1872 Cup: Edinburgh driven by desire to end long wait for win over Glasgow Warriors at Scotstoun
The hosts sit three points and three places behind their visitors in the United Rugby Championship standings but their formidable home form stretches back to last season. Glasgow last lost at Scotstoun on October 22, 2021 when Leinster were the victors. Edinburgh’s last success there came in December 2018 when a try from Stuart McInally and 11 points from Jaco van der Walt saw them win 16-8.
Blair’s side lost 30-17 away to Glasgow in March last season but then beat them 28-11 in the return leg at BT Murrayfield in May to win the 1872 Cup on aggregate.
This season marks the 150th anniversary of what is world rugby’s oldest inter-city rivalry and Edinburgh lead the overall series, with 70 wins to Glasgow’s 52, and 15 draws. Blair said the landmark had been discussed but the biggest driver would be trying to end their poor record in Glasgow
“Winning at Scotstoun would be a special achievement,” said the Edinburgh coach. “We have not done that since 2018. Having goals to aim at like winning at Scotstoun is important for us but we have mentioned the 150 as well and it’s a good one to focus the minds.
“Glasgow have picked a really strong team - we’re aware of the momentum they’ve been able to gain in their game playing at home, which is based on their physicality and their will to play and move the ball. And the crowd have definitely got behind the Glasgow way of playing.
“The back row in particular is really strong, and the back three as well, and Sione Tuipulotu is playing some really good rugby at the moment.”
For Franco Smith, Blair’s opposite number, it will be a first taste of this fixture and the Glasgow coach expects Edinburgh to be highly motivated.
“I’ve no doubt that it’s a big motivation to be the first team to beat us at Scotstoun,” said Smith. “They’re competing for places in the Six Nations as well so that’s obviously a big motivation. There will be no lack of motivation and we know that from most derby games.”
Both teams have made five changes for the first leg match, with Edinburgh forced to do without Blair Kinghorn, Stuart McInally, Luke Crosbie and Matt Currie due to injuries. They are replaced by Charlie Savala, Tom Cruse, Connor Boyle and Chris Dean. Duhan van der Merwe also returning after recovering from an ankle injury. He is selected ahead of Damien Hoyland.
Glasgow’s most high profile omission is Huw Jones who is nursing a friction burn. Stafford McDowall takes over at inside centre. Captain Kyle Steyn returns on the wing in place of Rufus McLean, Tom Jordan is preferred to Duncan Weir at stand-off. In the pack, Fraser Brown comes in at hooker for George Turner, Sintu Manjezi starts ahead of Lewis Bean in the second row.
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