Edinburgh are 'tougher' under Richard Cockerill - Dave Rennie

Dave Rennie
Dave Rennie has led Glasgow to 10 straight wins in the Pro14 this season

Glasgow Warriors coach Dave Rennie believes Edinburgh are playing a "more complete" brand of rugby under Richard Cockerill than they have done in recent years.

The two sides meet on Saturday at Murrayfield in the first of three 1872 Cup matches this season.

Both coaches arrived in Scotland last summer and Rennie has been impressed with Cockerill's work with Edinburgh.

"They've made excellent progress," Rennie said.

"They're certainly far tougher, they play a more complete brand of footy," he said.

"You only have to ask our defence coach Kenny Murray. He's had to study them in the past and if you defended the maul and dealt with the high ball from nine it went a long way towards winning the game, but it's a lot different now.

"I think he's done a great job. I think they've won eight of their last nine so they'll have a level of confidence and form. It makes for a great clash."

It will be a first taste of the inter-city derby for both Rennie and Cockerill, and the New Zealander has been left in no doubt as to how much the rivalry means to his players.

"It's important to our boys," the former Chiefs coach said. "It's bragging rights, it's a trial of sorts. It's like a State of Origin match if you're Australian. They're big encounters.

"I know coming from New Zealand all the derby matches were massive, they're brutal and it's almost Test match intensity. That's what I expect this weekend.

"We've had a couple of massive clashes with Montpellier in the last couple of weeks but this has always been in the background. There's been a lot of talk about it, any derby is like that in any country. It's pretty special.

Peter Horne
Peter Horne will start at 10 for Glasgow against Edinburgh ahead of Finn Russell

"A lot of our senior players have been talking about the past and making sure our new boys know what to expect."

The decision to start Peter Horne at 10 for the match at Murrayfield, with Finn Russell left on the bench, was surprising to some.

Rennie says Russell's impending move to French side Racing 92 at the end of the season had no bearing on the selection, and that Horne deserves his start after performing well in the position in the European Champions Cup defeat at Montpellier last weekend.

"We wanted to reward Pete," Rennie added. "We asked him to do a job and he controlled things really well. He gets another crack this week and Finn will get his time off the bench. We'll do what we think is best for the current enemy.

"We've been keen to reward performance. We've picked a number of young guys over a number of weeks in front of some of the international boys because they've been playing really well. That's the thinking this week."

Ryan Wilson
Ryan Wilson has been ruled out of action for six weeks with an ankle injury

Rennie also moved to ease fears that Ryan Wilson's ankle injury could keep him out of Scotland's Six Nations squad. The first match against Wales in Cardiff is a little over six weeks away, roughly the same timescale for Wilson's recovery.

"Yeah I think he will be [fit in time]," Rennie said. "It's been a bit of an epidemic with our loose forwards. They don't tend to get injuries that keep them out for one or two weeks, it tends to be eight, six, 10 weeks. He joins that club but we're fortunate we've got Rob Harley back this week. It's a good little swap for us.

"Ryan is hard to keep on the sidelines at the best of times so we expect him back inside six weeks."

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