Preview: Glasgow v Edinburgh

Date published: December 26 2014

Captain Al Kellock returns to the Glasgow Warriors starting line-up for Saturday’s 1872 Cup first leg with Edinburgh at Scotstoun Stadium.

The skipper will make his 147th appearance for the club in front of a capacity crowd, with crucial Guinness PRO12 points up for grabs.

In the backline Stuart Hogg returns from injury and replaces Peter Murchie at full-back and fit-again Alex Dunbar comes in for Richie Vernon at outside centre.

Peter Horne continues at inside centre, Duncan Weir replaces Finn Russell at fly-half and Henry Pyrgos starts ahead of Niko Matawalu at scrum-half.

Sean Lamont and DTH van der Merwe are once again named on either wing, with Lamont set to make his 100th PRO12 appearance on Saturday.

Ryan Grant and Pat MacArthur come in for Gordon Reid and Fraser Brown at loosehead and hooker respectively, while Euan Murray continues at tighthead.

In the second-row Kellock replaces Leone Nakarawa and Tim Swinson comes in for Jonny Gray.

Rob Harley once again moves to the openside, with Ryan Wilson coming in at blindside flanker and Josh Strauss continuing at number eight.

Former Edinburgh players Dougie Hall and Alex Allan are named amongst the replacements, while Sean Maitland is also named on the bench, after recovering from injury.

Meanwhile, following last Friday’s 48-0 win over Treviso, head coach Alan Solomons has made minimal changes to his Edinburgh side for Saturday’s festive derby opener.

Winger Tom Brown comes into the starting XV as Tim Visser is rested.

In the pack, Ross Ford returns from injury as well as Anton Bresler who has recovered from the ear infection that kept him out of the Treviso match.

Meanwhile another of the casualties of Edinburgh’s October European Cup win over Lyon, Phil Burleigh, returns to the 23 where he’s named on the bench.

Retaining his berth from last week, Dougie Fife will lead the team out as he celebrates his 50th cap for the club.

Form: Glasgow Warriors’ only loss in their last four Guinness PRO12 encounters was 9-19 at the Scarlets in round 8. The Warriors have won their last 13 PRO12 matches at Scotstoun since Dragons won there in November 2013. Edinburgh have won their last three matches in all tournaments but have not put together a sequence of four successive victories since September 2009. Edinburgh have won just one of their last eight away games in the PRO12: 14-13 in Munster in round 1 this season. Glasgow Warriors have lost only one of their last ten encounters with their fiercest rivals: 17-28 at Murrayfield 2nd January 2011. The Warriors have held on to the 1872 Cup since winning it in season 2009/10. Edinburgh have lost on both their previous visits to Scotstoun.

The teams:

Glasgow: 15 Stuart Hogg, 14 Sean Lamont, 13 Alex Dunbar, 12 Peter Horne, 11 DTH van der Merwe, 10 Duncan Weir, 9 Henry Pyrgos, 8 Josh Strauss, 7 Rob Harley, 6 Ryan Wilson, 5 Al Kellock (c), 4 Tim Swinson, 3 Euan Murray, 2 Pat MacArthur, 1 Ryan Grant.
Replacements: 16 Dougie Hall, 17 Alex Allan, 18 Jon Welsh, 19 Leone Nakarawa, 20 Tyrone Holmes, 21 Niko Matawalu, 22 Richie Vernon, 23 Sean Maitland.

Edinburgh: 15 Jack Cuthbert, 14 Dougie Fife, 13 Matt Scott, 12 Andries Strauss, 11 Tom Brown, 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 Stuart McInally, 21 Grayson Hart, 22 Tom Heathcote, 23 Phil Burleigh.

Date: Saturday, December 27
Kick-off: 14:40 GMT
Venue: Scotstoun Stadium
Referee: George Clancy (Ireland)
Assistant Referees: David Changleng, Bob Nevins (both SRU)
Citing Commissioner: Douglas Hunter (SRU)
TMO: Iain Ramage (SRU)