Flanker Hamish Watson is in the frame to return to Edinburgh Rugby’s squad for Friday’s return Guinness Pro 12 clash with Glasgow Warriors at BT Murrayfield.
The 23-year-old, pictured below, was being tipped for a Scotland debut after starting seven of Edinburgh’s opening eight games until calamity struck against Lyon in the European Challenge Cup and he had to undergo surgery on a broken jaw at the end of October. Now, coach Alan Solomons has confirmed that Watson is fit to be considered though another open-side, Roddy Grant, is earning praise and it could be that Watson will be “bled” back in to the side from the bench.
Also set to return is winger Tim Visser to replace his stand-in when Edinburgh lost 16-6 at Scotstoun last weekend, Tom Brown, who is undergoing protocols for a head knock.
Said Solomons: “Tim is available. He’s practised and is fine although, with everyone, you wait until the following morning to see if there is any reaction. I’m pretty much sure of the team but have got to wait to see how everybody tracks (trains).”
One player who retired hurt at Scotstoun but has counted himself in is utility back Jack Cuthbert. He has appeared both at full back and winger for Edinburgh. “I just took a bang on the leg but I’m fine,” insisted Cuthbert who admits that being part of the side that lost 20-16 to Glasgow at Murrayfield last season still rankles.
“I think we were unlucky not to get the win last year. We played well for the best part of it then Glasgow got a try at the end. We left a few tries out there and were hard done by not to come away with a result.
“That is something that weighs on my mind and is staying on a lot of guys’ minds. A win in a derby is not something you want to let slip.”
Cuthbert also revealed he is keen to make up for lost time in terms of capturing silverware, with the 1872 Cup going to the team with the best points aggregate over the two legs.
The last time Cuthbert received tangible reward was 2008 when he played in the group stages as Bath went on to lift the Amlin European Challenge Cup by defeating Worcester. “I received a watch when Bath won the Challenge Cup and there will be a bit of emotion if we bring the cup home on Friday.
“What comes first will be winning the game. It is only a ten-point deficit and derbies, as was shown at Scotstoun when they scored that amount of points in the five minutes before half-time, can turn quickly.
“What will help will be getting the crowd behind us by playing well in the opening 20 minutes. That’s when we can really show our fans we are trying to do something they want to see, and they will want to be right behind us.”
A crowd of 10,125 attended last year. Indications are that figure will be exceeded this time around.