Jon Welsh eyeing scrum battle with Ally Dickinson

Prop Jon Welsh complimented the progress of counterpart Ally Dickinson. Picture: Ian Rutherford

Prop Jon Welsh complimented the progress of counterpart Ally Dickinson. Picture: Ian Rutherford

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JON Welsh has revealed his hunger to resume battle with Edinburgh loosehead Ally ­Dickinson in the second leg of the 1872 Cup at BT Murrayfield in 48 hours time.

Welsh was a 53rd-minute ­replacement for Euan Murray at tight-head in the first leg and spent the remainder of the ­encounter in a combative embrace with Dickinson.

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Although Glasgow claimed a 16-6 victory over their old rivals, which has given them a ten-point advantage in their bid to retain the oldest trophy in club rugby for the sixth successive season, the issue is far from cut and dried.

With the men from the east shading the battle of the scrum with a 71 per cent success rate, as opposed to Warriors’ 67 per cent supremacy on their own put-in, Welsh admits the impending set-piece battle will be no place for the faint-hearted on Friday.

“Scrummaging-wise Ally is like a rock,” said Welsh. “But analysis is really important for us and scrummaging is all about a team and I’ll not say what I need to change, but Ally’s a great scrummager and has improved massively over the years.”

He continued: “I think now he is settled at loosehead and as a result he is playing there a lot more consistently. He’s also a ­superb athlete. I get on with him quite well, and he’s one of these gym junkies. He’s in great shape. He may be a prop but his physical attributes are excellent and he is massive part of the ­Edinburgh scrum.

“But it was pretty even in the first leg in the set piece and both packs will be looking to ­dominate on Friday and you ­relish that as a front row.

“We’ve looked at everything we need to address.

“There’s still training to be done this week, but we know where we need to do our work. You saw how physical and competitive the game was at the breakdown. That’s a focus for us as it will be for Edinburgh.”

The Scotland international has no doubt where Glasgow need to improve to triumph in the capital. He added: “We do a lot of analysis from team stuff to individual players so we look at what we’ll need to work on in training and we’ll take that into the game at the weekend.

“We’ll be confident. We know where we need to do our work. Edinburgh really came at us. We have talked a lot about how physical it was in the contact area. They were very good at slowing the ball down.

“But they have very good players and we all know them from Scotland camp. This is a derby and it will be on their turf so we are ready for the intensity of it all and the first leg helped prepare us.

“But we’re always confident and you never think you’re going to stroll a game. So I think there is always the fear of losing if you want to put it like that.”

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