Match Preview – Edinburgh
Glasgow Warriors will take to the field for a competitive match for the first time in six months this weekend, as the Guinness PRO14 returns in style with the first of back-to-back clashes with Edinburgh.
fixtures to be hosted at BT Murrayfield due to government guidelines
surrounding COVID-19, it will be the Warriors who will be the designated home
side for rugby’s return in Scotland this weekend.
charge of his side for the first time will be Glasgow Warriors Head Coach Danny
Wilson, with the new boss joined by fellow summer additions Jonny Bell and
Kelly Brown in the coaching box.
the destination of the 1872 Cup to be decided by the outcome of Saturday
evening’s encounter, there could be some silverware to mark the occasion for
with Edinburgh still in the hunt for a home semi-final, no quarter will be
given as soon as that first whistle is blown.
the capital outfit are shaping up ahead of this weekend:
Cockerill’s men are currently sitting pretty atop Conference B as the Guinness
PRO14 prepares to resume, having claimed victory in 10 of their 13 matches to
date so far this campaign.
statement-making 50-15 victory over Zebre eleven months ago set the tone for
the season ahead, a Mark Bennett hat-trick the highlight on opening night.
coast outfit were on a five-match unbeaten streak in the Guinness PRO14 at the
time of the competition’s suspension, with a hard-fought 14-6 win at home to
Cardiff Blues Edinburgh’s last action before the six-month hiatus.
have to go back to December for Edinburgh’s last defeat in the competition, with
the Warriors the last team to get the better of the Conference B leaders in
Guinness PRO14 action.
A trio of
Scottish internationals headlined the departures from BT Murrayfield during the
Guinness PRO14’s suspension, boasting 239 Edinburgh appearances between them.
Scotland captain John Barclay subsequently announced his retirement from rugby
following the expiration of his contract, whilst Matt Scott and Dougie Fife joined
Leicester Tigers and New England Free Jacks respectively.
squad members Simon Hickey and Pietro Ceccarelli were also amongst those to
depart the capital over the summer, along with former Warrior Cammy Fenton.
A few new
faces arrived at BT Murrayfield once the green light was given to return to
training in line with government guidelines, including Scotland U20 duo Nathan
Chamberlain and Marshall Sykes.
Andrew Davidson made the journey along the M8 as he joined from Glasgow
Warriors, the former Scotland U20 cap adding to Edinburgh’s depth in the engine
also secured the signature of Matt Gordon over the summer, with the centre
making the journey north from London Scottish.
Nation will need no reminding of the threat posed by Edinburgh winger Duhan van
der Merwe ahead of rugby’s return on Saturday evening. The South African-born
flyer has been tearing it up on both the domestic and European front this
campaign, with seven tries in the Guinness PRO14 to date in 2019/20.
One of the
top openside flankers in the northern hemisphere, Hamish Watson will be looking
to make himself a nuisance to the Warriors at the breakdown on Saturday
evening. The 28-year-old – who made his 100th Edinburgh appearance
in against Glasgow last April – was in good form prior to the Guinness PRO14 suspension,
and will be looking to pick up where he left off when the whistle blows for
McInally will once again be looking to lead from the front for Richard
Cockerill’s side, as he packs down in the middle of the much-vaunted Edinburgh
front-row. The former back-row and qualified pilot offers a threat with both
ball in hand and at the breakdown, as well as being central to the Edinburgh
even for the 1872 Cup encounters in 2019/20 to date, with both sides having
claimed victory in one leg of the December double-header.
drew first blood at Scotstoun before Christmas, as tries from Ali Price and
George Turner gave the then-Dave Rennie-led Warriors a 20-16 victory over their
tussle at BT Murrayfield the following weekend went the way of the capital
outfit, as a brace of tries from Darcy Graham helped Edinburgh to even the
series with a 29-19 win.
will be the man in the middle for the deciding match in this season’s 1872 Cup,
with the former Scotland 7s man set to take charge of his 44th match
in the Guinness PRO14.
Grove-White and Finlay Brown will be his assistants, whilst Neil Patterson will
be on hand as TMO if required to intervene.
The match is
live on Premier Sports 1 on Saturday evening, whilst supporters can also listen
to full commentary on BBC Radio Scotland. Kick-off scheduled for 5.15pm.