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Lineen shuffles Glasgow pack

Glasgow have made seven changes for the second leg of their annual festive encounter with Edinburgh.

Ryan Grant (ankle) and Rory Lamont (head knock) are enforced changes but head coach Sean Lineen has also decided to freshen up the forwards for the New Year's Day clash at Firhill. Jon Welsh replaces Grant at loose-head prop, and Colin Shaw comes in on the wing in place of Lamont, who has recovered well from his blow but not enough to play.

Glasgow twice clawed back 10-point deficits to draw 23-23 at Murrayfield on Boxing Day in the first leg of the games that double as the 1872 Cup and RaboDirect Pro12 encounters.

The majority of changes come in the pack, where Dougie Hall and Moray Low form a front row with Welsh. Ryan Wilson will start at number eight and Chris Fusaro occupies the openside flanker berth, with John Barclay moving to the bench.

Peter Murchie comes in at full-back with Stuart Hogg moving to outside centre and Troy Nathan missing out.

Lineen said: "We've freshened things up in the forwards, bringing in guys who have performed well as replacements in recent weeks and have really put their hand up for a start.

"Moray and Dougie bring excellent experience and class to our pack, while Chris Fusaro has been very consistent all season. It's great for quality players like John Barclay to have that level of competition, and having his game knowledge and ability to call on from the bench is a real asset for us this weekend.

"We sustained a couple of injuries in the first game, so we've had to shuffle things a bit, but we're more than happy with the quality of the replacements that are coming into the side. Jon Welsh is a proven competitor in the front row, while Colin Shaw was first class off the bench at Murrayfield, showing good awareness for his try.

"Ryan Wilson has had an excellent campaign to date, Peter Murchie is a player we rate very highly, and we're also very excited about what Stuart Hogg can bring to the outside centre position.

"Sunday is about us coming sharply out of the blocks, hitting the ground running and playing the game on our terms. It's going to be another massively physical battle, so we'll need to be right at the top of our game if we're going to keep hold of the silverware."


From Belfast Telegraph