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Burgh Braced for Boxing Day Battle

Guinness PRO12 Editor

22 Dec 2011

Head coach Michael Bradley has made one change to the Edinburgh Rugby side that will start the Boxing Day derby against Glasgow Warriors on Monday (kick-off 5.35pm).

Scotland internationalist, Ross Rennie comes in as a straight swap for open-side flanker Roddy Grant, while the coach will wait to confirm the availability of prop, Allan Jacobsen, after the fans’ favourite sustained a head knock in the club’s Heineken Cup win over Cardiff Blues on Friday.

The Cup win was the sixth from the last seven home matches for the capital club, and puts them top of the Pool 2 with two qualification rounds remaining.

At the other end of the M8, a seven-match unbeaten run from Glasgow Warriors in the RaboDirect PRO12 has kept Sean Lineen's Glasgow Warriors team at the business end of the domestic championship from the outset.

The Murrayfield match is the first taste of the Scottish derby for Bradley, who took the reins of the capital club after seven years in charge of Irish province, Connacht, this summer.

He said: “Like all derbies, fans can get very personal with strong opinions about which team they support and why.

“In Ireland the four provinces go at it pretty hard over Christmas, so I expect it will be quite similar here in Scotland with the Edinburgh and Glasgow matches being fiercely contested. I’m really looking forward to it.

“Glasgow have been going very well this year, their form in both competitions is excellent. They have a lot of confidence and have plenty of options in terms of selection.

“Their determination will be similar to ours, we certainly want to win our home match and if we can manage to do the double over Glasgow we’ll be very happy.

“I think the perception of Edinburgh Rugby is changing. When we get the physicality right, we can be a very intimidating side. That, combined with our known strengths in attack and counter-attack, and the quality of our recent defensive performances, presents a formidable challenge to any team.”

Aside from championship points, the emotional attachment to the derby and individual contests under the spotlight of national selection are deep-seated in the fixture’s history and popularity, with around 9000 tickets already sold for the Murrayfield match.

The sides can name 16 Scotland players from the recent Rugby World Cup and, while legendary full-back Chris Paterson yesterday called time on his international career, the sides are brimming with young Scottish talent competing for a shot a senior Scotland selection.

Bradley added: “Individual rivalries are obviously a factor in this match, with national team selection an exciting component to a day where you will see players, who compete for the same position at an international level, go head-to-head.

“Part of the equation for those players progressing into international rugby is that they’re involved in a winning side and that’s our objective, first and foremost, on Boxing Day.”

Edinburgh Rugby team to play Glasgow Warriors at Murrayfield on Boxing Day (Monday 26 December, kick-off 5.35pm)
15 Chris Paterson
14 Lee Jones
13 Nick De Luca
12 James King
11 Tim Visser
10 Greig Laidlaw CAPTAIN
9 Mike Blair
1 Allan Jacobsen/Kyle Traynor
2 Ross Ford
3 Geoff Cross
4 Grant Gilchrist
5 Sean Cox
6 David Denton
7 Ross Rennie
8 Netani Talei
16 Alun Walker
17 Kyle Traynor/Robin Hislop
18 Jack Gilding
19 Esteban Lozada
20 Roddy Grant
21 Phil Godman
22 Matt Scott
23 Jim Thompson