With the Six Nations just around the corner and both sides stuffed full of Scotland players, Gregor Townsend will certainly be keeping an eagle eye on events at Scotstoun on Monday and the DAM Health Stadium on January 2.
But, for Scott Cummings, the derby matches exist in their own right, fiercely competitive fixtures which this season will also go a long way to determining which Scottish side plays in next season’s Champions Cup.
“You try not to think about the Scotland dimension, although obviously it’s going to be in the back of your head a wee bit,” said the Warriors lock forward.
“I try not to think about the derby games from a Scotland point of view. I want us to win for Glasgow. I want us to beat Edinburgh because they’re our rivals. I’m not here to try and get in the Scotland squad, I’m here to represent Glasgow. The Scotland squad comes after that.
“For me, I’m just trying to focus on us getting a win for Glasgow. There’s nothing better than Glasgow getting a win over Edinburgh.”
The Warriors achieved that last season, coming out on top in two of the games to win the three-match series and lift the 1872 Cup for the first time in four years.
This season sees it revert to a double-header with the victor decided on aggregate. If the scores are level after the two games then Glasgow will retain the silverware.
Cummings is fit and firing again after being sidelined by a couple of injuries.
“I did my hand at the beginning of the season and then had my ongoing shoulder thing, but I’m all good to play now and excited to be back out there and playing,” he said. “I haven’t played too much yet so I’m really happy at the prospect of getting out there and getting a good run of games going.”
Cummings started both Glasgow’s Champions Cup games, against La Rochelle and Exeter Chiefs, playing his part in a famous victory in the latter in which the Warriors pack excelled. He expects the Edinburgh game to be a little bit more open but just as physical.
“They’re obviously playing that bit more expansively, chucking the ball about a bit more,” said the second-row.
“They’re playing very well and had a couple of good signings at the beginning of the season – Ben Vellacott is playing well, and both the Argentinian guys. They seem to be gelling well and going well, but obviously it’s up to us as a squad to stop that. We need to stop them playing but also make sure we play our attacking brand, and that we’re the ones playing that attacking style.
“It’ll potentially be a little more open, but it’s still going to be niggly, it’s still going to be physical. That’s not going to change. We’re still expecting it to be at least as physical as it was against Exeter, if not even more. Winning those small physical battles that you’re going to get is what will be key for us.”