Edinburgh v Glasgow Warriors has international subplot ahead of Six Nations
Edinburgh lock Ben Toolis is looking forward to a spicy encounter with Glasgow on Saturday when a lot more than local bragging rights will be at stake.
Both sides have struggled in their respective divisions of the Pro14 this season and this cross-conference clash offers the opportunity to start the new year with a bang.
The inter-city derby is always fiercely competitive and there is the added dimension of the fast approaching Six Nations. Scotland coach Gregor Townsend will be an interested spectator at BT Murrayfield as he mulls over his squad for the opener against England at Twickenham on February 6.
Toolis thinks the second row is one of Scotland’s strongest positions and, on the assumption that Jonny Gray is first pick, many believe the Edinburgh man is in a straight fight with his Glasgow rival Scott Cummings for the other berth. Toolis thinks there’s a bit more to it than that.
“It’s not just him,” he said of Cummings. “There’s other boys playing well - Rob Harley, I don’t know the situation with Richie [Gray] and his concussion.
“There are young boys coming through at Edinburgh as well. Andrew Davidson, for example. So, there’s heaps of depth there.
“The second-row is probably the most depth we have in Scotland so obviously you want to try and play better against your rival.
“But more importantly you are focussed on getting the win and hopefully you put your best foot forward to contribute to that victory.
“At the end of the day, we’re all mates off the field and we get on really well with the Glasgow boys when we’re in Scotland camp – but it is a derby game so you can always find that extra bit of motivation and determination to try to play your best game.
“These are important games, not least for us we try to climb up the table.
“We always definitely get up for them and that creates the vibe during the week, and you try to thrive on that intensity and relish the moment of going out there to play for each other.”
A message from the Editor:
Thank you for reading this article. We're more reliant on your support than ever as the shift in consumer habits brought about by coronavirus impacts our advertisers.
If you haven't already, please consider supporting our trusted, fact-checked journalism by taking out a digital subscription.
Want to join the conversation? Please or to comment on this article.