Preview: Edinburgh v Glasgow Warriors, 1872 Cup

Date published: December 22 2016

Tom Brown is set to become Edinburgh’s 25th cap centurion as he takes to the field for the first leg of this season’s 1872 Cup against Glasgow at Murrayfield on Monday.

The Scotland cap debuted for the club against Leinster at the national stadium in 2010 and has amassed 85 points through 17 tries wearing black and red. 

It could also be a landmark day for scrum-half Sean Kennedy, as he will make his 50th Edinburgh Rugby appearance if called upon from the bench.

On Monday Brown and Kennedy will feature in a settled squad with acting head coach Duncan Hodge naming four personnel changes to his starting team to face Edinburgh’s west coast rivals.

In the backline, Phil Burleigh returns to the starting lineup at centre following a short suspension, while Duncan Weir will face his former club donning the number ten shirt.

Grant Gilchrist returns to the matchday squad to pack down at lock and captain the side, with Magnus Bradbury given the nod to start on the blindside flank prompting a switch for Cornell Du Preez, who is named at number eight.

Hodge said: “A huge congratulations to Tom on reaching the 100 cap landmark, which is testament to his contribution to the club on and off the field.

“There is no extra motivation needed for Monday’s game as we take on our oldest rivals, Glasgow, in a derby match.

“We’re looking forward to getting back to league duties and absorbing the challenge the opposition will pose. We know what to expect, and we’ll need to match them in all areas of the game if we’re to come out on top.

“We’ve named a settled side with a good blend of youth and experience, and everyone involved is excited to get out there in front of our home fans and put in a performance.”

Blair Kinghorn and Damien Hoyland join Brown in an unchanged back-three, while Chris Dean moves from inside to outside centre to accommodate for the incoming Burleigh. Fly-half Weir is partnered by Sam Hidalgo-Clyne at scrum-half.

Alasdair Dickinson and Simon Berghan are set to prop either side of Ross Ford, while Ben Toolis retains his spot in the second row, where he is joined by Gilchrist.

Hamish Watson completes the back row alongside Bradbury and Du Preez.

Meanwhile, Junior Bulumakau has been handed his first start of the season, when the Warriors travel to Murrayfield to play Edinburgh.

The winger, who came off the bench to score a try in the defeat to the Ospreys at Scotstoun last month, replaces Tommy Seymour in the back three.

Stuart Hogg continues at full-back, while Alex Dunbar moves to inside centre and Mark Bennett comes in for Sam Johnson in the midfield.

Lee Jones once again starts on the left wing to face his former club. Finn Russell will wear the number ten shirt following back-to-back Man of the Match performances against Racing 92.

Co-captain Henry Pyrgos comes into the starting XV in place of Ali Price, who is named on the bench.

Alex Allan replaces Gordon Reid at loosehead, with Fraser Brown and Zander Fagerson continuing at tighthead and hooker respectively.

Brian Alainu'uese comes in for Tim Swinson in the engine room and links up with co-captain Jonny Gray. Rob Harley and Josh Strauss continue in the back row, while Simone Favaro returns to the side in place of Ryan Wilson.

Fresh from signing a new two-year deal this week, Adam Ashe could make his first appearance in a Glasgow Warriors shirt since May after recovering from injury.

Glasgow Warriors head coach Gregor Townsend said: “We always look forward to the 1872 Cup matches and Monday’s game will be a special occasion.

“We’re expecting a really tough match and we have been working hard to improve this week and deliver our best performance of the season at Murrayfield." 

Form: Edinburgh have secured just two victories in the last eight rounds of the PRO12, both at home to Treviso on October 7 and Ulster on November 4, whilst their only defeat in any tournament at Murrayfield since Duncan Hodge took over as head coach was to Zebre in Round 7. Glasgow Warriors beat Racing 92 home and away to retain their spot at the top of Pool 1 of the Champions Cup, however in the PRO12 they have slipped to three straight defeats but have not lost four in a row in the championship since 2011. Edinburgh hold the 1872 Cup following three straight wins over their fiercest rivals with all those games being played at Murrayfield. Warriors have not won at the famous old venue since Boxing Day 2013. 

The teams:

Edinburgh: 15 Blair Kinghorn, 14 Damien Hoyland, 13 Chris Dean, 12 Phil Burleigh, 11 Tom Brown, 10 Duncan Weir, 9 Sam Hidalgo-Clyne, 8 Cornell Du Preez, 7 Hamish Watson, 6 Magnus Bradbury, 5 Grant Gilchrist (c), 4 Ben Toolis, 3 Simon Berghan, 2 Ross Ford, 1 Alasdair Dickinson
Replacements: 16 Stuart McInally, 17 Allan Dell, 18 Murray McCallum, 19 Fraser McKenzie, 20 Viliame Mata, 21 Sean Kennedy, 22 Jason Tovey, 23 Glenn Bryce

Glasgow Warriors: 15 Stuart Hogg, 14 Junior Bulumakau, 13 Mark Bennett, 12 Alex Dunbar, 11 Lee Jones, 10 Finn Russell, 9 Henry Pyrgos (cc), 8 Josh Strauss, 7 Simone Favaro, 6 Rob Harley, 5 Jonny Gray (cc), 4 Brian Alainu'uese, 3 Zander Fagerson, 2 Fraser Brown,1 Alex Allan (36)
Replacements: 16 Pat MacArthur, 17 Ryan Grant, 18 Sila Puafisi, 19 Adam Ashe, 20 Chris Fusaro, 21 Ali Price, 22 Nick Grigg, 23 Sean Lamont

Date: Monday, December 26
Venue: Murrayfield
Kick-off: 16:05 GMT
Referee: Ian Davies (Wales)
Assistant Referees: Mike Adamson (Scotland), Sam Grove-White (Scotland)
TMO: Jim Yuille (Scotland)