JAMES Eddie has warned a decidedly makeshift Glasgow team that they have a responsibility to keep the Warriors’ Guinness Pro12 play-off bid on track, when they put their top-of-the-table status at risk against a powerful Munster side in Cork tonight.
Although Glasgow head coach Gregor Townsend has made only six changes from the side that took the Warriors four points clear at the summit of the Pro12, with a hard-fought victory over Ospreys, the devil is very much in the detail.
While Eddie will move from blindside to left-lock to partner captain Al Kellock, the half-back partnership of Conor Braid at 10 and Murray McConnell at scrum-half, both of whom will make their first starts in these key positions, perhaps best sums up the shuffling of cards that has been forced on Townsend by the national service currently discharged by most of his first-pick players.
But Eddie said: “The squad feel there is a real responsibility on us and we know that we need to perform and make sure that we keep that pride in the jersey and try and keep our momentum going.
“I really enjoy this period and this is my third game in succession and, for me, and some of the other lads out tonight, it is an opportunity to make it very difficult for the players on Scotland duty to come back in.
“But first and foremost it is about getting a result against a Munster side who are formidable on home soil. But, like I said, we have a responsibility to prove we are worthy of the trust placed in us.”
The 29-year-old will face former Ireland lock Donncha O’Callaghan in what promises to be an uncompromising second row duel which Eddie is approaching with some relish. He said: “I made my debut for Glasgow in the second row, February 2006, at Munster and we won 26-20 at the old Thomond Park and I’m hoping that will be a lucky omen. So I’ve played plenty in the second row and I know it will be a very physical encounter with O’Callaghan.”
Glasgow: Peter Murchie; Niko Matawalu, Richie Vernon, Fraser Lyle, DTH van der Merwe; Connor Braid, Murray McConnell; Alex Allan, Pat MacArthur, Rossouw de Klerk, James Eddie, Al Kellock (captain), Adam Ashe, Will Bordill, Josh Strauss. Subs: Dougie Hall, Jerry Yanuyanutawa, D’arcy Rae, Alex Toolis, Tommy Spinks, Glenn Bryce, Lee Jones, Rory Hughes.
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