Planet Rugby

Preview: Edinburgh v Glasgow

30th December 2009 15:19

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Dan Parks Glasgow Oct 2009

Man of the moment: Dan Parks

Scotland lock Jim Hamilton will return to Edinburgh's starting XV when they host Glasgow in the 1872 Cup decider on Saturday.

The 27-year-old has missed the entire season so far with a knee injury but has been given the all-clear to make his comeback in the Scottish derby at Murrayfield, which could see the home side draw level with top of the table Glasgow in the Magners League standings.

Head Coach Rob Moffat is hoping Hamilton can help lift the side after their 25-12 defeat against Warriors in the first leg of the competition at Firhill last weekend.

"It is good to have him back," said Moffat.

"His return gives the squad a massive boost."

Hamilton is one of four changes to the starting line-up, with prop Kyle Traynor reintroduced into the front row, Alan MacDonald reclaiming the number six jersey after recovering from a rib injury and Mark Robertson returning on the wing, while John Houston moves across to inside centre.

Moffat is urging his team to see Sunday's defeat as fresh incentive to fight for a win over their capital rivals.

"There should be a reaction to Sunday's result from our players - we didn't play well and we lost to our closest rivals," he said.

"Glasgow went top of the league, while we dropped down to fifth place.

"So this is a massively important game for us; not just because it is Glasgow, but because it is a big game in the wider scheme of the Magners League."

The Edinburgh side is still plagued by injury problems, with captain Mike Blair ruled out with an ankle problem and vice-captain Allister Hogg facing a lengthy absence after undergoing surgery on his hip last week.

Fly-half David Blair continues to be sidelined with an ankle injury, while club captain Simon Cross is still out with a knee problem along with Andrew Easson (knee), Ryan Grant (ankle) and Simon Webster (hamstring).

Meanwhile, Glasgow Head Coach Sean Lineen has kept faith with the XV who beat their capital rivals 25-12 at Firhill on Sunday to return to the top of the Magners League.

Victory at Murrayfield would see Lineen's men reclaim the 1872 Cup but defeat could see Edinburgh draw level with the Warriors in the Magners League table.

"I've been very impressed with the players' attitude this week because we all know we have unfinished business," said Lineen, who will name his bench on Friday.

"We've had a pretty full-on week and are leaving nothing to chance.

"Edinburgh will be hurting but we've been there before. We're expecting a very fierce match on Saturday."

Lineen added that he Hopes that members of the record-breaking support that came to Firhill will travel to the capital this week.

"There will be a large number of Glasgow fans through in Edinburgh and these supporters are always vital for us," he said.

Form:The last twelve meetings between the two teams have all been won by the home side on the day, whilst Glasgow's most recent win on Edinburgh soil was 33-26 at Myreside in the Welsh-Scottish League on 15 September 2000. Edinburgh have won just one of their last three matches: 9-6 at home to Bath in the European Cup on 19 December. Top of the table Glasgow Warriors are unbeaten in their last five games in the Magners League since their 16-26 reversal at home to Ospreys on 25 September.

The Teams:

Edinburgh: 15 Chris Paterson (c), 14 Mark Robertson, 13 Ben Cairns, 12 John Houston, 11 Tim Visser, 10 Phil Godman, 9 Greig Laidlaw,8 Scott Newlands, 7 Roddy Grant, 6 Alan MacDonald, 5 Jim Hamilton, 4 Scott MacLeod, 3 Geoff Cross, 2 Ross Ford, 1 Kyle Traynor.
Replacements: 16 Sean Crombie/Andrew Kelly, 17 Allan Jacobsen, 18 Craig Hamilton, 19 David Callam, 20 Ross Samson, 21 Nick De Luca, 22 Jim Thompson.

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 (c), 3 Moray Low, 2 Dougie Hall, 1 Jon Welsh.
Replacements:tbc

Date:Saturday, January 2
Venue: Murrayfield
Kick-off: 15.05 GMT
Referee: Peter Allan
Assistant Referees: David Changleng, Ronnie Dumma
TMO: Ian Ramage.

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