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Preview: Glasgow v Edinburgh

31st December 2013 09:13

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Sean Lamont Glasgow 2012

Sean Lamont: On the wing for Glasgow

Sean Lamont returns to Glasgow's starting XV for the second leg of the 1872 Cup derby with Edinburgh at Scotstoun on New Year's Day.

Lamont, who has been out of action since November with an ankle injury, comes in on the left wing.

Stuart Hogg starts at full-back, with Sean Maitland occupying the right wing berth.

Byron McGuigan and Alex Dunbar form a new centre partnership, while Ruaridh Jackson and Henry Pyrgos come into the side at fly-half and scrum-half respectively.

In the forwards Ryan Grant continues at loosehead, with Dougie Hall coming in for Pat MacArthur at hooker and Ed Kalman replacing Jon Welsh at tighthead.

After starting last week's 20-16 victory over Edinburgh at Murrayfield, Tim Swinson and Tom Ryder once again combine in the second row.

In the back-row Rob Harley continues on the blindside, Chris Fusaro comes in at openside and captains the side, while Josh Strauss replaces Ryan Wilson at number eight.

Glasgow Warriors head coach Gregor Townsend said: "Edinburgh played really well against us last week and we know we face another tough game tomorrow night.

"These fixtures against our oldest rivals are the most anticipated games of the season. We are playing for a trophy and also valuable league points.

"I believe it's important to give players the opportunity to be involved in such an important series of games for the club.

"I expect those selected to deliver an 80-minute performance full of physicality, discipline and emotional control. That's what will be required to go on and retain the 1872 Cup."

Meanwhile, Edinburgh boss Alan Solomons has made one change to his starting XV.

Scotland prop Alasdair Dickinson returns from last week's rotated rest break to start the match, with Wicus Blaauw moving to the replacements' bench.

"I think Wicus [Blaauw] did very well and the more he has played the better he has got, but Ally [Dickinson] has been in a rich vein of form and we welcome him back to start the match," said Solomons.

"I think we can take heart from the fact that we were in the driving seat for much of last week's match however we failed to capitalise on some clear opportunities. Conversely, Glasgow took their chances.

"We know going to Glasgow is not going to be easy. They are on their home turf and are obviously in a strong position having taken the lead last week.

"We know it's going to be a tremendous challenge but the whole team is looking forward to it.

"Derbies are important games and the 1872 Cup has to be valued.

"It has a rich history and tradition but at the same time one cannot lose sight of the fact that it is a competitive match in the RaboDirect PRO12.

"That does not create a deflection of focus for us. It is an important game for two very good reasons."

Form: Their victory in the reverse of this fixture at Murrayfield on Boxing Day means that Glasgow Warriors last seven games in the RaboDirect PRO12 have all been won by the away side on the day. The Warriors have slipped to defeat in their last three fixtures at Scotstoun in all tournaments since beating Exeter there in the European Cup on October 20. Edinburgh begin the first of four successive away games in the PR012, having won just once on the road in the tournament since December 2012: 9-7 at Zebre in March. Edinburgh have won only one of their last ten contests with Glasgow since 2008: 28-17 at Murrayfield on January 2, 2011. Edinburgh's most recent victory on Glasgow soil was 25-16 at Hughenden on December 27, 2003.

The teams:

Glasgow: 15 Stuart Hogg, 14 Sean Maitland, 13 Byron McGuigan, 12 Alex Dunbar, 11 Sean Lamont, 10 Ruaridh Jackson, 9 Henry Pyrgos, 8 Josh Strauss, 7 Chris Fusaro (c), 6 Rob Harley, 5 Tom Ryder, 4 Tim Swinson, 3 Ed Kalman, 2 Dougie Hall, 1 Ryan Grant.
Replacements: 16 Pat MacArthur, 17 Jerry Yanuyanutawa, 18 Jon Welsh, 19 Leone Nakarawa, 20 James Eddie, 21 Ryan Wilson, 22 Niko Matawalu, 23 Duncan Weir.

Edinburgh: 15 Jack Cuthbert, 14 Dougie Fife, 13 Nick De Luca, 12 Ben Atiga, 11 Tom Brown, 10 Greig Tonks, 9 Greig Laidlaw (c), 8 Dave Denton, 7 Roddy Grant, 6 Cornell du Preez, 5 Ollie Atkins, 4 Grant Gilchrist, 3 WP Nel, 2 Ross Ford, 1 Alasdair Dickinson.
Replacements: 16 Aleki Lutui, 17 Wicus Blaauw, 18 Geoff Cross, 19 Izak van der Westhuizen, 2 Mike Coman, 21 Grayson Hart, 22 Tony Fenner, 23 Sam Beard.

Date: Wednesday, January 1
Kick-off: 18:05 GMT
Venue: Scotstoun Stadium
Referee: Andrew McMenemy
Assistant referees: Peter Allan, Graeme Marshall
Television match official: Iain Ramage
Assessor: Jim Fleming

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