Richard Cockerill has 3/4 of his end of term leavers – at least the ones we know about – in the team to travel to Ulster this weekend, with Sam Hidalgo-Clyne and Cornell du Preez starting and Duncan Weir recalled from exile at Worcester to cover standoff. Hidalgo-Clyne is in decent-to good form which gives him a shop window, but also makes the decision to let him go ahead of the more underwhelming Fowles or Kennedy slightly baffling. Best of luck to him wherever he pitches up.
There are not too many international faces appear although it’s a chance for more game time for Rory Sutherland, Murray McCallum and Mark Bennett all of whom may yet have a part to play in the Six Nations campaign. There’s also the curious case of John Hardie who has undeniable pedigree, even if he isn’t involved with the squad at the moment. He starts at openside.
Welshman Jason Harries makes a rare appearance on the wing, having not started since Round 4, but Fife and the midfield are the same as last week, along with the two South Africans who have impressed since pitching up in Scotland.
Ulster haven’t been playing all that well this season and Edinburgh will fancy their chances of nicking something, but may lack a little experience in the pack to cope with Fortress Ravenhill.
Edinburgh team to face Ulster: 15. Dougie Fife, 14. Jason Harries, 13. Mark Bennett, 12. Chris Dean, 11. Duhan van der Merwe, 10. Jaco van der Walt, 9. Sam Hidalgo-Clyne; 1. Jordan Lay, 2. Neil Cochrane, 3. Murray McCallum, 4. Fraser McKenzie (capt), 5. Lewis Carmichael, 6. Bill Mata, 7. John Hardie, 8. Cornell du Preez.
Replacements: 16. Cameron Fenton, 17. Rory Sutherland, 18. Eliot Millar Mills, 19. Magnus Bradbury, 20. Luke Crosbie, 21. Nathan Fowles, 22. Duncan Weir, 23. Glenn Bryce
Ulster: L Ludik; C Gilroy, L Marshall, S McCloskey, T Bowe; J McPhillips, J Cooney; A Warwick, R Herring, W Herbst, A O’Connor (Captain), K Treadwell, M Rea, N Timoney, J Deysel.
Replacements: J Andrew, K McCall, R Ah You, M Dalton, C Henry, J Stewart, D Cave, D Busby.
At the Kingspan Stadium on Friday 16 February (kick-off 7.35pm) – live on BBC NI (and possibly BBC Website)
For Glasgow, Tim Swinson is another player who may yet hope to feature in the Six Nations although that might depend on the fitness of Richie Gray as the three locks at the moment are doing well enough. He joins Scott Cummings in the boilerhouse as part of a decent looking Glasgow side that will be captained by Rob Harley.
It’s also another chance to get a look at young Grant Stewart from the bench who has impressed on limited showings – could he be next year’s Jamie Bhatti?
George Horne and Adam Hastings continue to develop what could be a long term partnership at half back and while the back division isn’t perhaps the first choice it’s still packed with useful characters who have plenty of tries in them.
With the Scotstoun faithful behind them, it should be enough to see off the Toyota Cheetahs who could feel a long way from home in this weather. Still the last game between these two sides was a cracker, so more of the same please!
Glasgow team to face Toyota Cheetahs: 15. Ruaridh Jackson, 14. Lee Jones, 13. Nick Grigg, 12. Sam Johnson, 11. Niko Matawalu, 10. Adam Hastings, 9. George Horne; 1. Alex Allan, 2. James Malcolm, 3. Siau Halanukonuka, 4. Tim Swinson, 5. Scott Cummings, 6. Rob Harley (capt), 7. Chris Fusaro, 8. Matt Fagerson.
Replacements: 16. Grant Stewart, 17. Oli Kebble, 18. D’Arcy Rae, 19. Matt Smith, 20. Adam Ashe, 21. Henry Pyrgos, 22. Brandon Thomson, 23. Ratu Tagive.
Not available due to injury: Brian Alainu’uise (knee), Fraser Brown (head), Alex Dunbar (thigh), Zander Fagerson (foot), Callum Gibbins (achilles), Rory Hughes (shoulder), Pat MacArthur (shoulder), Leo Sarto (shoulder) and George Turner (knee).
Not available due to international commitments: Jamie Bhatti (Scotland), Jonny Gray (Scotland), Stuart Hogg (Scotland), Peter Horne (Scotland), Huw Jones (Scotland) Ali Price (Scotland), Finn Russell (Scotland), Tommy Seymour (Scotland) and Ryan Wilson (Scotland).
Toyota Cheetahs: 15 Clayton Blommetjies, 14 Craig Barry, 13 Francois Venter (capt), 12 Nico Lee, 11 Malcolm Jaer, 10 Niel Marais, 9 Shaun Venter; 1 Charles Marais, 2 Torsten Van Jaarsveld
3 Luan de Bruin, 4 Justin Basson, 5 Reniel Hugo, 6 Henco Venter, 7 Oupa Mohoje, 8 Uzair Cassiem.
Replacements: 16 Jacques Du Toit, 17 Ox Nche, 18 Johan Coetzee, 19 Carl Wegner, 20 Paul Schoeman, 21 Zee Mkhabela, 22 Fred Zeilinga, 23 Luther Obi.
At Scotstoun, live on BBC ALBA, kick-off 7.35pm.