Edinburgh & Glasgow Ready For Big Magners League Kick-Off

Edinburgh and Glasgow coaches Andy Robinson and Sean Lineen are looking to improve on last season's best ever finish for the Scottish pro-teams and it all starts tonight when the 2008/09 Magners League season kicks-off with Edinburgh at home to Munster and Glasgow away to the Dragons.Edinburgh and Glasgow coaches Andy Robinson and Sean Lineen are looking to improve on last season's best ever finish for the Scottish pro-teams and it all starts tonight when the 2008/09 Magners League season kicks-off with Edinburgh at home to Munster and Glasgow away to the Dragons.

With Edinburgh hosting European champions Munster at Murrayfield, Robinson stresses that anything less than a victory will make the pre-season friendly wins over London Wasps and Bath seem pointless.

After recording wins over English champions, Wasps and European Challenge Cup holders, Bath, the mood in the Edinburgh squad is buoyant.

But head coach Robinson is adamant that his players must hit the ground running against Munster and continue the level of performance shown during the warm-up matches.

Robinson said: "It is important on the back of all our pre-season work that we win at the weekend.

"A loss this weekend would make the pre-season friendly results pointless. So it is important that the guys who do have the experience and the talent really deliver.

"We are now facing our biggest test of the year so far because we are facing Munster."

Meanwhile, the Warriors start their Magners League campaign away to the Dragons who they will also face in the Heineken Cup this year.

Lock Tim Barker and Scotland A scrum-half Mark McMillan have both returned to the club following brief spells elsewhere.

Although a major part of McMillan's decision to return to Scotland was to be under the nose of national coach Frank Hadden, he also wants to add a Magners League winner's medal to his tally as it's the only one he doesn't have in order to complete the set (he won the Heineken Cup, Guinness Premiership and the EDF Energy Cup in his time with Wasps.

McMillan said: "I've been very impressed with the changes in both the Glasgow set-up and the level of competition in the Magners League.

_x001C_It's going to be fantastic to be part of the team again but it'll also be a tough first game. We've got the Dragons in Europe as well this year so whoever wins on Friday night will have the upper hand not only in our own League battle but our European one also."

Barker added: _x001C_I really enjoyed my previous spell with Glasgow but there's now a greater degree of ambition and anticipation around the squad. The Magners League is now the most closely fought professional league in the world so it's an exciting competition to be involved in._x001D_

Edinburgh Rugby Club team to play Munster: Hugo Southwell; Chris Paterson, Calum MacRae, Nick De Luca, Simon Webster; Phil Godman, Mike Blair CAPTAIN; Allan Jacobsen, Ross Ford, Geoff Cross, Craig Hamilton, Ben Gissing, Matt Mustchin, Alan MacDonald, Allister Hogg
Substitutes: Andrew Kelly, Gavin Kerr, Scott Newlands, David Callam, Greig Laidlaw, Mark Robertson, Andrew Turnbull

Glasgow Warriors team to play Newport Gwent Dragons: Bernardo Stortoni; Lome Fa'atau, Max Evans, Graeme Morrison, Thom Evans; Dan Parks, Mark McMillan; Justin Va'a, Dougie Hall, Moray Low, Tim Barker, Alastair Kellock CAPTAIN, Kelly Brown, John Barclay, Johnnie Beattie
Substitutes: Eric Milligan, Kevin Tkachuk, Opeta Palepoi, Stevie Swindall, Colin Gregor, Andrew Henderson, Ruaridh Jackson

Can't get to Murrayfield for tonight's Edinburgh v Munster Magners League opener?

Don't despair you can catch all the action on BBC Radio Scotland on their Friday night rugby show hosted by John Beattie with commentary from Bill Johnstone and Gary Parker.

Tune in from 7.30pm by CLICKING HERE