Glasgow Warriors head coach, Sean Lineen, is expecting his side to take the field in an "intimidating cauldron" when they go head-to-head with Cardiff Blues on an international afternoon in the Welsh capital on Saturday.
The Warriors and the Blues kick-off at 1.30pm, just hours before Wales play the All Blacks at the Millennium Stadium at 5.15pm, so a large crowd is expected at Cardiff City Stadium.
Not only might the atmosphere play a factor but Glasgow also expect a very physical battle.
Lineen said: “Cardiff had a tough game against Ulster last weekend and got beaten at home so we know what we’re going to expect from them. It’s going to be pretty physical and pretty brutal I would imagine.”
Scottish rugby has been buoyed this week following the national team’s tremendous victory over world champions South Africa.
Lineen is rightly proud of Glasgow’s contribution to the international cause as Glasgow Warriors has been the best represented club in the Scotland match-day 22’s over the opening fortnight of the EMC Autumn Tests and that trend is set to continue this weekend as eight Warriors are included in the Scotland squad for their third and final match against Samoa, also on Saturday (kick-off 2.30pm), at Pittodrie Stadium in Aberdeen.
“Obviously there are a number of Warriors players representing Glasgow in the Scotland set-up which we are very proud of,” Lineen continued. “Results for the Scotland team, like the one over South Africa, should invigorate everyone. It’s fantastic.”
One particular highlight for the Warriors during the EMC Autumn Tests was when stand-off Ruaridh Jackson took the field against the All Blacks as a replacement for former Warrior Dan Parks. This has increased the club’s current tally of internationalists to 17.
Unfortunately, some of those back from international duty have gone straight into the treatment room where they will join long term absentees Chris Cusiter (knee), Johnnie Beattie (shoulder) and James Eddie (shoulder). Weir will recover from a fractured shoulder for up to 10 weeks whilst Van der Merwe will be sidelined for a much lesser period with a facial injury.
Focussing on this weekend’s challenge, Lineen continued: “The players that have been here have been training incredibly hard the last couple of weeks and we’re looking forward to the game against Cardiff.
“For us, it is about consistency. Our last outing was a good bonus point win over Aironi so we go down to Cardiff knowing what to expect.
“It’s a challenging season, so with 13 players unavailable for selection due to various reasons, this represents a massive opportunity for those named today. It’s at times like these when you find out what these guys are made of.”
15 Bernardo Stortoni
14 Hefin O’Hare
13 Federico Aramburu
12 Peter Murchie
11 Colin Shaw
10 Colin Gregor
9 Henry Pyrgos
1 Jon Welsh
2 Fergus Thomson
3 Ed Kalman
4 Aly Muldowney
5 Alastair Kellock CAPTAIN
6 Robert Harley
7 Calum Forrester
8 Ryan Wilson
Replacements: 16 Pat MacArthur, 17 Ryan Grant, 18 Kevin Tkachuk, 19 Paul Burke, 20 Chris Fusaro, 21 Peter Horne, 22 Rob Dewey, 23 Alex Dunbar