Edinburgh v Glasgow: Teams
At Murrayfield, Saturday January 2, kick-off 3.05pm
By Rachel Griffiths. Last Updated: 30/12/09 5:02pm
Hamilton: Will make long-awaited return
Scotland lock Jim Hamilton will return to Edinburgh's starting XV when they host Glasgow in the Greaves Sports 1872 Cup decider on Saturday.
The 27-year-old has missed the entire season so far with a knee injury but has been given the all-clear to make his comeback in the Scottish derby at Murrayfield, which could see the home side draw level with top of the table Glasgow in the Magners League standings.
Head coach Rob Moffat is hoping Hamilton can help lift the side after their 25-12 defeat against Warriors in the first leg of the competition at Firhill last weekend.
"It is good to have him back," said Moffat. "His return gives the squad a massive boost."
Hamilton is one of four changes to the starting line-up, with prop Kyle Traynor reintroduced into the front row, Alan MacDonald reclaiming the number six jersey after recovering from a rib injury and Mark Robertson returning on the wing, while John Houston moves across to inside centre.
Moffat is urging his team to see Sunday's defeat as fresh incentive to fight for a win over their capital rivals.
"There should be a reaction to Sunday's result from our players - we didn't play well and we lost to our closest rivals," he said.
"Glasgow went top of the league, while we dropped down to fifth place.
"So this is a massively important game for us; not just because it is Glasgow, but because it is a big game in the wider scheme of the Magners League."
The Edinburgh side is still plagued by injury problems, with captain Mike Blair ruled out with an ankle problem and vice-captain Allister Hogg facing a lengthy absence after undergoing surgery on his hip last week.
Stand-off David Blair continues to be sidelined with an ankle injury, while club captain Simon Cross is still out with a knee problem along with Andrew Easson (knee), Ryan Grant (ankle) and Simon Webster (hamstring).
Meanwhile, Glasgow head coach Sean Lineen has shown faith in the side that triumphed last weekend by retaining the same starting line-up.
While Lineen is hoping to make it two from two and reclaim the 1872 Cup, he has warned his team to expect a fiery response from the home side
"I've been very impressed with the players' attitude this week because we all know we have unfinished business," said Lineen, who will name his bench on Friday.
"We've had a pretty full-on week and are leaving nothing to chance.
"Edinburgh will be hurting but we've been there before. We're expecting a very fierce match on Saturday."
Edinburgh: 15 Chris Paterson (c), 14 Mark Robertson, 13 Ben Cairns, 12 John Houston, 11 Tim Visser, 10 Phil Godman, 9 Greig Laidlaw, 1 Kyle Traynor, 2 Ross Ford, 3 Geoff Cross, 4 Scott MacLeod, 5 Jim Hamilton, 6 Alan MacDonald, 7 Roddy Grant, 8 Scott Newlands.
Replacements: 16 Sean Crombie/Andrew Kelly, 17 Allan Jacobsen, 18 Craig Hamilton, 19 David Callam, 20 Ross Samson, 21 Nick De Luca, 22 Jim Thompson.
Glasgow: 15 Bernardo Stortoni, 14 DTH van der Merwe, 13 Max Evans, 12 Graeme Morrison, 11 Thom Evans, 10 Dan Parks, 9 Chris Cusiter, 1 Jon Welsh, 2 Dougie Hall, 3 Moray Low, 4 Alastair Kellock (c), 5 Richie Gray, 6 Kelly Brown, 7 John Barclay, 8 Richie Vernon.