Match Preview | Edinburgh
Glasgow Warriors will look to even up the 2020/21 1872 Cup series on Saturday evening, as Danny Wilson’s men welcome Edinburgh to Scotstoun.
Saturday’s match will be the sole men’s professional rugby match played in the UK this weekend, with the Guinness PRO14 taking advantage of the suspension of European competition to reschedule the Round Nine encounter.
It will be the third attempt to play the fixture, with a COVID-19 related postponement on Saturday 27 December being followed by last Friday’s call-off due to freezing conditions in Glasgow’s west end.
Edinburgh’s victory at BT Murrayfield a fortnight ago means that it is the capital outfit who hold the upper hand in this season’s clashes, but Richard Cockerill’s side are winless at Scotstoun since December 2018.
The two sides know each other all too well, with the historical head-to-head record reading 19 wins and a draw apiece from the 39 meetings between the two teams.
Here’s how the teams shape up ahead of Saturday’s encounter:
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Edinburgh form guide
The men from the capital come into this weekend sitting fifth in Guinness PRO14 Conference B, having taken three wins from their eight matches so far this campaign.
A disappointing opening round defeat at home to the Ospreys was followed by last-gasp drama at Thomond Park, as Ben Healy’s late conversion of a CJ Stander try gave Munster a 25-23 victory.
Defeat to Connacht at BT Murrayfield then preceded the club’s first win of the year in a dour 6-3 triumph away to the Scarlets, before backing the win up with an 18-0 home shutout of Cardiff Blues.
Successive defeats to Leinster and Ulster followed, before victory over Glasgow Warriors last time out courtesy of Magnus Bradbury’s try and the boot of Jaco van der Walt.
The COVID-19 enforced shortening of the 2019/20 campaign meant that – like their Guinness PRO14 counterparts – Edinburgh supporters were unable to say goodbye to a host of familiar faces in the proper manner.
The vastly-experienced figure of John Barclay hung up his boots for the final time as he stepped into retirement, whilst fan favourites Dougie Fife and Matt Scott moved on to New England Free Jacks and Leicester Tigers.
Fellow squad members Pietro Ceccarelli and Simon Hickey also opted to depart the club at the end of the 2019/20 season, the pair joining Brive and the Hurricanes respectively.
An emphasis on youth shone through during Edinburgh’s summer recruitment, with a host of Scotland U20 stars headlining the new faces at BT Murrayfield.
Back-row duo Conor Boyle and Rory Darge each agreed to deals in the capital, whilst fly-half Nathan Chamberlain made the switch north from Bristol Bears.
Fijian prop Lee-Roy Atalifo and Australian centre Matt Gordon also made the journey north from the English Championship, arriving from Jersey Reds and London Scottish during the summer shutdown.
Ones to watch
Whilst fellow wingers Duhan van der Merwe and Darcy Graham have grabbed the headlines in recent seasons, keep an eye on Scotland U20 flyer Jack Blain. The 20-year-old has caught the eye this season with his pace and eye for a gap, crossing twice in his six Guinness PRO14 matches to date this campaign.
The ever-dangerous Mark Bennett took Player of the Match honours the last time the two sides met, turning in a vital defensive display at BT Murrayfield. The former Warrior is also an important cog in the Edinburgh attack, and is capable of scoring from anywhere when given the chance.
A menace in defence, the recently re-signed Jamie Ritchie will be looking to cap off his week with another noteworthy performance. The flanker has become a key man for club and country in recent seasons, refusing to take a backwards step with or without the ball.
It was Edinburgh who drew first blood in 2020/21 when the two sides met at BT Murrayfield, as Cockerill’s men edged a closely-fought affair 10-7 a fortnight ago.
Magnus Bradbury’s try proved decisive for the home side, despite Lewis Bean crossing late on for the visiting Warriors.
Prior to that meeting, the Warriors had held the upper hand in the rivalry after a hard-fought 15-3 win at BT Murrayfield back in August.
Tries from Fraser Brown – on his 100th appearance for the club – and Ratu Tagive saw Glasgow earn a first victory under Wilson, closing out the 2019/20 campaign in a winning fashion.
Mike Adamson will be the man in the middle for Saturday evening’s clash, as he takes charge of his 48th Guinness PRO14 fixture.
Finlay Brown and Dunx McClement will be his assistants at Scotstoun, whilst Charles Samson will be on hand as the Television Match Official if required.
The match is live on Premier Sports 1, with kick-off scheduled for 5.15pm.
BBC Radio Scotland will also have live commentary of the fixture, and you can follow all the updates as they happen in our Live Match Centre at glasgowwarriors.org.