Need to Know: Glasgow Warriors v Edinburgh, United Rugby Championship match preview 2022/23

KO 7.35 at Scotstoun Stadium
Friday 23rd December 2022

Live on Premier Sports 1

  • This will be the 119th time that these two sides have clashed in Glasgow (at Burnbank Park, Hamilton Crescent, Hampden Park, New Anniesland, Old Anniesland, Hughenden, Scotstoun and Firhill).
  • In those previous 118 meetings Glasgow have 55 wins, Edinburgh 47 and there have been 15 draws.
  • There are 24 changes to the combined matchday squads compared to when these sides last met in May at Murrayfield.
  • Josh McKay, Sione Tuipulotu, Jamie Bhatti, Richie Gray and Jack Dempsey are returning starters for Glasgow while Emiliano Boffelli, Chris Dean, Ben Vellacott, WP Nel and Grant Gilchrist were in the Edinburgh XV for that game 7 months ago.
  • There are 23 players unavailable to play in this fixture across the two sides – including 16 capped internationals. Edinburgh have a balanced mix among their missing men with 5 forwards and 7 backs listed while Glasgow’s absentees skew heavily to the pack – 10 of them are forwards with Ross Thompson the solitary back.

Teams

GLASGOW

EDINBURGH

J. McKay (20)
S. CANCELLIERE (17)
S. TUIPULOTU (27)
S. McDowall (44)
K. STEYN (55) (c)
T. Jordan (9)
G. HORNE (87)

15
14
13
12
11
10
9

E. BOFFELLI (24)
W. Goosen (6)
J. LANG (28)
C. Dean (130)
D. VAN DER MERWE (70)
C. Savala (20)
B. VELLACOTT (28)

J. BHATTI (76)
F. BROWN (130)
M. WALKER (11)
S. Manjezi (9)
R. GRAY (91)
M. FAGERSON (84)
S. VAILANU (5)
J. DEMPSEY (27)

1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8

P. SCHOEMAN (91)
T. Cruse (2)
W.P. NEL (180)
G. YOUNG (17)
G. GILCHRIST (182) (c)
J. RITCHIE (91) (c)
C. Boyle (25)
V. MATA (104)

G. TURNER (84)
N. McBeth (10)
S. BERGHAN (18)
J.P. du Preez (8)
L. Bean (24)
C. Neild (1)
A. PRICE (117)
D. MIOTTI (12)

16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23

P. Harrison (8)
B. Venter (36)
A. Williams (17)

M. SYKES (31)
B. Muncaster (24)
H. PYRGOS (77)
J. VAN DER WALT (92)
C. Scott (1)

(players in CAPITALS are full internationals; figures in brackets are previous appearances for Glasgow Warriors or Edinburgh)

Tale of the Tape:

BACKS
73 Tries 75
95kg Average weight 94kg
4 Capped players 4
259 Appearances 306
26.6 Average age 27.1

FORWARDS
934kg Pack weight 877kg
50 Tries 64
7 Capped players 6
433 Appearances 692
28.5 Average age 30.0

SUBS
37 Tries 19
4 Capped players 3
274 Appearances 286
28.8 Average age 25.4

Back 3 – ADV EDINBURGH

Centres – ADV GLASGOW

Half Backs – EVEN

Front Row – ADV EDINBURGH

Second Row – ADV Glasgow

Back Row – ADV EDINBURGH

Subs – ADV GLASGOW

Glasgow Greetings / Edinburgh Introductions:

Nine players are in line to make their 1872 Cup debuts:

  • Tom Jordan, Sintu Manjezi, Sione Vailanu, JP du Preez and Cameron Neild for Glasgow.
  • Wes Goosen, Tom Cruse, Patrick Harrison and Cameron Scott for Edinburgh.

Cameron Neild will also be making his home debut for the Warriors.

Once A Warrior / Erstwhile Edinburghers:

There is a fair bit of crossover between the sides with Jamie Bhatti, George Turner, Simon Berghan and Henry Pyrgos all having played for both clubs.

Ones to Watch:

There are some intriguing battles across the park – driven in no small part by the competition for places in Scotland’s Six Nations’ squad which will be named in a matter of weeks. No such concerns for Weegentinian, Sebastian Cancelliere, and Arginburgher, Emiliano Boffelli though. While the two Pumas will not be in direct opposition positionally watch out for any moments when the pair come together to contest high balls as both are masters of this craft.

In the centres, Stafford McDowall and Chris Dean have come close to Scotland caps in the past. With both men arguably showing their best ever form for their respective clubs could dominant performances over the next few weeks push them into contention for the Six Nations?

Murphy Walker will have the chance to audition for the gap left by Zander Fagerson’s injury – and there’s no better way to do that by a direct comparison with his opposite number, the indefatigable WP Nel who will have his own designs on the Scotland tighthead shirt. Murphy will need to be at his absolute best with Scotland’s number 1 number 1, Pierre Schoeman, in direct opposition at scrum time.

Matt Fagerson and Jamie Ritchie will no doubt have lots to talk about as they batter into each other at ruck after ruck. As things stand both men would expect to start against England at the beginning of February so the chat may include who should join them in the back row. With Hamish Watson, Rory Darge, Luke Crosbie, Nick Haining and Tom Gordon among those absent this week there are opportunities for Jack Dempsey and Connor Boyle to advance their case for a move up the national side’s Depth Chart.

Glasgow v Edinburgh at Scotstoun:

  • 9 wins
  • 2 losses
  • 3 try BPs
  • 39 points out of a possible 55 (71%)

Previous match-up at Scotstoun:

Officials:

Referee: Ben Blain (SRU)
AR1: Hollie Davidson (SRU)
AR2: Sam Grove-White (SRU)
TMO: Mike Adamson (SRU)

Mr Blain’s regular season record for 2021/22:

Matches – 10
Average penalty count – 16.6 per game
Home side penalties conceded percentage – 41.0%
Average card count – 1.0 per game
Penalties per card – 16.6

Mr Blain only averaged 6.8 penalties per game against home sides last season – and these teams only picked up 1 of the 10 yellow cards he issued. Before Warriors’ fans get too excited his numbers in both areas are a bit more even between hosts and visitors so far in 2022/23. Still, Mr Blain will no doubt be delighted to have an extra 7,351 assistant refs to keep him right at Scotstoun on Friday night!


Additional ref stats from: https://www.cardiffrfcfans.com/analysis/referee_heads.php?countryID=4

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