CALLUM Gibbins has been ruled out of the Glasgow team to play Edinburgh tomorrow night because of the concussion issue that has prevented him from playing since the Champions Cup quarter-final against Saracens. However, his Warriors co-captain and fellow-back-row forward Ryan Wilson will play a part, and is listed on the bench, with Rob Harley, Matt Fagerson and Thomas Gordon starting in the back row.
Openside Gordon, who has just three Warriors appearances to his name, is the only change to the starting line-up from the one that beat Leinster. He replaces Chris Fusaro, who suffered a hamstring injury in that 39-24 win in Dublin. Any kind of win in the last PRO14 fixture of the regular season will give Glasgow a home semi-final.
“Ever since we dropped to second in the conference behind Munster back in January we’ve been under pressure and we’ve not lost a game since then,” Glasgow coach Dave Rennie said. “To win titles you have to be able to perform under pressure and we’ve shown in recent weeks, especially in the last two rounds against Ulster here and Leinster in Dublin, that we can rise to those occasions and actually thrive when there is a lot at stake. We’ve got ourselves in a good spot and we know if we win tomorrow night we won’t have to leave Glasgow again this season.”
Wilson is one of three changes to the substitutes from the Leinster match, the other newcomers being Tevita Tameilau and Rory Hughes. Forwards Wilson and Tameilau take over from the injured Adam Ashe and Bruce Flockhart, while Hughes is a wing replacement instead of Lee Jones, who was also injured against Leinster.
In all, 11 players are listed by Glasgow as unavailable due to injury:
Ashe (head), Flockhart (shoulder), Fusaro (hamstring), Gibbins (head), Nick Grigg (ankle), Siua Halanukonuka (shoulder), Jones (knee), Oli Kebble (back), Tim Swinson (ankle), George Turner (head) and DTH van der Merwe (shoulder).
Edinburgh coach Richard Cockerill has made five changes to his starting line-up, four in the backs. John Barclay takes over from Magnus Bradbury in the back row, having begun the defeat by Ulster on the bench, while the changes behind the scrum see James Johnstone and Chris Dean return at centre instead of Mark Bennett and Matt Scott, Dougie Fife replace Damien Hoyland on the wing, and Simon Hickey start at stand-off instead of Jaco van der Walt. Hoyland and Van der Walt are listed as injured along with Allan Dell, Cameron Fenton, David Cherry, Lewis Carmichael, Jamie Ritchie and Blair Kinghorn.
“We have to go there and win with a bonus-point for a chance to qualify for Europe,” Cockerill said. “Glasgow are a good side and right now they are playing with plenty of confidence. They are in the top two in their pool, and they may well finish first for the second straight year, because they’ve got very good players.
“But we know we can compete at that level and we’ve shown that this season. But we’ve got to do it again. We’re going to Scotstoun to win.
“We’ve had a good run against them and we’ve to keep believing in ourselves. We’ll go to play our game and we’ll make sure we impose ourselves on them. I’m sure they are saying the same and we’ll both go out to make it a proper derby day again.”
Glasgow Warriors (v Edinburgh at Scotstoun, Saturday 7.35pm, live on Premier Sports): Stuart Hogg; Tommy Seymour, Kyle Steyn, Sam Johnson, Niko Matawalu; Adam Hastings, Ali Price; Jamie Bhatti, Fraser Brown (capt), Zander Fagerson, Scott Cummings, Jonny Gray, Rob Harley, Thomas Gordon, Matt Fagerson. Substitutes: Grant Stewart, Alex Allan, D’Arcy Rae, Tevita Tameilau, Ryan Wilson, George Horne, Pete Horne, Rory Hughes.
Edinburgh: Darcy Graham; Dougie Fife, James Johnstone, Chris Dean, Duhan van der Merwe; Simon Hickey, Henry Pyrgos; Pierre Schoeman, Stuart McInally (capt), WP Nel, Ben Toolis, Grant Gilchrist, John Barclay, Hamish Watson, Bill Mata. Substitutes: Ross Ford, Rory Sutherland, Simon Berghan, Callum Hunter-Hill, Magnus Bradbury, Charlie Shiel, Jason Baggott, Mark Bennett.