“These games don’t have the meaning on them that there is for other Lions in other teams, we’re not playing for anything in the sense that we’ve got European qualification and 1872 Cup done, and there are no play-offs, so it is about giving them the best chance to go on a Lions tour,” explained the coach.
“They were involved in the conversation because I think they’ve earned that right, and both players have come up with a plan that they think is relevant. They will play rugby before now and the end of the season, not because I’ve forced them to but because they know it is important to stay match sharp. I don’t want to give too much away to the opposition in terms of when they will play.”
Meanwhile, Matt Fagerson – younger brother of Zander – returns from the ankle injury he suffered at the end of March to wear the No8 jersey tonight, in a reshuffled back-row which features captain Ryan Wilson to blindside flanker, and 21-year-old Rory Darge making his first start for the club (against his former club) at openside.
Adam Hastings returns from a facial injury which has kept him out since the start of April, with the Gloucester-bound playmaker starting at full-back in place of the injured Cole Forbes.
It is a big day for Rob Harley, who will become the first Warriors player to make 250 appearances for the club.
“It is an opportunity to get back-to-back wins over Edinburgh inside the space of eight days, and to have a look at different squad members, but Rob Harley’s 250 has probably been the main focus of the week,” said Wilson. “It is very rare in the modern game, and you are not going to see many examples of players playing that long for the same club in the future.
“When I used to coach against him, he was somebody I did not want to see on the team-sheet for Glasgow because he’s a pain in the rear end to play against. Now I am his coach and whenever I see him on a Monday morning, I’ll ask how he’s doing and he will always say: ‘Yeah, I’m good to go’. No matter what happened at the weekend, it is the same every week. It’s that attitude which impresses me most about Rob.”
Glasgow Warriors (v Edinburgh at Murrayfield, Saturday @ 7.35pm): A Hastings; K Steyn, N Grigg, S McDowall, R Tagive; R Thompson, G Horne; T Lambert, G Turner, E Pieretto, R Harley, R Gray, R Wilson, R Darge, M Fagerson. Subs: G Stewart, D Evans, D Rae, K McDonald, T Gordon, J Dobie, P Horne, L Jones.