Glasgow Warriors have made five changes from last week’s starting line up as they travel to Murrayfield seeking a fourth successive 1872 Cup win against Edinburgh Rugby (Saturday 29 December, kick-off 4.05pm).
The Warriors take a nine-point advantage into the tie, with the silverware being decided on the total aggregate points. Gregor Townsend’s side took league points and the upper hand in the 1872 with a 23-14 victory at Scotstoun Stadium last Friday night.
In the backs, Stuart Hogg returns to the starting line-up in the full back berth, while Henry Pyrgos is preferred to Niko Matawalu at scrum-half.
DTH van der Merwe, who scored twice against Edinburgh last week, keeps his place alongside the rest of a potent attacking back-line.
The bulk of the changes have been made up front, with Josh Strauss set to enjoy his first outing in the famous encounter. The South African, who signed up for the Warriors in the summer, replaces Chris Fusaro in the back row.
Tom Ryder comes in for Tim Swinson in the boiler house with Scotland hooker Dougie Hall starting in place of Pat MacArthur.
Shade Munro, Warriors forwards coach, said: “We saw how physical the battle was last week and we need to be ready for Edinburgh to bring an even greater level of physicality.
“They have a very good and experienced pack and they will want to get on the front foot. They have a huge amount of talent across the back line and if they get good ball, they can hurt us.
“Last week our defence was very good for long spells of the game and we competed very well at the breakdown but we saw, particularly at the start of the second half the threat they pose.
Last week’s victory at Scotstoun propelled Glasgow Warriors back into the play-off places in the RaboDirect PRO12 with Leinster and Ospreys snapping at their heels and Munster within touching distance in the league.
In the PRO12, the Warriors have won three of their last four RaboDirect PRO12 matches on the road and are looking to again pick up vital league points at the home of their city rivals.
Glasgow Warriors team to play Edinburgh Rugby in the RaboDirect PRO12, Murrayfield Stadium (Saturday, 29 December, kic-off 4.05pm.)
15 Stuart Hogg
14 Sean Maitland
13 Sean Lamont
12 Peter Horne
11 DTH van der Merwe
10 Ruaridh Jackson
9 Henry Pyrgos
8 Ryan Wilson
7 Rob Harley
6 Josh Strauss
5 Al Kellock (Captain)
4 Tom Ryder
3 Moray Low
2 Dougie Hall
1 Ryan Grant
16 Pat MacArthur ?
17 Gordon Reid?
18 German Araoz?
19 Tim Swinson
?20 James Eddie
?21 Niko Matawalu?
22 Duncan Weir
?23 Graeme Morrison
Not considered for selection due to injury:
John Barclay (leg) Mike Cusack (shoulder) Chris Cusiter (shoulder) Ofa Fainga’anuku (shoulder) Finlay Gillies (neck) Ed Kalman (back) Angus MacDonald (neck) Jon Welsh (shoulder) Chris Fusaro (groin)