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Townsend rings Glasgow changes

Gregor Townsend admits his Glasgow side will have to step it up if they are to continue their dominance over Edinburgh at BT Murrayfield.

The Warriors coach has made nine changes to the team which pulled off a 16-6 win over Gunners at Scotstoun last weekend ahead of Friday's 1872 Cup return in the capital.

Townsend's men have won the last five inter-city derbies but the coach knows his side cannot afford to get over confident.

Townsend - who recalls a number of his top performers, including Tommy Seymour, Finn Russell, Gordon Reid, Jonny Gray and Fraser Brown - said: "It's great that we're able welcome back some players who were rested last weekend and this allows us to freshen up the squad.

"A number of players have earned the opportunity to play in this fixture and we'll need to play better tomorrow night if we're to come away with a positive result.

"We've enjoyed playing at BT Murrayfield over the last few seasons and the pitch looks in great condition, so we're all really looking forward to this game.

"We're expecting another tough match but it will be great to play an away game with so many of our supporters at the ground."

Townsend's selction sees Peter Murchie replace Stuart Hogg at full-back, while Sean Maitland comes in for Sean Lamont on the right wing and Seymour replaces DTH van der Merwe on the left.

Russell comes in for Duncan Weir at stand-off while Fijian scrum-half Niko Matawalu replaces Henry Pyrgos, who is rested after being involved in the last five games.

Gordon Reid and Jon Welsh come into the front row in place of Ryan Grant and Euan Murray, while Jonny Gray replaces the rested Tim Swinson in the second-row.

The only change in the back-row involves Tyrone Holmes replacing the injured Scotland flanker Rob Harley, who could now miss the start of the RBS 6 Nations with knee and ankle damage.

While Glasgow have rung the changes, there are just two alterations to Alan Solomons' Edinburgh XV for a match which also doubles as a Guinness Pro12 fixture.

While the forward pack remains unchanged, Tim Visser returns on the left wing in place of Tom Brown and Phil Burleigh replaces Andries Strauss to partner Matt Scott in the centre.

Solomons said: "We are all looking forward to playing at home. The support of our fans will act as a spur in the task that lies ahead of us."


From Belfast Telegraph