Teams announced for landmark European weekend
Edinburgh Rugby and Glasgow Warriors today announced their teams for what could comfortably be billed as most eagerly-anticipated weekend of Heineken Champions Cup rugby for Scottish supporters.
The Scottish clubs have progressed to the quarter-finals three times before – Edinburgh twice in 2004 and 2012, and Glasgow once in 2017 – but never before have they featured together as two of the last eight.
Edinburgh get the weekend underway in the first fixture tomorrow at BT Murrayfield Stadium against two-time champions, Munster (kick-off 12.45pm) in front of what could be a record crowd to threaten the 38,000 record of 2012, with Glasgow following at 3.15pm (available to watch in the west stand fan zone after the Edinburgh game) against Saracens in London.
Typically, both sides boast a host of Scotland internationalists, with several stand-out performers in the recent Six Nations championship lining up for their club sides this weekend.
EDINBURGH selection news
Kick-off 12.45pm – live on Channel 4 and BT Sport
Fellow Scotland internationalists Grant Gilchrist and Damien Hoyland start at lock and wing respectively, while Chris Dean is named in the centre.
Duhan van der Merwe starts on the other wing, with Scotland internationalist Darcy Graham moving to full-back.
Dean’s return to the midfield sees him strike up the familiar partnership with James Johnstone in midfield, while scrum-half Henry Pyrgos and Jaco van der Walt continue at half-back.
The inclusion of McInally at hooker is the only alteration to an otherwise unchanged front-row as the skipper packs down alongside tighthead Willem Nel and loosehead Pierre Schoeman.
Gilchrist – one three players in the 23 that faced Toulouse in the 2012 quarter-final (McInally and Ford the others), returns at lock alongside fellow club centurion, Ben Toolis.
An unchanged back-row sees John Barclay and Hamish Watson continue at blindside and openside flanker respectively, with Fijian internationalist Viliame Mata once again named at number 8.
GLASGOW selection news
Kick-off 3.15pm – live on BT Sport
He’s join in the back-three by Kyle Steyn – who scored his first try for the club in last weekend’s win over the Cheetahs – with Rory Hughes on the other wing.
Centre Sam Johnson returns from international duty to start at inside-centre with 21-year-old Stafford McDowall, with returning scrum-half Ali Price combining with stand-off Adam Hastings.
The pack is unchanged so hooker Fraser Brown packs down with loosehead Oli Kebble and tighthead Zander Fagerson, with Tim Swinson and Scott Cummings in the second-row and back-row of Rob Harley, Callum Gibbins and Matt Fagerson.