Glasgow Warriors v Edinburgh 1872 Cup: Plenty of bite despite absence of Scotland internationals

Both sides will be missing a host of international players but Danny Wilson still expects plenty of “bite” when Glasgow Warriors and Edinburgh finally lock horns on Friday night.

Glasgow Warriors head coach Danny Wilson.  (Photo by Ross MacDonald / SNS Group)
Glasgow Warriors head coach Danny Wilson. (Photo by Ross MacDonald / SNS Group)

The 1872 Cup double-header should have been played over Christmas and New Year but both legs were postponed due to a Covid outbreak in the Glasgow camp.

Scheduling issues mean the first leg has been rearranged for the night before Scotland’s Six Nations match against Ireland, with the second match pencilled in for the final weekend of the regular season.

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“The bite of the derby still applies,” said the Glasgow coach. “We spoke about it back at the time that being rearranged for this time of year isn’t great if we’re being honest.

“Both teams will be reliant on who Scotland select or take as travelling reserves. That’s the challenge we knew would be in place once this fixture was arranged for this period.

“Now it’s about getting excited and motivated about a home derby which, as I said to the boys, is the biggest home game of the year. We’re excited about it and started our full prep today.”

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Glasgow are defending the trophy they won last season for the first time in three years but there is nothing to choose between the teams who are locked together on 39 points in joint fourth place after 12 rounds of the United Rugby Championship.

The outcome of Friday’s game at Scotstoun is likely to come down to who copes best with the absence of their international players. Both teams could be left short in key areas, and Glasgow look a little vulnerable in the centre positions, with Sam Johnson, Kyle Steyn and Sione Tuipulotu all likely to be required by Scotland.

“I think it will provide opportunities for a few players who haven’t had as much rugby, or maybe not had any rugby this season,” continued Wilson. “Potentially, they will get an opportunity in this game, depending on selection.

“They are players who have been working hard and are really motivated and ready to go and they can bring a different dimensions, so it’s a great opportunity for a number of individuals.

“More importantly, they will have the opportunity of representing the Warriors at home at Scotstoun against Edinburgh and there are no bigger games.”

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