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Solomons calls for cool heads

Edinburgh head coach Alan Solomons has called for cool heads as his side prepare to take on rivals Glasgow on Boxing Day.

The inter-city derby will give the Murrayfield side the chance to trim back the eight-point gap separating them from Gregor Townsend's Warriors side in the RaboDirect Pro12.

Meanwhile, the 1872 Cup will be up for grabs to the side who comes out on top after the aggregate scores are worked out following the return leg at Scotstoun on New Year's Day.

But Solomons has urged his men not to let the emotion of the derby clash get the better of them.

He said: "This is the oldest rugby derby in the world so we must take cognisance of that rich history and tradition. It's a privilege for all the staff and players to be involved in it.

"Most derbies are tight, hotly-contested affairs and I think that this one will be no different.

"There is a lot of emotion involved in these games, but it's a question of ensuring that the emotion is correctly channelled .

"The way to do that is by focussing on the elements on which you have got to deliver.

"When all is said and done, it's game of rugby, and one has got to deliver a good performance to get any form of outcome."

Meanwhile, Solomons has made one change for Thursdays clash.

The introduction of loose-head prop Wicus Blaauw as a rotated replacement for Scotland internationalist Alasdair Dickinson is the only change to the side that muscled past Leinster at the same venue last weekend.

The match will be Blaauw's fourth start in 12 appearances this season, the most recent of which came in the club's away win over Gloucester in the Heineken Cup a fortnight ago.

The faith shown in the starting line-up means club stalwart Roddy Grant will lead the team out on his 100th appearance and that lock Ollie Atkins retains his starting role, despite the return of Izak van der Westhuizen, who starts on the bench.

Former Hawke's Bay captain and number 8 Mike Coman and on-loan stand-off Tony Fenner - both unused replacements against Leinster - are still in line to make their club debuts if called upon from the bench.

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