Hardie returns for penultimate round

Edinburgh have a chance to arrest their worrying slide with the visit of fellow basement-dwellers the Dragons to Myreside tomorrow night, in what will be their final home game of the season. A win for the Newport-Gwent side could see them leapfrog Edinburgh in the table.

The most inspiring tidbit in there is the return of John Hardie to fitness. Edinburgh might not have much to hit the Dragons with, but they will have two test quality opensides, as hopefully will Scotland come the summer. Elsewhere in the team it is the usual mixed bag with Duncan Weir still confined to the bench, as is Blair Kinghorn back from a stint with the Sevens squad.

Edinburgh Rugby to face Dragons at Myreside, Friday 28 April, kick-off 7.35pm – live on BBC ALBA:

15. Glenn Bryce, 14. Damien Hoyland, 13. Chris Dean, 12. Junior Rasolea, 11. Rory Scholes, 10. Jason Tovey, 9. Nathan Fowles; 1. Allan Dell, 2. George Turner, 3. Simon Berghan, 4. Grant Gilchrist (capt), 5. Ben Toolis, 6. Viliame Mata, 7. Hamish Watson, 8. Cornell du Preez

Replacements: 16. Ross Ford, 17. Murray McCallum, 18. Kevin Bryce, 19. Fraser McKenzie, 20. John Hardie, 21. Sam Hidalgo-Clyne, 22. Duncan Weir, 23. Blair Kinghorn

(No injury list provided with this one…)

You imagine large chunks of this squad will want to put the season to bed as soon as possible and move on to hopefully more positive things next season under Richard Cockerill. Whether problems lie with the club culture, the players or the management you imagine we’ll get some answers pretty sharpish. First, of course, they have the concluding leg of the 1872 Cup at Scotstoun.

Up at the other end of the M8, Glasgow have named an interesting side for their visit to Leinster with Tim Swinson moving to blindside so Young Brian can stay on the park and Tommy Seymour playing at 15 to accommodate the wings that Glasgow possess – whereas fullbacks they have few. It’s his first start since that Lions announcement so showing a bit of versatility is no bad thing. Pete Horne continues his run at 10 but there’s no room for his brother this time round.

They should have enough to be competitive compared to Leinster’s side which is definitely not the top flight, who have been rested following Champions Cup duty, but much may depend on referee Marius Mitrea. Just look at that Glasgow bench though, there’s plenty of talent there…

Glasgow Warriors team to play Leinster in the Guinness PRO12 at the RDS Arena in Dublin, Friday 28 April, live on TG4 (kick-off 7.35pm):

15. Tommy Seymour, 14. Leonardo Sarto, 13. Nick Grigg, 12. Sam Johnson, 11. Lee Jones, 10. Peter Horne, 9. Henry Pyrgos (co-Capt); 1. Alex Allan, 2. Fraser Brown, 3. Sila Puafisi, 4. Brian Alainu’uese, 5. Jonny Gray (co-Capt), 6. Tim Swinson, 7. Chris Fusaro, 8. Adam Ashe

Replacements: 16. Pat MacArthur, 17. Gordon Reid, 18. Zander Fagerson, 19. Rob Harley, 20. Matt Fagerson, 21. Ali Price, 22. Finn Russell, 23. Alex Dunbar

Not available due to injury: Mark Bennett (knee), Simone Favaro (knee), Sean Lamont (calf), James Malcom (ankle), D’arcy Rae (illness), Josh Strauss (medical), Richie Vernon (achilles) and Ryan Wilson (shoulder).

Sorry, no idea how you get TG4 over this side of the Irish Sea but I’m sure someone will enlighten us.

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13 comments on “Hardie returns for penultimate round

  1. Highland Bear on

    Big hitters on the Glasgow bench resting for the final Pro 12 match and illustrate the point that Townsend is prepared to trust and test young players, albeit embedded alongside a core of the 1st team. Of course it helps that there is nothing at stake for the Warriors in Dublin, but Rennie will inherit a better team than the one his predecessor took on.

    Not sure what the selection policy is at Myreside but I’m sure most of the the squad are focused on 160 minutes to the end of the nightmare. I’d be interested to hear from Gunners where they rate Hodge in the list of Edinburgh rugby coaches.

      • David B on

        Agreed, completely out of his depth.

        Despite the fact a number of his mates have come out to say he has been handed a poisoned chalice, the general structure of their play has regressed significantly and their tactics have been non-existent. I agree there is not much he can do about individual in-game skills during a game, but regression in these other areas is very much his job and performance has not been in any way convincing.

      • Cameron on

        Kicking coach at Scotland when we were at the absolute nadir of pointless box kicking. Attack coach of a very similar back line to the one we have now when we still looked totally incapable of breaking teams down.

        Attack coach at Edinburgh when we regressed to being a a one up ‘let’s hope the forwards win this because we’ve no clue how to break a defence.’

        I agree the personnel are very poor (for that you have to look at a combo of Solomans and the money men for allowing such a dearth of quality) but, and it is a huge but, aside from a couple of games, this team have been far below what you would expect of any professional outfit. Shape is poor, intensity isn’t there and other than ‘give it to 2/3 players that we hope can do something on their own’ we don’t seem to have a game plan.

        I’ve a feeling he’ll be around still because it’s Scottish rugby and the last thing you do is sack a mate but I’d be surprised if he lasts very long with the character that Cockerill is meant to be.

    • Andy on

      Leinster sending out a shadow squad so the Warriors in with a chance for a real confidence boosting win to finish on a high with 3 wins from the last 3 league games.

    • MK on

      Appalling. We (Scotland) simply cannot cope with one of our two pro teams being this bad. Hodge quite simply needs his marching orders!!

      • Andy on

        He should have been sacked 2 months ago. God knows what irrepairable damage he has done to Edinburgh

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