Laidlaw back for Edinburgh
Published 24/04/2014 | 10:12
Edinburgh Rugby will welcome back captain Greig Laidlaw to the starting line-up for this Saturday's 1872 Cup derby decider with Glasgow Warriors.
The Gloucester-bound Scotland scrum-half was given a six-week break following the recent RBS 6 Nations as the Dark Blues aim to have him fully rested in time for their summer tour to North America, Argentina and South Africa.
He comes back into the fold to lead the side for their final three games of the season, starting with the decisive match derby clash against the Warriors - which doubles as a RaboDirect PRO12 fixture.
The Murrayfield outfit can also call on forward trio Grant Gilchrist, Izak van der Westhuizen and Alasdair Dickinson, who were unavailable to play last Saturday through injury.
The remaining two squad changes sees back-row Cornell Du Preez return to the starting line-up and stand-off Piers Francis reclaim a spot on the bench.
Edinburgh Rugby head coach Alan Solomons said: "I think this is a fantastic way for Greig to finish his time with Edinburgh Rugby, first to lead the side against Glasgow in this derby match, then again against Munster in our last home game of the season and then away against a top European side like Leinster.
"He will add a lot of value to the team with his experience and leadership and, while your first game back is always tough, he has a good temperament, is a good player, and is the kind of individual that will give a good account of himself."
While challenging for PRO12 points is the priority for the visitors, the Warriors edge the aggregate 1872 Cup encounter following their 20-16 Boxing Day win at Murrayfield Stadium.
The visitors therefore need to win by five points if they are to prise the silverware from the west this weekend, as an aggregate draw would see it retained by the hosts.
Solomons added: "Glasgow are good side and have generated a lot of confidence in the last few weeks with a lot of fantastic wins, including beating Munster away and Ulster at home.
"They are fighting for a home semi-final in the PRO12 and will come out all guns blazing, let alone that this is a derby.
"There's 140 years of tradition in this match, so there's no doubt it's a game for which our players are always excited and look forward to.
"We will give absolutely everything to ensure we produce a good performance."