Need to Know: Edinburgh v Glasgow Warriors Part 2, PRO14 Rainbow Cup match preview 2020/21

KO 7.35 at BT Murrayfield
Saturday 15th May 2021

Live on Premier Sports 1

  • There are only two players in the Glasgow lineup (Enrique Pierreto and Dylan Evans) who are not Scottish qualified.
  • Across the two teams there are 9 NSQ players on show (including Pierre Schoeman who will become SQ in July). That breaks down as 6 of the 12 front rows named and 3 of the other 34 players listed.
  • This will be the 6th time in the space of 267 days that these two sides have met in a competitive fixture. Including the last minute call-off in January this is the 7th Edinburgh/Glasgow match preview that OTOTM has written in less than 9 months!

15 Blair Kinghorn
14 Damien Hoyland
13 James Johnstone
12 Chris Dean
11 Eroni Sau
10 Charlie Savala
9 Henry Pyrgos
ADV Glasgow
ADV Glasgow
ADV Edinburgh
ADV Edinburgh
ADV Glasgow
ADV Glasgow
15 Adam Hastings
14 Kyle Steyn
13 Nick Grigg
12 Stafford McDowall
11 Ratu Tagive
10 Ross Thompson
9 George Horne

1 Pierre Schoeman
2 Stuart McInally
3 Willem Nel
4 Marshall Sykes
5 Jamie Hodgson
6 Mesu Kunavula
7 Luke Crosbie
8 Viliame Mata
ADV Edinburgh
ADV Edinburgh
ADV Edinburgh
ADV Glasgow
ADV Glasgow
ADV Glasgow
ADV Edinburgh
ADV Edinburgh

1 Tom Lambert
2 George Turner
3 Enrique Pieretto
4 Robert Harley
5 Richie Gray
6 Ryan Wilson (c)
7 Rory Darge
8 Matt Fagerson

16 Mike Willemse
17 Boan Venter
18 Lee Roy Atalifo
19 Ally Miller
20 Connor Boyle
21 Charlie Shiel
22 Jack Blain
23 George Taylor
ADV Edinburgh
ADV Glasgow
ADV Glasgow
ADV Glasgow
ADV Glasgow

16 Grant Stewart
17 Dylan Evans
18 D’arcy Rae
19 Kiran McDonald
20 Thomas Gordon
21 Jamie Dobie
22 Peter Horne
23 Lee Jones

Tale of the Tape:

75   Tries   71
428   Appearances   289
27.7   Average age   26.1
4   Capped players   4

893kg   Pack weight   877kg
548   Appearances   645
27.1   Average age   26.8
4   Capped players   6

156   Appearances   495
25.1   Average age   27.5
1   Capped players   4

Glasgow Greetings / Edinburgh Introductions:

Among some of the young team on show, Tom Lambert and Rory Darge will be making their first starts for Glasgow and it’s Charlie Savala’s home debut in his third match for Edinburgh.

A couple of Scotland stars will be making long awaited outings for their clubs. Stuart McInally is making his first appearance at Murrayfield since, well, the last time Edinburgh played Glasgow (the one in January for the avoidance of any confusion). Matt Fagerson hasn’t featured for the Warriors since January. Edinburgh have been the opponents for each of his last three games for Glasgow.

Matchday Milestones:

The Ginger Ninja, Rob Harley, brings up yet another milestone in an unmatched Glasgow career. He will hit 250 appearances on Saturday night – no-one else has even made it to 200 yet! The big man has been one of the club’s foundations since making his debut against Leinster in 2010. An exceptional grafter, he has spent more than a decade getting his hands dirty, doing the work that allows his side to be better and his teammates to shine. When the history of the Warriors is written, Robert John Harley’s name will loom large. The club has been fortunate to have him for these last eleven seasons and hopefully he will continue to annoy opponents for a good few more years to come!

Baby-faced Blair Kinghorn (seriously that moustache is fooling no-one – he’s definitely still getting ID’d) will play his 100th game for Edinburgh. Racking up a century of club appearances at just 24 years of age is a remarkable achievement (incidentally one he shares with Rob Harley).

Warrior to Watch / Edinburgher to Eyeball:

Winning the Rainbow Cup seems unlikely for either of these sides so the focus for the remaining three rounds has to be more around players grabbing future opportunities. No doubt there will be jostling for position in next season’s Depth Charts but there’s also the small matter of Scotland’s ‘A’ team fixture and Test matches in Romania and Georgia to come.

With that in mind – and with Hamish Watson otherwise engaged in South Africa – the respective openside flankers offer some intriguing potential for the national side’s future prospects.

Luke Crosbie came through with the 2017 under 20s, a group that managed a best ever 5th placed finish at the World Rugby u20 Championships that year. He primarily played at 6 in that tournament, accommodating Matt Fagerson at 7 and Tom Dodd at 8 (with Bruce Flockhart and Tom Gordon also involved in the back row). The former Livingston RFC man is almost the prototypical player Richard Cockerill might be expected to select – spiky, abrasive and never likely to take a backward step. That’s also the kind of attitude Scotland probably need a bit more of when coming up against gnarly, aggressive teams like Ireland and should be enough to see him win a full cap this summer.

On the other side Melrose product Rory Darge is a precocious talent who was playing for the u20s aged just 18 but whose main run with the age grade side was as skipper in 2020. He was part of a back row that included two other players in Connor Boyle and Gregor Brown who have also made their PRO14 debuts this season. That team was the strongest collective group since 2017 but unfortunately only had a Six Nations and no global tournament to show their stuff. Rory is more of a classic Glasgow Warriors’ type of player with a broad skillset as a linking back row and ready to jouer, jouer. Rory will be a strong candidate to be part of the Scotland ‘A’ side to take on their English counterparts this July.

Glasgow away to Edinburgh during the PRO12/14 era:

  • 4 wins
  • 1 draw
  • 9 losses
  • 4 losing bonus points
  • 22 points out of a possible 70 (31%)

Previous match-up:


Referee: Andrew Brace (IRFU, 65th competition game)
AR1: Keith Allen (SRU)
AR2: David Sutherland (SRU)
TMO: Sam Grove-White (SRU)

Mr Brace’s regular season record for 2019/20 in the PRO14:

Matches – 7 (all refs – 101)
Average penalty count – 19.9 per game (all refs – 19.1)
Home penalty percentage – 50% (all refs – 52%)
Average card count – 0.3 per game (all refs – 1.3)
Penalties per card – 70 (all refs – 15)

It seems like no time at all since Mr Brace was one of the brand new refs in the PRO14. Now, Edinburgh and Glasgow will be getting one of the big dogs from among the league’s match officials. With the likes of Nigel Owens, George Clancy and Johnny Lacey nearly or actually retired a younger group of refs are taking over. Mr Brace is at the vanguard of that group, alongside Mike Adamson and Frank Murphy and they already have a whole other generation of new whistlers to set an example for.

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