Edinburgh Rugby welcome the return of captain Greig Laidlaw to the starting line-up for this Saturday’s 1872 Cup derby decider with Glasgow Warriors at Scotstoun Stadium (kick-off 7.05pm) – live on BBC ALBA.
The club captain was given a six-week break following the recent RBS 6 Nations and comes back into the fold to lead the side for the decisive match and the competitive season run-in.
Edinburgh Rugby team v Glasgow Warriors
Scotstoun Stadium this Saturday (26 April, KO 7.05pm)
Live on BBC ALBA
The club 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 Cornell Du Preez return to the starting line-up and stand-off Piers Francis return from a long-term foot injury to replace the injured Harry Leonard (knee) 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.
Solomons added: “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.
“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.”
Captain Al Kellock has been named in the Glasgow Warriors side in the second row alongside Jonny Gray, making his first appearance since the 29-10 win over Benetton Treviso earlier this month.
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 fly-half to inside centre in place of the injured Peter Horne.
GLASGOW WARRIORS: 15 Peter Murchie; 14 Sean Maitland, 13 Mark Bennett, 12 Finn Russell, 11 Tommy Seymour; 10 Ruaridh Jackson, 9 Chris Cusiter; 1 Ryan Grant, 2 Dougie Hall, 3 Jon Welsh, 4 Jonny Gray, 5 Al Kellock CAPTAIN, 6 Rob Harley, 7 Chris Fusaro, 8 Josh Strauss. Substitutes: 16 Pat MacArthur, 17 Jerry Yanuyanutawa, 18 Moray Low, 19 Leone Nakarawa, 20 Ryan Wilson, 21 Niko Matawalu, 22 Duncan Weir, 23 Richie Vernon.
Tickets Saturday 26 April – Glasgow Warriors v Edinburgh Rugby, Scotstoun Stadium (kick-off 7.05pm)
Tickets Saturday 3 May – Edinburgh Rugby v Munster Rugby, Meggetland (kick-off 5pm) - BBC ALBA
Saturday 10 May – Leinster Rugby v Edinburgh Rugby, RDS (kick-off 6.30pm)