Scottish old-firm derby
Thu, 24 Apr 2014 09:57
Fighting for a home semi-final
Edinburgh face off against Glasgow in one of the biggest derbies in the Pro12 as the two teams look to secure the 1872 cup as well as valuable log points.
Both of these Scottish team welcome back their respective captains, Greig Laidlaw returns for Edinburgh while Al Kellock returns to the second-row for Glasgow.
Laidlaw was given a six-week break following the recent Six Nations and comes back into the fold to lead the side for the decisive match.
Edinburgh 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 forward Cornell Du Preez return to the starting line-up and flyhalf Piers Francis return from a long-term foot injury to replace the injured Harry Leonard on the bench.
Edinburgh Rugby head coach, Alan Solomons, said: "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.
"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.”
While challenging for Pro12 points is the priority for the visitors, the Warriors edge the aggregate 1872 Cup encounter following their 20-16 Boxing Day win at Murrayfield Stadium.
The visitors therefore need not only to win, but win by five points, if they are to prise the silverware from the west this weekend, as an aggregate draw would see it retained by the hosts.
"They [Glasgow] are good side and have generated a lot of confidence in the last few weeks with a lot of fantastic wins, including beating Munster away and Ulster at home," Solomons added
"They are fighting for a home semi-final in the Pro12 and will come out all guns blazing, let alone that this is a derby.
"There's 140 years of tradition in this match, so there's no doubt it's a game for which our players are always excited and look forward to.
"We will give absolutely everything to ensure we produce a good performance.”
Glasgow captain Al Kellock has been named in the Glasgow Warriors side to play Edinburgh.
Kellock returns to the second row alongside Jonny Gray, making his first appearance since the 29-10 win over Benetton Treviso earlier this month.
A win for Glasgow on Saturday would see them move from 4th to 2nd in the Pro12, with just two rounds of the regular season remaining.
Peter Murchie continues at full-back and Tommy Seymour and Sean Maitland line up on either wing.
Mark Bennett keeps his place at outside centre following his man of the match performance against Ulster last week and Finn Russell switches from flyhalf to inside centre in place of the injured Peter Horne.
Ruaridh Jackson comes in at flyhalf and Chris Cusiter continues at scrum-half.
There are three changes in the pack following last week's win over Ulster.
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 No.8 and Ryan Wilson named among the replacements.
Glasgow Warriors head coach Gregor Townsend said:"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.
"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.”
Edinburgh: 15 Jack Cuthbert, 14 Tom Brown, 13 Matt Scott, 12 Andries Strauss, 11 Tim Visser, 10 Carl Bezuidenhout, 9 Greig Laidlaw (captain)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.
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 (captain), 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.
Date: Saturday, April 26
Venue: Scotstoun Stadium
Kick-off: 19.05 (18.05 GMT)
Referee: Mathieu Raynal
Assistant Referees: Neil Paterson, Graeme Marshall
TMO: Jim Yuille (SRU)
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