RaboDirect PRO12: Glasgow host Edinburgh, Cardiff Blues take on Dragons
Last Updated: 31/12/13 2:04pm
Sean Lamont returns to Glasgow's starting XV for the second leg of the 1872 Cup derby with Edinburgh at Scotstoun on New Year's Day.
Lamont, who has been out of action since November with an ankle injury, comes in on the left wing as the hosts aim to build on last week's narrow 20-16 victory over Edinburgh at Murrayfield.
Stuart Hogg starts at full-back for the Warriors, with Sean Maitland occupying the right wing berth.
Byron McGuigan and Alex Dunbar form a new centre partnership, while Ruaridh Jackson and Henry Pyrgos come into the side at fly-half and scrum-half respectively.
Dougie Hall replaces Pat MacArthur at hooker and Ed Kalman comes in for Jon Welsh at tighthead.
Chris Fusaro comes in at openside and captains the side, while Josh Strauss replaces Ryan Wilson at number eight.
Glasgow head coach Gregor Townsend said: "Edinburgh played really well against us last week and we know we face another tough game tomorrow night.
"These fixtures against our oldest rivals are the most anticipated games of the season. We are playing for a trophy and also valuable league points.
"I believe it's important to give players the opportunity to be involved in such an important series of games for the club.
"I expect those selected to deliver an 80-minute performance full of physicality, discipline and emotional control. That's what will be required to go on and retain the 1872 Cup."
Meanwhile, Edinburgh boss Alan Solomons has made one change to his starting XV.
Scotland prop Alasdair Dickinson returns from last week's rotated rest break to start the match, with Wicus Blaauw moving to the replacements' bench.
"I think Wicus did very well and the more he has played the better he has got, but Ally has been in a rich vein of form and we welcome him back to start the match," said Solomons.
"I think we can take heart from the fact that we were in the driving seat for much of last week's match. However we failed to capitalise on some clear opportunities. Conversely, Glasgow took their chances."
In other New Year's Day action, Harry Robinson and Richard Smith return as Cardiff Blues launch 2014 with a home clash against the Dragons.
Director of Rugby Phil Davies makes five changes to the side that lost 22-16 in the PRO12 game between the pair last week.
Smith returns at outside centre while Robinson comes back on to the wing. Hooker Marc Breeze starts the game, with Kristian Dacey ruled out through injury, while Macauley Cook moves to lock to partner Filo Paulo.
The final changes sees Rory Watts-Jones named at blindside flanker to join Josh Navidi and Robin Copeland in the back row at the Arms Park. Gethin Jenkins returns among the replacements.
"We played with real endeavour and physicality at Rodney Parade, but were obviously disappointed by the result in Newport," said Davies.
"However, the nature of Dominos Derby Series is that we face each other again almost immediately and have a chance to make amends.
"There will be a huge fired crowd at the Arms Park and I'm sure the atmosphere will be absolutely electric as we look to kick-off 2014 with an important result and move up the RaboDirect PRO12 table."
For the Dragons, second-row Rob Sidoli will take on the role of skipper for the sixth time this season as Andrew Coombs is out of the line-up with a knee injury.
Sidoli will stand alongside three other changes to the starting XV that faced the Blues on Boxing Day.
Sidoli and ex Cardiff Blues player Matthew Screech have been called up into the second-row.
Prop Owen Evans and hooker T.Rhys Thomas keep their positions from last week, but are joined in the front-row by Dan Way.
Matthew Pewtner steps into the position of blindside wing as Hallam Amos is out of selection after sustaining a foot injury last week.
There has only been one change to the bench with Adam Jones stepping in at number 19.