Preview: Edinburgh v Glasgow

Date published: January 1 2015

Edinburgh will seek revenge for last week’s 1872 Cup defeat to Glasgow when they host the return leg at Murrayfield on Friday.

Glasgow won 16-6 at Scotstoun on Saturday but Edinburgh will look to extend their five-game winning run on home soil.

There are just two changes to the Edinburgh starting XV for deciding leg of the festive double-header.

While the forward pack remains unchanged, Tim Visser returns on the left wing in place of Tom Brown and Phil Burleigh replaces Andries Strauss to partner Matt Scott in the centre.

Returning from a broken jaw sustained in October’s European Cup win over Lyon, flanker Hamish Watson comes on to the bench, with scrum-half Sean Kennedy and centre Sam Beard the only other changes to the replacements from last week’s 23.

A tightly fought encounter at Scotstoun last Saturday saw the home side take the win in front of a 6945 crowd. With sales seeing an attendance already well into five figures for Friday’s return leg, Edinburgh will be anticipating that a great home support cheers them on to redress the balance. It’s all to play for.

“We are all looking forward to playing at home. The support of our fans will act as a spur in the task that lies ahead of us,” said Head coach Alan Solomons.

Glasgow Warriors welcome back a number of players who were rested last week, including Tommy Seymour, Finn Russell, Gordon Reid, Jonny Gray and Fraser Brown.

Peter Murchie replaces Stuart Hogg at full-back, with Hogg named among the replacements, while Sean Maitland comes in for Sean Lamont on the right wing and Seymour replaces DTH van der Merwe on the opposite side.

Alex Dunbar and Peter Horne continue their centre partnership, while Russell comes in for Duncan Weir at fly-half and Fijian scrum-half Niko Matawalu replaces Henry Pyrgos, who is rested after being involved in the last five games.

It’s an all-new front-row with Gordon Reid and Jon Welsh coming in for Ryan Grant and Euan Murray at loose-head and tight-head respectively.

Jonny Gray replaces the rested Tim Swinson in the second-row, while Al Kellock continues to captain the side from the engine room, after his man of the match performance last weekend.

The only change in the back-row sees Tyrone Holmes come in for the injured Rob Harley at open-side, with Ryan Wilson continuing on the blind-side and Josh Strauss once again at Number eight.

Included on the bench is scrum-half Ali Price, who could make his second competitive appearance for the Warriors, while Fraser Brown and Alex Allan could come on to face their former club.

“It’s great that we’re able welcome back some players who were rested last weekend and this allows us to freshen up the squad,” said Glasgow Warriors head coach Gregor Townsend.

“A number of players have earned the opportunity to play in this fixture and we’ll need to play better tomorrow night if we’re to come away with a positive result.

“We’ve enjoyed playing at BT Murrayfield over the last few seasons and the pitch looks in great condition, so we’re all really looking forward to this game.”

More to follow…

Form: Edinburgh Rugby’s three game winning run in all tournaments ended at Scotstoun on Saturday in the first leg of the 1872 Cup clash. Edinburgh have won their last five encounters at Murrayfield in all tournaments since drawing there 20-20 with Scarlets in the Guinness PRO12 on 26th September. Glasgow Warriors’ last six matches in the PRO12 have all been won by the home side on the day, whilst their most recent away win in the tournament came on a trip to Treviso on 5th October. The Warriors have lost only one of their last eleven encounters with their fiercest rivals and have been defeated at Murrayfield just once since 2008: 17-28 on this day four years ago. Glasgow take a 10 point lead into the second leg of the 1872 Cup that Edinburgh last held in season 2008/09.

The teams:

Edinburgh: 15 Jack Cuthbert, 14 Dougie Fife, 13 Matt Scott, 12 Phil Burleigh, 11 Tim Visser, 10 Greig Tonks, 9 Sam Hidalgo-Clyne, 8 David Denton, 7 Roddy Grant, 6 Mike Coman (c), 5 Ben Toolis, 4 Anton Bresler, 3 John Andress, 2 Ross Ford, 1 Alasdair Dickinson.
Replacements: 16 Neil Cochrane, 17 Rory Sutherland, 18 Willem Nel, 19 Fraser McKenzie, 20 Hamish Watson, 21 Sean Kennedy, 22 Tom Heathcote, 23 Sam Beard.

Glasgow Warriors : 15 Peter Murchie, 14 Sean Maitland, 13 Alex Dunbar, 12 Peter Horne, 11 Tommy Seymour, 10 Finn Russell, 9 Niko Matawalu, 8 Josh Strauss, 7 Tyrone Holmes, 6 Ryan Wilson, 5 Al Kellock (c) 4 Jonny Gray, 3 Jon Welsh, 2 Dougie Hall, 1 Gordon Reid.
Replacements: 16 Fraser Brown, 17 Alex Allan, 18 Euan Murray, 19 Leone Nakarawa, 20 James Eddie, 21 Ali Price, 22 Richie Vernon, 23 Stuart Hogg.

Date: Friday, 2 January
Venue: Murrayfield
Kick-off: 19.35 GMT
Referee: Nigel Owens (WRU)
Assistant referees: Sam Grove-White, Peter Allan (both SRU)