With their national side unexpectedly called to action after a frozen pitch in France, you’d think now was the weekend to play the Irish teams. Edinburgh will feel they have a chance against Ulster who will be without the likes of Trimble and Ferris, but in reality they still boast plenty of quality and a formidable home support; while Edinburgh are severely depleted by their admirable contribution to the Scotland squad and their Rabo form has been, let’s face it, miserable.
The visitors have named a strong back row and given a first start up front to Argentinian loan-signing Ulises Gamboa, who has cult hero written all over him – he looks a little like a late-period Diego Maradonna. In a back division shorn of De Luca, Laidlaw, Jones and Blair, Tim Visser will be looking to keep the try scoring form going come what may, but with shuffled centres and a make-shift back 3 (Cairns, King and Thompson are all injured) it looks like a tough journey to Ireland for a second week running. Mossy lurks on the bench ready to come on and give his all, but elsewhere the replacements are very inexperienced; although former U20s man Robert McAlpine could be one to watch for the future.
Edinburgh Rugby team to play Ulster : Tom Brown, Sep Visser, Matt Scott, John Houston, Tim Visser, Phil Godman, Chris Leck; Kyle Traynor, Andrew Kelly, Ulises Gamboa, Grant Gilchrist, Sean Cox, Stuart McInally, Roddy Grant (capt) Netani Talei
Substitutes: Alun Walker, Robin Hislop, Jack Gilding, Robert McAlpine, Hamish Watson, Alex Black, Harry Leonard, Chris Paterson
Friday 2nd March, Ravenhill, coverage live on BBC2 Northern Ireland, ko 1905
Glasgow meanwhile have had their leader Al Kellock restored from Scotland duty into a strong front five along with Dougie Hall who returns at hooker. In the backs Ruaridh Jackson continues his quest for enough form at 10 to get back into the Scotland team and Federico “Irn-Bru” Aramburu comes into the centre for Troy Nathan, out with a back injury.
With quite a strong team and the Ospreys like Ulster without a few key international players, Glasgow might fancy their chances, but the Welsh region are on a strong run of victories at home and haven’t lost to a Scottish side at the Liberty since 2009 – and that wasn’t Glasgow, who have never won there.
Glasgow to face Ospreys: Peter Murchie, David Lemi, Alex Dunbar, Federico Aramburu, Colin Shaw, Ruaridh Jackson, Henry Pyrgos, Ryan Grant, Dougie Hall, Jon Welsh, Tom Ryder, Al Kellock (capt), Calum Forrester, Chris Fusaro, Ryan Wilson.
Replacements: Pat MacArthur, Gordon Reid, Ed Kalman, Rob Verbakel, Scott Wight, Murray McConnell, Johnnie Beattie, Tommy Seymour.
Referee: Neil Paterson (SRU)
Friday 2nd March, Liberty Stadium, coverage live on BBC2 Wales and BBC Alba, ko 1905