Edinburgh and Glasgow Warriors teams announced for final pre-season friendlies

Winger Darcy Graham in action during his Edinburgh debut versus Sale Sharks. Image: Craig Watson - www.craigwatson.co.uk

Edinburgh Rugby and Glasgow Warriors will have their last pre-season hit-outs tomorrow [Friday] before they start firing live ammunition when the Guinness Pro14  campaign gets under way next weekend.

Edinburgh entertain Newcastle Falcons at The Greenyards in Melrose with head coach Richard Cockerill making five changes to the starting fifteen after last weekend’s narrow defeat to Sale Sharks. Blair Kinghorn starts at full-back and Dougie Fife is on the left wing after they both impressed off the bench in that last outing. Junior Rasolea joins Chris Dean in the centre, and Nathan Fowles takes over from Sam Hidalgo-Clyne at scrum-half. Magnus Bradbury replaces Cornell du Preez in the only change in the pack.

“We learned a lot about ourselves in last week’s hit-out against Sale, and it was a good chance to get a feel for where we are as a group at the start of the season. As a group, we played with real intention and a lot of passion, and I was encouraged by the performances of some of our younger Academy players,” said Cockerill.

“We need to keep building, and this is a big chance to show that we’ve improved from last week. We need to keep developing as individuals and as a team, and showing people that we’re working hard to get better every day.

“Newcastle will prove as a further test of this team, but we need to see players front-up and show that they’re ready to compete both mentally and physically. We need to go into our first league game in the best position possible, and a lot of that boils down to how we perform tomorrow night.”

Edinburgh Rugby v Newcastle Falcons @ The Greenyards on Friday 25th August, kick-off 6pm –

15. Blair Kinghorn

14. Darcy Graham
13. Chris Dean
12. Junior Rasolea
11. Dougie Fife

10. Duncan Weir
9. Nathan Fowles

1. Darryl Marfo
2. Stuart McInally
3. Simon Berghan
4. Anton Bresler
5. Grant Gilchrist
6. Jamie Ritchie
7. John Hardie
8. Magnus Bradbury

Replacements: Neil Cochrane, Cammy Fenton, Ryan Grant, Ross Dunbar, Murray McCallum, Kevin Bryce, Fraser McKenzie, Callum Hunter-Hill, Cornell du Preez, Luke Crosbie, Ally Miller, Sam Hidalgo-Clyne, Jason Tovey, Jason Baggot, Tom Brown, Jason Harries, Glenn Bryce, James Johnstone, Jamie Farndale

Meanwhile, Ruaridh Jackson will make his Glasgow Warriors comeback against The Dragons in Ebbw Vale in an afternoon kick-off. The 29-year-old, who returned to the club earlier this month after three years playing in England with Wasps and Harlequins, has been named at full-back by head coach Dave Rennie.

Outside centre Nick Grigg will make his first appearance for the club since becoming a full Scotland cap against Fiji during this summer’s tour, while Adam Hastings continues at stand-off alongside George Horne at scrum-half.

In the pack, Lewis Wynne and Chris Fusaro replace Matt Fagerson and Matt Smith on the blind-side and open-side flanks respectively, with Adam Ashe once again captaining the side from Number 8. George Turner and Lelia Masaga could make their debuts from the bench.

Glasgow Hawks prop Gary Strain, Stirling County second-row Hamilton Burr and Ayr centre Stafford McDowell have all been named on the bench.

Glasgow Warriors v The Dragons @ Eugene Cross Park, Ebbw Vale, Friday 25 August (kick-off 2pm) –

15. Ruaridh Jackson
14. Lee Jones
13. Nick Grigg
12. Sam Johnson
11. Rory Hughes

10. Adam Hastings
9. George Horne

1. Jamie Bhatti
2. James Malcolm
3. D’arcy Rae
4. Brian Alainu’uese
5. Scott Cummings
6. Lewis Wynne
7. Chris Fusaro
8. Adam Ashe (C)

Replacements: George Turner, Gary Strain (Glasgow Hawks), Adam Nicol, Greg Peterson, Kiran McDonald, Hamilton Burr (Stirling County), Matt Smith, Matt Fagerson, Henry Pyrgos, Peter Horne, Patrick Kelly, Lelia Massage, Stafford McDowell

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About David Barnes 3040 Articles
David has worked as a freelance rugby journalist since 2004 covering every level of the game in Scotland for publications including he Herald/Sunday Herald, The Sunday Times, The Telegraph, The Scotsman/Scotland on Sunday/Evening News, The Daily Record, The Daily Mail/Mail on Sunday and The Sun.