Match Preview: Edinburgh
One of the most eagerly-anticipated fixtures on the calendar awaits Glasgow Warriors this weekend, as cross-country rivals Edinburgh make the trip along the M8 to Scotstoun this Saturday.
In what will
be the first of three meetings this season, both teams will be looking to
strike the opening blow in the 1872 Cup as well as claim ever-valuable Guinness
marks a return to domestic action following a two-week break for Glasgow’s
Heineken Champions Cup double-header with La Rochelle, with Edinburgh doing the
double over Wasps in the European Challenge Cup.
With a host
of Scotland internationals set to line up for their respective clubs, the two
sides are more than familiar with each other as they prepare to lock horns once
the men from the capital are shaping up ahead of the match:
Cockerill’s side comes into the 1872 Cup opener sitting third in Guinness PRO14
Conference B, two points behind table-toppers Munster after seven rounds of
weekend dismissal of Zebre at BT Murrayfield was followed up by a hard-fought
19-11 victory against Cardiff Blues at Cardiff Arms Park, before coming unstuck
against Leinster at the RDS in round three.
A 46-7 home
win over Scarlets in round four looked to have put the capital outfit back on
track, and despite an 18-16 defeat to Benetton victory over the Dragons sent
Edinburgh into Challenge Cup action on a winning note.
win over Agen, a battling draw with Bordeaux at BT Murrayfield and the double
victory over Wasps – with a Guinness PRO14 win away to Munster thrown in for
good measure – saw Edinburgh put themselves in a strong position for a
quarter-final berth, as they head to Scotstoun in eye-catching form.
narrowly missing out on the Guinness PRO14 Final Series in 2018/19, a host of
players departed BT Murrayfield for pastures new at the end of the campaign.
loose-head Allan Dell made the move to London Irish in the English Premiership,
whilst Luke Hamilton and Nathan Fowles departed for Japanese side Red
Hurricanes and Ealing Trailfinders respectively.
club servant Ross Ford also bade farewell to playing action, as the former
Scotland and British and Irish Lions hooker hung up his boots for the final
and company recruited shrewdly over the summer, having set their sights on
challenging on both a domestic and European front.
arrived from Glasgow Warriors to fill the void left by Dell, with fellow
front-rower Mike Willemse and back-rower Nick Haining arriving from Southern
Kings and Bristol Bears.
Sau’s arrival from Perpignan and the capture of Nic Groom from the Lions also
bolstered the back-line, as Edinburgh hit the ground running in the new season.
A key focal
point for Edinburgh, Blair Kinghorn is capable of sparking an attack from
anywhere on the pitch. The rangy full-back has a frightening turn of pace in
addition to a canny kicking game, and at just 22 still has plenty of potential
Named as the
Guinness PRO14 Player’s Player of the Season in 2018/19, Viliame ‘Bill’ Mata
has fast become one of the most exciting players to watch in the competition.
The former Fiji 7s international helped his country to a first-ever Olympic
medal by winning gold at Rio 2016, with his offloading ability making him a
threat for any defence.
He’s a cult
hero for the capital side, and having recently extended his contract with the
club Pierre Schoeman is set to anchor the Edinburgh scrum for the foreseeable
future. The former Bulls loose-head also offers a dynamic ball-carrying option,
regularly getting his side over the gain-line.
all-Scottish officiating team will be headed up by Ben Blain on Saturday, as the
referee makes his fifth appearance in the Guinness PRO14.
Grove-White and Hollie Davidson will be the assistants, with Andrew McMenemy
serving as the TMO.
match – to be played in front of a sold-out Scotstoun – is live on Premier
Sports 1, kicking off at 5.45pm.
commentary is also available courtesy of BBC Radio Scotland, with live updates
through the club’s official Match Centre at glasgowwarriors.org.