URC Preview: Glasgow Warriors and Edinburgh Rugby back in action
After a break during the opening rounds of the 2023 Guinness Six Nations, BKT United Rugby Championship rugby returns this weekend for both Scottish sides.
Glasgow Warriors get underway first, as they host Ulster at Scotstoun Stadium tonight (kick off 7.35pm) – live on Viaplay.
Scott Cummings will make his first appearance for Glasgow Warriors for three months, having picked up a foot injury while training with Scotland ahead of the 2022 Autumn Nations Series.
Cummings is one of seven changes from the Warriors side that took to the field at Rodney Parade for the club’s most recent outing, with Nathan McBeth making his first start in the BKT URC.
Head coach Franco Smith said: “The players have returned from their time off refreshed and refocused, as we prepare to start the next block of fixtures.
“We know how important this next block of fixtures will be for our season, but we are only focused on making sure we present the best version of ourselves on the pitch tomorrow night.
“We are proud of our home record and we know we will need to be at our best to defend that record against a strong Ulster side.”
Then tomorrow, Edinburgh Rugby make the journey down to Llanelli to face the Scarlets at Parc y Scarlets (kick off 5.15pm) – live on Viaplay.
Edinburgh are bolstered by the return of Dave Cherry and Hamish Watson from Scotland camp and Damien Hoyland from injury.
Hoyland’s inclusion sees Wes Goosen shift to full-back as Charlie Shiel gets the nod at scrum-half in the only other change to the starting backline.
In the pack, Scotland lock Jamie Hodgson comes into the tight-five in place of Marshall Sykes, while centre Chris Dean (concussion) is once again fit to be named on the bench, having progressed through the graduated return to play protocol.
Head Coach Mike Blair said: “We’ve had a really focussed week of training and the guys are excited to return to league action. That short break during the Six Nations window has given us the opportunity to take stock and reflect on what we’re doing well and what we can do better as a team.
“The internationals have come back into training this week and brought a brilliant buzz. We’ve got a great dynamic across the squad and we feel energised as a group heading into tomorrow night’s match at Parc y Scarlets.”