As the Heineken swings into the post-November run of back to back home and away fixtures, our Scottish pro-teams skate the usual line between “campaign over” and mindless optimism that they can still get somewhere, having failed to get off to the required good start. Glasgow take on champs Toulouse tonight at a frosty Firhill, so if you are heading along allow plenty of time to do your penguin scuttle over half-melted ice. The Toulose team announced may not offer much in the way of warmth on the pitch either, a garlicky Harlem Globetrotters of rugby who will be looking to banish any memories of previous French stumbles at Firhill, and in le style.
Glasgow Warriors: Bernardo Stortoni, Federico Aramburu, Max Evans, Graeme Morrison, DTH van der Merwe, Ruaridh Jackson, Henry Pyrgos, Jon Welsh, Dougie Hall, Moray Low, Richie Gray, Alastair Kellock (capt), Robert Harley, John Barclay, Richie Vernon.
Replacements: Fergus Thomson, Ed Kalman, Kevin Tkachuk, Aly Muldowney, Chris Fusaro, Colin Gregor, Peter Murchie, Hefin O’Hare.
Toulouse: Maxime Medard, Vincent Clerc, Florian Fritz, Yannick Jauzion, Cedric Heymans, David Skrela, Byron Kelleher, Shaun Sowerby, Thierry Dusautoir, Yannick Nyanga, Patricio Albacete, Yoann Maestri, Census Johnston, William Cervat, Jean-Baptiste Poux.
Replacements: Jean Bouilhou, Daan Human, Virgil Lacombe, Gregory Lamboly, Yohan Montes, Louis Picamoles, Clement Poitrenaud, Nicolas Vergallo
Edinburgh meanwhile found themselves dipping drastically formwise in a group against the Northampton team that has been threatening greatness for a while now and subsequently high hopes at the start of the season have turned to “let’s see if we can beat Castres”. Exile Scott Murray plays for the French team, and will be hoping that a couple of good games could put him into the reckoning for Scotland’s international team, even if we are not exactly struggling for locks at the moment. The Edinburgh team also sees the return of everyone’s favourite loony utility back, Simon “Malkovich” Webster who earns a spot on the bench after a long injury layoff.
Edinburgh (to face Castres): C Paterson, J Thompson, B Cairns, J Houston, L Jones, D Blair, G Laidlaw, A Jacobsen, R Ford, G Cross, F McKenzie, S Turnbull, S Newlands, R Grant (capt), R Rennie.
Replacements: A Kelly, K Traynor, D Young, E Lozada, A MacDonald, J King, A Grove, S Webster.