This is the crunch weekend, when there is both Six Nations action and PRO14 action. As a result fewer International players than normal are available to either Scottish side but there are still crucial points to be fought over. There is some good news for the coaches in the shape of players returning from injury.
Glasgow vs Connacht
With Nick Grigg now starting for Scotland, it’s a fresh centre partnership for Glasgow although there’s plenty familiarity at club level between Kelly and MacDowell who both play for Ayr. Niko, Jacko and George Horne (back from injury) will look to add the zip and a little more experience.
Up front the pack is largely the same one that has featured in recent weeks but the bench sees Matt Fagerson return as a welcome boost.
Fri 22nd February 2019
KO: 19:35, Scotstoun Stadium (also live on FreeSports)
Glasgow Warriors: Ruaridh Jackson, Kyle Steyn, Patrick Kelly, Stafford MacDowell, Nikola Matawalu, Brandon Thomson, George Horne; Oli Kebble, Grant Stewart, Siua Halanukonuka, Tim Swinson, Scott Cummings, Rob Harley, Chris Fusaro (capt), Adam Ashe.
Replacements: Kevin Bryce, Jamie Bhatti, Adam Nicol, Matt Fagerson, Tom Gordon, Nick Frisby, Rory Hughes, Robbie Nairn.
Connacht Rugby: Tiernan O’Halloran, Stephen Fitzgerald, Kyle Godwin, Tom Daly, Matt Healy, Conor Fitzgerald, Kieran Marmion, Denis Buckley, Dave Heffernan, Finlay Bealham, Cillian Gallagher, James Cannon, Eoin McKeon, Colby Fainga’a, Jarrad Butler.
Replacements: Shane Delahunt, Peter McCabe, Conor Carey, Joe Maksymiw, Paul Boyle, Caolin Blade, Peter Robb, Cian Kelleher.
Referee: Ben Whitehouse (WRU)
Edinburgh vs Cardiff
The big news here is the return to fitness of Mark Bennett and Damien Hoyland after long injury layoffs. James Johnstone has returned from Scotland camp (Chris Dean travelled with the squad) to make this a partly familiar Edinburgh side but with a lot of the big names absent.
Cardiff played some great rugby against Glasgow last weekend, and came back from two-try deficits twice in that game so Edinburgh will need to concentrate fully to keep the home league points.
Sat 23rd February 2019
19:35, BT Murrayfield
Edinburgh Rugby: Dougie Fife, Damien Hoyland, James Johnstone, Juan Pablo Socino, Duhan van der Merwe, Jaco van der Walt, Nathan Fowles, Pierre Schoeman, Dave Cherry, Pietro Ceccarelli, Fraser McKenzie, Callum Hunter-Hill, Ally Miller, Luke Crosbie, Viliame Mata.
Replacements: Ross Ford, Rory Sutherland, Murray McCallum, Jamie Hodgson, Senitiki Nayalo, Charlie Shiel, Simon Hickey, Mark Bennett.
Cardiff Blues: Matthew Morgan, Owen Lane, Rey Lee-Lo, Willis Halaholo, Aled Summerhill, Jarrod Evans, Lloyd Williams, Rhys Carre, Liam Belcher, Dimitri Arhip, George Earle, Rory Thornton, Shane Lewis-Hughes, Olly Robinson, Nick Williams.
Replacements: Ethan Lewis, Corey Domachowski, Scott Andrews, Macauley Cook, Alun Lawrence, Dane Blacker, Steve Shingler, Jason Harries.
Referee: Frank Murphy (IRFU)