Glasgow Recover Their Strength, Blair Benched

Despite another virus rifling through the Glasgow team this week, Sean Lineen has named a team close to full strength for Friday in an attempt to pilfer some away points from an Ospreys team that will be shorn of some of its top line Welsh talent. Richie Gray seemed to impress the radio commentators last week and is back in again – good to see our youngsters getting blooded, despite what Stephen Jones might think about such things elsewhere. A good game for Cusiter on Friday could see him claim the Scotland 9 shirt for the first time in years, and the captaincy too perhaps? While Max Evans performing like he did last weekend would make the midfield selection even harder for Andy Robinson OBE. Given recent troubles in the lineout for both Hall and Ford leaving Gloucester’s industrious Scott Lawson as a viable candidate at hooker, Fergus Thomson’s return from injury could be timely as well.

Meanwhile Edinburgh coach Rob Moffatt seems to have played the boot-up-the-arse card for Mike Blair and has dropped him for in form Greg Laidlaw, described as “the preferred choice”. Which seems a clear way of saying “this is not a rotation”. Unlike say, in-form Roddy Grant who has been shifted to the bench in favour of Scott Newlands who offered some good go-forward last weekend. Edinburgh seem to have replaced their unstable flair with dogged resolve and so far it is working results-wise, but how they must be wishing the flair Blair of 18 months ago could be called upon to get things moving when the opportunity arises. So far these duties seem to have fallen to Ben Cairns. Hogg takes the captaincy, and I wouldn’t be surprised if he had a stormer. If you turn up to Murrayfield in fancy dress you win a pair of tickets to a Scotland international. Anyone going as Matt Williams?*

Glasgow: Bernardo Stortoni, Colin Shaw, Max Evans, Graeme Morrison, Thom Evans, Dan Parks, Chris Cusiter, Jon Welsh, Dougie Hall, Moray Low, Richie Gray, Al Kellock (c), Kelly Brown, John Barclay, Johnnie Beattie
Replacements: Fergus Thomson, Kevin Tkachuk, Dan Turner, Richie Vernon, Mark McMillan, Colin Gregor, Hefin O’Hare

Edinburgh: Chris Paterson, John Houston, Ben Cairns, Nick De Luca, Tim Visser, Phil Godman, Greig Laidlaw, Allan Jacobsen, Ross Ford, Geoff Cross, Steve Turnbull, Scott MacLeod, Scott Newlands, Alan MacDonald, Allister Hogg (c)
Replacements: Andrew Kelly, Kyle Traynor, Craig Hamilton, Roddy Grant, Mike Blair, Mark Robertson, Steve Jones.

* Bill Clinton wig and a Scotland tracksuit, and maybe some sort of Aussie signifier (inflatable kangaroo?). Cheap and easy (unlike the man himself). Don’t say I never help out.

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