Stand-off Ruaridh Jackson has admitted that Glasgow’s quest to prove themselves in Europe is being driven by jealousy of their rivals along the M8.
Jackson and his Warriors team-mates have had the upper hand over Edinburgh during the past few seasons. But the Scotland playmaker says they are envious of the capital side because they reached the semi-finals of the Heineken Cup two years ago.
As he stepped up preparations for Glasgow’s vital clash with Cardiff tomorrow at the Arms Park, Jackson said: “That stat does bug us a little – we are envious of what they achieved in 2011. We know we will need to put in the performances, but Edinburgh’s feat does also drive us on towards the same experience.
“We have had a taste of knockout rugby in the Pro12 play-offs but, unfortunately, we have not been able to take the next step. The advanced rounds of the Heineken Cup are still a long way away, but we will focus on back to back games with Cardiff and take things from there.”
Realistically, Glasgow need to win both ties with the Blues and then beat Exeter Chiefs at Sandy Park to set up a pool decider with champions Toulon at Scotstoun in January.
Jackson added: “If we’re wanting to go somewhere these are the kind of games we have to win. We have been down to Wales a couple of times this year and come away with a victory, so that’s what we’re looking to do this weekend.”
Jackson is looking forward to playing on the new artificial pitch at the Arms Park.
He said: “We train on the 3G surface at Scotstoun and sometimes on the 4G one at Toryglen.
“The Cardiff one is slightly different, but I am excited about the prospect. It should make for a fast game and a good spectacle for the fans. It shouldn’t feel too different to run on, but the bounce of the ball might fool a few people.”
Fit-again flanker Ryan Wilson has been drafted into Glasgow’s Heineken Cup squad in place of the injured Peter Murchie.
• TITLE-HOLDERS Marr College booked their place in the last four of the Brewin Dolphin Scottish Schools under-18 Plate by defeating Hawick High School 15-14 in a tense quarter-final at Mansfield Park yesterday.
Tries by winger Ry McInnes, flanker Andrew Mcphilemy and hooker Lewis Anderson gave Marr a 15-7 lead late but a fightback by Hawick almost secured victory for the Borderers, who scored through flanker Matthew Mallin to add to their first half try by centre Sean Chapman. Grant Huggan converted both touchdowns but agonisingly missed two kickable penalties in the final few minutes of the game to leave the Troon school winners by a point.