SCOTTISH RUGBY DERBY RETURNS LIVE ON PREMIER SPORTS THIS WEEKEND
Al Kellock looks ahead to another competitive derby close to Scotland’s Six Nations squad selection
Premier Sports will be back at Scotstoun Stadium in Glasgow this Saturday (January 16th) with live action of the rescheduled Glasgow Warriors v Edinburgh Rugby 1872 Cup fixture which was called off due to a frozen pitch last weekend.
With Six Nations national selection on the horizon, and European Rugby on hold, the return of the big Scottish PRO14 derby provides a perfect platform and timing for players to make a claim for Scotland jerseys with national coach Gregor Townsend watching closely.
And Premier Sports team of rugby experts will be warmed up and ready to bring all the latest inside track and expertise on Saturday evening’s big game. Join Dougie Vipond, Jim Hamilton, Al Kellock, Rory Hamilton and Emma Dodds for live coverage starting at 5.15pm (Premier Sports 1).
Glasgow Warriors have plenty to prove when they welcome their rivals Edinburgh back to Scotstoun having only won one of their last 7 Guinness PRO14 matches and with Edinburgh victorious in the last three 1872 Cups. The overall head-to-head record lies at 19 wins each and one draw.
The last six encounters between the famous Scottish rivals have been evenly shared with three wins apiece, but Edinburgh’s three victories have been in their last four encounters and all at BT Murrayfield.
The visitors have won twice in eight visits to Scotstoun; in May 2017 and December 2018.
Ex-Scottish international and former captain of Glasgow Warriors for nine seasons, Al Kellock will be part of the Premier Sports commentary team on Saturday at Scotstoun and is looking forward to some more attacking rugby this time out.
He says the cancellation of the game last weekend just before kick-off would have been just another exercise in resilience for players and coaches – a regular feature of this season.
Al Kellock said: “Rugby players in general need to be adaptable and some of the best in the world are the most resilient players. This season has been unbelievable in how resilient players and coaches have had to be throughout every week, from testing to bubbles – there are all sorts of things that have never have been in our game. I expect both teams will take this in their stride and I’d expect to see more attacking rugby - putting right things that didn’t work in the first game.
“The game is only a week old, the clubs would have spent time preparing for the opposition already so it’s a good time to get it re-played and it would be much harder to drop in later on. I’m sure the coaches will be delighted and it makes sure the players are continuing to get a run out. From a national team point of view, Gregor Townsend will also be pleased to get this game away as he looks at who to place in his Six Nations squad - he hasn’t had as good a look as expected over recent weeks. It’s an opportunity for individuals to play themselves into the squad, there are some interesting match ups in key positions and from a player point of view it’s in the back of your mind that you are competing to grab that Scotland jersey.
“These are brilliant games - as big Jim Hamilton said last weekend in Premier Sports’ build-up we both really enjoyed and loved playing in these games - it’s a derby so you’re going to see a competitive game. It can turn into arm wrestle as the players know each other so well.
“I’d expect more parity in the set-piece with another week to work on it and with the biggest improvement from both teams in attack as sides look to take their opportunities. We will see attritional rugby in the first 15/20 minutes and then I’m hoping we’ll see some free-flowing rugby towards the second half.”
Guinness PRO14’s host broadcaster will also show another rescheduled derby from Round 9 with Munster v Leinster live on Premier Sports on Saturday January 23rd (kick off 7.35pm) at Thomond Park, Limerick.
And PRO14’s Round 11 Zebre v Edinburgh Rugby fixture will now take place on Saturday January 23rd (kick off 1pm UK time) and will also be shown live on Premier Sports. The original R11 fixture was postponed to facilitate Scottish and Italian derbies and to mitigate any risks associated with travel.