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Call for “cool heads” in Edinburgh v Glasgow derby

Edinburgh's Roddy Grant tackled by Glasgow defence in last year's 1872 Cup. Picture: TSPL

Edinburgh's Roddy Grant tackled by Glasgow defence in last year's 1872 Cup. Picture: TSPL

Edinburgh head coach Alan Solomons has called for cool heads as his side prepare to take on rivals Glasgow on Boxing Day.

The inter-city derby will give the Murrayfield side the chance to trim back the eight-point gap separating them from Gregor Townsend’s Warriors side in the RaboDirect Pro12.

Meanwhile, the 1872 Cup will be up for grabs to the side who comes out on top after the aggregate scores are worked out following the return leg at Scotstoun on New Year’s Day.

But Solomons has urged his men not to let the emotion of the derby clash get the better of them.

He said: “This is the oldest rugby derby in the world so we must take cognisance of that rich history and tradition. It’s a privilege for all the staff and players to be involved in it.

“Most derbies are tight, hotly-contested affairs and I think that this one will be no different.

“There is a lot of emotion involved in these games, but it’s a question of ensuring that the emotion is correctly channelled.

“The way to do that is by focussing on the elements on which you have got to deliver.

“When all is said and done, it’s game of rugby, and one has got to deliver a good performance to get any form of outcome.”

Teams

Meanwhile, Solomons has made one change for Thursdays clash.

The introduction of loose-head prop Wicus Blaauw as a rotated replacement for Scotland internationalist Alasdair Dickinson is the only change to the side that muscled past Leinster at the same venue last weekend.

The match will be Blaauw’s fourth start in 12 appearances this season, the most recent of which came in the club’s away win over Gloucester in the Heineken Cup a fortnight ago.

The faith shown in the starting line-up means club stalwart Roddy Grant will lead the team out on his 100th appearance and that lock Ollie Atkins retains his starting role, despite the return of Izak van der Westhuizen, who starts on the bench.

Former Hawke’s Bay captain and number 8 Mike Coman and on-loan stand-off Tony Fenner - both unused replacements against Leinster - are still in line to make their club debuts if called upon from the bench.

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Edinburgh Rugby team to play Glasgow Warriors at Murrayfield Stadium on Boxing Day (26 December, kick-off 3.05pm) – live on BBC ALBA

15 Jack Cuthbert

14 Dougie Fife

13 Nick De Luca

12 Ben Atiga

11 Tom Brown

10 Greig Tonks

9 Greig Laidlaw CAPTAIN

1 Wicus Blaauw

2 Ross Ford

3 Willem Nel

4 Grant Gilchrist

5 Ollie Atkins

6 Cornell Du Preez

7 Roddy Grant

8 David Denton

Substitutes

16 Aleki Lutui

17 Alex Allan

18 Geoff Cross

19 Izak van der Westhuizen

20 Mike Coman

21 Grayson Hart

22 Tony Fenner

23 Sam Beard

Glasgow Warriors team to play Edinburgh Rugby in the 1872 Cup

15. Sean Maitland

14. Tommy Seymour

13. Stuart Hogg

12. Alex Dunbar

11. DTH van der Merwe

10. Duncan Weir

9. Chris Cusiter (Captain)

1. Ryan Grant

2. Pat MacArthur

3. Jon Welsh

4. Tim Swinson

5. Tom Ryder

6. Rob Harley

7. Tyrone Holmes

8. Ryan Wilson

16. Dougie Hall

17. Gordon Reid

18. Moray Low

19. Leone Nakarawa

20. Josh Strauss

21. Chris Fusaro

22. Henry Pyrgos

23. Ruaridh Jackson

Not available due to injury: Gabriel Ascarate (neck), Mark Bennett (foot), Mike Cusack (shoulder), Jonny Gray (ankle), Peter Horne (knee), Al Kellock (arm), Sean Lamont (ankle) and Peter Murchie (shoulder).

 

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