URC Preview: Round 3 action for Glasgow and Edinburgh
Both Glasgow Warriors and Edinburgh Rugby will continue their 2022/23 BKT United Rugby Championship campaigns this weekend.
Glasgow Warriors travel to Swansea to take on the Ospreys tomorrow afternoon, as Franco Smith’s side looks to build upon last weekend’s impressive 52-24 victory over Cardiff (kick-off 3.05pm – live on Premier Sports 1).
The Warriors make five changes, including Ali Price coming in at scrum-half to captain the team in the absence of both Kyle Steyn and George Horne.
Thomas Gordon comes in for the injured Rory Darge, with Gregor Brown, Rufus McLean and Sam Johnson also starting for their first action of the 2022/23 campaign.
Speaking following selection, Franco Smith told glasgowwarriors.org: “Last weekend’s performance against Cardiff was another step forward in our journey – our systems clicked and we won playing our brand of rugby.
“Tomorrow we want to make another step forward when we take on an experienced Ospreys side.
“It’s great to be able to bring Sam, Rufus and Gregor into the starting XV. They all have worked hard in training and have earned their chance to pull on the jeresy tomorrow afternoon.
“Ospreys have threats across the park and once again we will need to be ruthless in the contact area and clinical in attack in Swansea tomorrow.”
Edinburgh Rugby take on DHL Stormers in Cape Town this Saturday afternoon (1 October, kick-off 1pm BST/ 2pm local) in a rematch of last year’s URC Quarter-Final.
The DHL Stormers came out on top in last June’s knockout clash – edging a back-and-forth thriller 28-17 at Cape Town Stadium – and would eventually go on to win their first-ever URC Championship
Saturday’s match-up is Edinburgh’s second game of a two-week tour to South Africa having fallen just short against Vodacom Bulls last weekend.
Mike Blair’s side fought back from a 15-point deficit to lead 30-31 heading into the closing stages – where they looked likely to become the first Northern Hemisphere side to win at Loftus Stadium – only for Springbok stalwart Morne Steyn to step-up and nail a last-minute penalty to claim a 33-31 victory for the Bulls.
Edinburgh did however and claim two losing bonus-points from the match-up, with Scotland international Darcy Graham grabbing an impressive hat-trick, which will give the capital side plenty of confidence heading into Saturday’s Round 3 clash.
Edinburgh welcome the return of stand-off Blair Kinghorn – who missed last weekend’s match through illness – as well as fellow Scotland stars Ben Vellacott (scrum-half), Stuart McInally (hooker), Hamish Watson (back-row) and Nick Haining (number 8), who all start in Cape Town.
Ahead of the fixture, Edinburgh Rugby Head Coach Mike Blair said: “After a really physical match against Vodacom Bulls, we’ve returned to Cape Town where we’ve had a great week of training, with the squad fully focussed for another massive test against last season’s Champions.
“We obviously met the Stormers in Cape Town in last year’s Quarter-Final so we know just how good they are – especially at home – but we’re playing with confidence and our squad will be fired up to improve on last weekend’s performance.
“It’s a huge challenge but one we’re relishing as we take on the URC Champions in their own backyard.”
Watch Edinburgh Rugby take on DHL Stormers this Saturday (1 October) live on Premier Sports 1, with coverage starting at 12.30pm BST ahead of a 1pm BST kick-off.