Leone Nakarawa is set for his long-awaited Glasgow comeback on Saturday as the Warriors make a third attempt to stage their 1872 Cup clash with Edinburgh.
The Fijian last featured for the Scotstoun outfit against the Dragons last February but the combination of a knee injury and the Covid-19 crisis has delayed his return to action.
He has been named among Danny Wilson’s replacements as the Glasgow boss hopes it is third time lucky for his side’s ill-fated derby showdown with Richard Cockerill’s outfit.
The teams were due to face on December 27 only for the original date to be shelved because of a coronavirus outbreak in the Warriors squad, while last weekend’s rearranged date was postponed due to a frozen pitch just 30 minutes before kick-off.
But Wilson – who has made just once change to the team that had been due to play last week – is hoping for a better start to 2021 after a nightmare run of Guinness PRO14 results last year.
“Like we said last weekend, we want to give an opportunity to a few boys we think deserve their shot based on their efforts in training over the last couple of weeks,” said Wilson.
“There are a lot of highlights in this week’s team selection. We’re excited to see how Ross Thompson goes at fly-half and for Rufus McLean to get his first run out for the club.
“On the bench we’re looking forward to welcoming back Leone and giving Tom Lambert and Ollie Smith their first taste of senior rugby.
“We’ve worked hard this week in training, and we’re excited to get the game underway.”
The sole change to the starting XV sees Aki Seiuli come in for Oli Kebble at loosehead prop.
Scotland Under-20 star Rufus McLean will make his club debut on the wing this weekend, whilst Ross Thompson starts for the Warriors at fly-half for the first time after making his debut at BT Murrayfield a fortnight ago.
Academy duo Tom Lambert and Ollie Smith will make their debuts off the bench.
1. Aki Seiuli (21)
2. George Turner (55)
3. Zander Fagerson (96)
4. Richie Gray (52)
5. Scott Cummings (74)
6. Ryan Wilson (C) (180)
7. Tom Gordon (26)
8. Matt Fagerson (67)
9. Ali Price (92)
10. Ross Thompson (1)
11. Rufus McLean (0)
12. Robbie Fergusson (6)
13. Nick Grigg (80)
14. Lee Jones (86)
15. Huw Jones (44)
16. Johnny Matthews (6)
17. Tom Lambert (0)
18. Enrique Pieretto (9)
19. Leone Nakarawa (72)
20. Rob Harley (240)
21. Jamie Dobie (14)
22. Brandon Thomson (31)
23. Ollie Smith (0)
Unavailable for selection: Alex Allan, Fraser Brown, Adam Hastings, George Horne, Pete Horne, Sam Johnson, Oli Kebble, Paddy Kelly, Sean Kennedy, Niko Matawalu, Kiran McDonald, Ewan McQuillin, Tommy Seymour, Kyle Steyn, George Thornton.
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