Glasgow Warriors and Edinburgh set for 1872 Cup decider
Glasgow Warriors and Edinburgh will battle it out at Scotstoun this evening to decide who will take home the 1872 Cup this season and claim crucial points in the Guinness PRO14 Rainbow Cup (live on Premier Sports 1, kick-off 8.15pm).
There will be three soon-to-be British & Irish Lions playing in the match, following yesterday's squad announcement.
Scotland international and newly selected British & Irish Lion, Zander Fagerson will become the latest Glasgow Warriors player to join the list of centurions, with the prop set to make his 100th appearance for the club.
The 25-year-old reaches the milestone six-and-a-half years after his professional debut against Benetton in October 2014, having since gone on to establish himself as one of the premier tight-heads in the northern hemisphere.
Fagerson is part of a starting XV showing five changes ahead of the visit of Edinburgh, as the Warriors look to reclaim the 1872 Cup for the first time since the 2016/17 campaign.
Fraser Brown reverts to hooker having started in the back-row last time out, joining Oli Kebble and Fagerson to form an all-international front-row.
Scott Cummings has recovered from an injury sustained on Scotland duty in the Guinness Six Nations to return in the second-row and he will link up with Rob Harley, who is set to make his 17th appearance of the 2020/21 season.
The back-row sees Thomas Gordon return at open-side flanker having shaken off the knock that saw him miss the trip to Benetton, as Fotu Lokotui and Ryan Wilson complete the pack.
Behind the scrum, Ali Price, who was also named in the British & Irish Lions squad yesterday, is promoted from the bench to start at scrum-half.
Ross Thompson will be looking to replicate his form from his previous meeting with Edinburgh in the number 10 jersey, while Stafford McDowall will make his first start since November’s visit to Ulster after being named at inside centre, forming a midfield partnership with Nick Grigg.
Scotland international Kyle Steyn retains his place on the wing after returning from long-term injury last time out, starting alongside Ratu Tagive and Cole Forbes – fresh from scoring his first try in Glasgow colours – in the back three.
Pete Horne makes a welcome return to the matchday 23 after being named amongst the replacements, with Glasgow’s most-capped back having been out of action since December’s clash with Exeter at Sandy Park.
Brother George will also be primed to make an impact from the bench, whilst namesake George Turner also rotates to the replacements for tomorrow night’s fixture.
Having made his Glasgow Warriors debut in Treviso, Tom Lambert will look to make his first appearance at Scotstoun as he joins Enrique Pieretto as the replacement props. Richie Gray is selected in the 19 jersey, with Kiran McDonald returning the matchday squad after missing the visits to Montpellier and Benetton.
The bench is completed by Niko Matawalu, the Fijian having scored on his previous outing at Scotstoun against Benetton at the end of March.
Edinburgh Head Coach Richard Cockerill has made nine changes to the young group that defeated Zebre at BT Murrayfield a fortnight ago, with a host of the club’s international stars coming back into the fold.
Wing Duhan van der Merwe, fresh from being named in the British & Irish Lions squad, and centre Mark Bennett return to the outside backs in place of Blair Kinghorn and Matt Currie, who are unavailable on compassionate grounds and injury, respectively. Damien Hoyland moves to full-back.
Scrum-half Henry Pyrgos also comes in to start his 50th club appearances against his old club alongside 21-year-old stand-off Nathan Chamberlain, with the reselected centre George Taylor and Fijian wing Eroni Sau completing the back division.
Charlie Shiel (scrum-half), Charlie Savala (stand-off) and James Johnstone (centre) are the backs replacements on the bench.
The pack sees the most change with Pierre Schoeman, David Cherry and WP Nel replacing the starting front-row.
Props Boan Venter and Lee-Roy Atalifo move to the bench, where they are joined by club centurion Stuart McInally who last featured in the same fixture in January.
Fellow centurion Grant Gilchrist is another coming back to bolster the side and partners the reselected Jamie Hodgson, with 21-year-old lock Marshall Sykes earning a place on the bench.
Luke Crosbie’s try-scoring, player-of-the-match winning feats as skipper against Zebre are rewarded with his reinstatement in the back-row alongside Jamie Ritchie and Viliame Mata, who come in to complete the loose trio and the side, with Mesu Kunavula joining the replacements.
Glasgow Warriors team:1. Oli Kebble, 2. Fraser Brown, 3. Zander Fagerson, 4. Rob Harley, 5. Scott Cummings, 6. Fotu Lokotui, 7. Thomas Gordon, 8. Ryan Wilson (C), 9. Ali Price, 10. Ross Thompson, 11. Kyle Steyn, 12. Stafford McDowall, 13. Nick Grigg, 14. Ratu Tagive, 15. Cole Forbes.
Replacements:16. George Turner, 17. Tom Lambert, 18. Enrique Pieretto, 19. Richie Gray, 20. Kiran McDonald, 21. George Horne, 22. Pete Horne, 23. Niko Matawalu.
Edinburgh team: 1. Pierre Schoeman (CC), 2. David Cherry, 3. WP Nel, 4. Jamie Hodgson, 5. Grant Gilchrist (CC), 6. Jamie Ritchie, 7. Luke Crosbie, 8. Viliame Mata, 9. Henry Pyrgos, 10. Nathan Chamberlain, 11. Duhan van der Merwe, 12. George Taylor, 13. Mark Bennett, 14. Eroni Sau, 15. Damien Hoyland.
Replacements: 16. Stuart McInally, 17. Boan Venter, 18.Lee-Roy Atalifo, 19. Marshall Sykes, 20. Mesu Kunavula, 21. Charlie Shiel, 22. Charlie Savala, 23. James Johnstone.