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Preview: Glasgow v Edinburgh

24th April 2014 10:44

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SKY_MOBILE Alastair Kellock Glasgow Warriors 1024

Returns: Al Kellock

Glasgow have included Al Kellock in their side as the lock returns for the second leg of the 1872 Cup against Edinburgh at Scotstoun Stadium.

Kellock returns to the engine room alongside Jonny Gray, making his first appearance since their 29-10 win over Treviso earlier this month.

The Warriors are 20-16 ahead after the first leg, which was played at Murrayfield on Boxing Day. The second leg was due to be played on New Year's Day at Scotstoun but was postponed.

Peter Murchie continues at full-back and Tommy Seymour and Sean Maitland line up on the wings.

Mark Bennett keeps his place at outside centre following his man of the match performance against Ulster last week and Finn Russell switches from fly-half to inside centre in place of the injured Peter Horne.

Ruaridh Jackson comes in at fly-half and Chris Cusiter continues at scrum-half.

There are three changes in the pack following last week's win over Ulster as Ryan Grant comes in for Gordon Reid, Kellock replaces Tim Swinson and Rob Harley is promoted from the bench to start at blindside flanker, with Josh Strauss moving to number eight and Ryan Wilson named among the replacements.

"We were pleased with aspects of the game against Ulster last week, in particular the performance over the last 50 minutes. It's imperative that we back that up against Edinburgh on Saturday," head coach Gregor Townsend told glasgowwarriors.org.

"Edinburgh are a really physical side who have beaten Leinster, Munster and Ospreys this season, so we know we're facing a strong challenge.

"Every game we play just now has added importance and although we've put ourselves in a good position in the league, there is a lot of rugby still to be played.

"Focus and accuracy will be key elements in order to build on our momentum on Saturday night - and if we're to secure vital league points and retain the 1872 Cup.

"Everyone has had to wait a while for this game but it should be a fantastic occasion and we're all really looking forward to it."

Meanwhile, Edinburgh welcome the return of captain Greig Laidlaw to the starting line-up after his six-week break following the Six Nations has run its course.

The club can also call on forward trio Grant Gilchrist, Izak van der Westhuizen and Alasdair Dickinson, who were unavailable to play last Saturday through injury.

The remaining two squad changes sees back-row Cornell Du Preez return to the starting line-up and stand-off Piers Francis return from a long-term foot injury to replace the injured Harry Leonard (knee) on the bench.

"I think this is a fantastic way for Greig [Laidlaw] to finish his time with Edinburgh Rugby, first to lead the side against Glasgow in this derby match, then again against Munster in our last home game of the season and then away against a top European side like Leinster," said Edinburgh head coach Alan Solomons.

"He will add a lot of value to the team with his experience and leadership and, while your first game back is always tough, he has a good temperament, is a good player, and is the kind of individual that will give a good account of himself."

Form: This match was postponed due to a waterlogged pitch on New Year's Day. A Glasgow Warriors victory would see them climb from 4th to 2nd spot in the RaboDirect PRO12 table with just two rounds of the regular season to go. The Warriors have won their last five PRO12 encounters since their 28-25 defeat to Leinster at the RDS on 1st March. Glasgow have also won their last five contests at Scotstoun in all competitions since Toulon beat them there in the European Cup on 18th January. Edinburgh Rugby have won only one of their last five PRO12 fixtures: 23-19 over Newport Gwent Dragons at Rodney Parade on 3rd April - their only away win in the tournament this season. Glasgow have won their last four matches against Edinburgh since the 23-all draw at Murrayfield on Boxing Day 2011. Edinburgh have visited Scotstoun just once before, losing 23-14 in the PRO12 on 21st December 2012.

The teams:

Glasgow: 15 Peter Murchie, 14 Sean Maitland, 13 Mark Bennett, 12 Finn Russell, 11 Tommy Seymour, 10 Ruaridh Jackson, 9 Chris Cusiter, 8 Josh Strauss, 7 Chris Fusaro, 6 Rob Harley, 5 Al Kellock (capt), 4 Jonny Gray, 3 Jon Welsh, 2 Dougie Hall, 1 Ryan Grant.
Replacements: 16 Pat MacArthur, 17 Jerry Yanuyanutawa, 18 Moray Low, 19 Leone Nakarawa, 20 Ryan Wilson, 21 Niko Matawalu, 22 Duncan Weir, 23 Richie Vernon.

Edinburgh: 15 Jack Cuthbert, 14 Tom Brown, 13 Matt Scott, 12 Andries Strauss, 11 Tim Visser, 10 Carl Bezuidenhout, 9 Greig Laidlaw (capt), 8 David Denton, 7 Cornell Du Preez, 6 Mike Coman, 5 Izak van der Westhuizen, 4 Grant Gilchrist, 3 Willem Nel, 2 Ross Ford, 1 Alasdair Dickinson.
Replacements: 16 James Hilterbrand, 17 Wicus Blaauw, 18 Simon Berghan, 19 Ben Toolis, 20 Tomas Leonardi, 21 Grayson Hart, 22 Piers Francis, 23 Sam Beard.

Date: Saturday, April 25
Kick-off: 19:05 BST
Venue: Scotstoun Stadium
Referee: Mathieu Raynal (France)
Assistant referees: Neil Paterson (Scotland), Graeme Marshall (Scotland)
Television match official: Jim Yuille (Scotland)
Assessor: Gordon McMurray (Scotland)

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2Cardiff Blues614
3Exeter612
4Glasgow Warriors611