9 Chris Cusiter, 8 Richie Vernon, 7 John Barclay, 6 Kelly Brown, 5 Richie Gray, 4 Alastair Kellock, 3 Moray Low, 2 Dougie Hall, 1 Jon Welsh.
Replacements: 16 Fergus Thomson, 17 Kevin Tkachuk, 18 Dan Turner, 19 Johnnie Beattie, 20 Mark McMillan, 21 Colin Gregor, 22 Hefin O'Hare, 23 Rob Dewey.

Edinburgh: 15 Chris Paterson (capt), 14 John Houston, 13 Ben Cairns, 12 Nick De Luca, 11 Tim Visser, 10 Phil Godman, 9 Greig Laidlaw, 8 Scott Newlands, 7 Roddy Grant, 6 Alan MacDonald, 5 Scott MacLeod, 4 Steve Turnbull, 3 Geoff Cross, 2 Ross Ford, 1 Allan Jacobsen.
Replacements: tbc

Date: Sunday, December 27
Kick-off: 15:05 GMT
Venue: Firhill
Referee: Neil Paterson
Assistant referees: Iain Heard, Alan Forrest
Assessor: Fergus Neil
Television match official: Jim Yuille

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