DUHAN VAN DER MERWE has, as expected, returned to the Edinburgh line-up for tomorrow’s 1872 Cup match against Glasgow at Scotstoun – a game that will commemorate the 150th anniversary of the first encounter between the two rivals.
Connor Boyle also returns to the line-up selected by head coach Mike Blair, while there is a first start after two appearances off the bench for hooker Tom Cruse. However, Stuart McInally and Blair Kinghorn miss out after being injured in last week’s Champions Cup tie against Castres, while Luke Crosbie is rested after a punishing recent schedule.
Van der Merwe had been selected for the Castres match, but had to pull out shortly before the game because of a light ankle injury. He returns in place of Damien Hoyland, who drops out of the squad because of injury, while Wes Goosen switches back to the right wing.
Charlie Savala takes over at stand-off from Kinghorn, and Chris Dean also comes back into the starting 15. James Lang moves from 12 to 13 to accommodate Dean, while Matt Currie, also injured in last week’s European victory, drops out. Cruse and Boyle are the only changes in the pack, making five alterations in all from last week.
“For the players, it’s absolutely brilliant to be involved in such a historic fixture for both clubs,” Blair said. “This is a derby that has stood the test of time and we’re proud to celebrate 150 years of rugby rivalry in a match-up that is a cornerstone of Scottish rugby history.
“There has been a brilliant buzz around training this week, which you’d expect in the build-up to a derby, and I’ve been really impressed with the squad’s attitude and work rate after a strong win against Castres last weekend. Derbies are brilliant games to be part of and we’re hugely excited to represent the capital city at Scotstoun tomorrow night.”
Edinburgh (v Glasgow at Scotstoun, tomorrow [Friday] 7.35pm): E Boffelli; W Goosen, J Lang, C Dean, D van der Merwe; C Savala, B Vellacott; P Schoeman, T Cruse, W Nel, G Young, G Gilchrist, J Ritchie, C Boyle, V Mata. Substitutes: P Harrison, B Venter, A Williams, M Sykes, B Muncaster, H Pyrgos, J van der Walt, C Scott.
Edinburgh’s injury list consists of: Mark Bennett, Dave Cherry, Currie, Darcy Graham, Nick Haining, Hoyland, Cammy Hutchison, Henry Immelman, Kinghorn, Adam McBurney, McInally and Hamish Watson.