An exciting Scottish derby looms as Edinburgh take on Glasgow Warriors at Murrayfield on Saturday.
Edinburgh are currently sitting pretty at the top of the B Conference with 47 points while Warriors occupy third position in the A Conference 34. The teams last encountered one another in Round 9, Edinburgh emerging victorious with a ten point cushion. If this last clash is anything to go by, fans can expect a fine display with some beautifully executed backline play stemming from a physical and competitive forward tussle.
With the destination of the 1872 Cup to be decided by the outcome of Saturday evening’s encounter, there could be some silverware to mark the occasion. Edinburgh are currently sitting pretty atop Conference B as the Guinness PRO14 prepares to resume, having claimed victory in 10 of their 13 matches to date so far this campaign. A statement-making 50-15 victory over Zebre eleven months ago set the tone for the season ahead, a Mark Bennett hat-trick the highlight on opening night.
The east coast outfit were on a five-match unbeaten streak in the Guinness PRO14 at the time of the competition’s suspension, with a hard-fought 14-6 win at home to Cardiff Blues Edinburgh’s last action before the six-month hiatus. Indeed you have to go back to December for Edinburgh’s last defeat in the competition, with the Warriors the last team to get the better of the Conference B leaders in Guinness PRO14 action.
It’s honours even for the 1872 Cup encounters in 2019/20 to date, with both sides having claimed victory in one leg of the December double-header. The Warriors drew first blood at Scotstoun before Christmas, as tries from Ali Price and George Turner gave the then-Dave Rennie-led Warriors a 20-16 victory over their cross-country rivals. A titanic tussle at BT Murrayfield the following weekend went the way of the capital outfit, as a brace of tries from Darcy Graham helped Edinburgh to even the series with a 29-19 win.
Andrew Davidson makes his Edinburgh Rugby debut against his former team as the capital club face Glasgow Warriors. The lock is one of two debutants named in the matchday 23 as former Scotland U20 stand-off Nathan Chamberlain is selected among the replacements.
Scotland star Stuart McInally skippers an Edinburgh line-up that includes nine internationalists in the starting XV. Blair Kinghorn is named at fullback with Eroni Sau and Duhan van der Merwe – who leads the league in clean breaks, defenders beaten and metres gained – selected on opposite wings.
Scotland international centre Mark Bennett links up with Chris Dean in midfield, while vice-captain and scrum-half, Nic Groom, is paired with stand-off Jaco van der Walt at half-back. An-all Scotland front-row sees captain McInally pack down alongside prop duo Rory Sutherland and WP Nel.
Debutant Davidson is joined in the second-row by 42-times capped Scotland lock, Grant Gilchrist. Fijian international Viliame Mata is named at No.8 with Luke Crosbie and Hamish Watson selected at blindside and openside flanker respectively.
Fraser Brown will lead the side out on Saturday evening after being named as one of the squad’s co-captains earlier this week, a year after skippering the Warriors to a 34-10 victory over Edinburgh at Scotstoun.
Oli Kebble and Zander Fagerson will pack down on either side of Brown in the front row,
An all-Scotland pairing of Scott Cummings and Richie Gray forms a formidable second-row partnership, the latter in line to make his first Glasgow Warriors appearance since 2012 after re-joining the club earlier this summer.
Matt Fagerson starts at openside flanker for the first time this season, with vastly-experienced duo Rob Harley and Ryan Wilson completing the back-row.
The backline sees Ali Price get the nod at scrum-half, as Adam Hastings lines up outside him in the number 10 jersey.
Pete Horne and Nick Grigg are paired together in the centres, with both men retaining their places in the starting XV from the club’s last outing back in February.
A try-scorer in Glasgow’s last fixture at BT Murrayfield, Huw Jones starts at full-back for the first time since joining the club in 2017, as Tommy Seymour and Ratu Tagive are selected to start on the wings.
View this post on Instagram