Glasgow v Edinburgh: Cockerill hands debut to Andrew Davidson

Jamie Ritchie and Darcy Graham among those unavailable due to injury for 1872 Cup match

Richard Cockerill
Richard Cockerill has named his Edinburgh squad for tomorrow's 1872 Cup decider against Glasgow. Image: ©Fotosport/David Gibson.

ANDREW Davidson, who joned Edinburgh from Glasgow earlier in the summer, will make his debut for his new team against his old club tomorrow. With Ben Toolis still recovering from shoulder surgery, Davidson partners Grant Gilchrist in the second row for the decisive 1872 Cup match at Murrayfield, which doubles as the penultimate game of the PRO14’s regular season.

The lock is the only new man in a starting line-up from which a number of key players are absent due to injury. Darcy Graham is one of those to miss out, and his place on the wing goes to Eroni Sau. Back-row forwards Jamie Ritchie and Magnus Bradbury are also unavailable, meaning Luke Crosbie and Bill Mata join Hamish Watson in the 15, while injuries to Lewis Carmichael and Fraser McKenzie have further reduced Richard Cockerill‘s options in the second row. 

Up front, Rory Sutherland is preferred to Pierre Schoeman at loosehead, while Mike Willemse is back-up hooker to captain Stuart McInally and WP Nel starts at tighthead in front of Simon Berghan.

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Nic Groom is handed the No 9 jersey with Charlie Shiel as cover given Henry Pyrgos‘s absence, and there is a potential debut for Nathan Chamberlain as back-up stand-off to Jaco van der Walt. The Scotland Under-20 cap can expect a lot more appearances this season after Edinburgh’s signing of Jono Lance fell through and they were then unable to recruit another experienced 10 after budgetary restrictions were placed on them as a consequence of the pandemic.  

Edinburgh need just a single point from the game to be guaranteed a semi-final in the PRO14 play-offs, and if they win and Munster lose to Leinster tomorrow they will be certain of finishing top in Conference B and therefore have a home semi. “We’ve earned the right to be where we are and now we’ve got the opportunity to get into a semi-final, and if we get it right, we could earn a home semi-final,” head coach Cockerill said after naming his team. 

“But we’ve got a long way to go to do that. Glasgow are a very good side with a very good squad. We’ve got to make sure that we have the consistency we’ve had this season. We’ve got the chance to see if we can hit the ground running and compete with the big boys.

“The derbies against Glasgow have always been pretty tight, and they swing on key moments in games. But we have a real group who believe what we’re doing and buy into what Edinburgh is about.”

Edinburgh Rugby (v Glasgow Warriors at BT Murrayfield, Saturday 22 August, 5.15pm): B Kinghorn; E Sau, M Bennett, C Dean, D van der Merwe; J van der Walt, N Groom; R Sutherland, S McInally (captain), W Nel, A Davidson, G Gilchrist, L Crosbie, H Watson, V Mata.

Substitutes: M Willemse, P Schoeman, S Berghan, J Hodgson, N Haining, C Shiel, N Chamberlain, G Taylor.

Unavailable due to injury: L Carmichael, F McKenzie, B Toolis, J Ritchie, M Bradbury, H Pyrgos, D Graham.

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About Stuart Bathgate 1430 Articles
Stuart has been the rugby correspondent for both The Scotsman and The Herald, and was also The Scotsman’s chief sports writer for 14 years from 2000.

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