Rugby World Cup – Grant Gilchrist demands more from Edinburgh in 1872 decider

After losing 16-10 to Glasgow last week, Edinburgh fell to 10th in the BKT United Rugby Championship. More worryingly, they have lost three of their last four matches. Both sides will meet at BT Murrayfield, the home of Scottish rugby, a stadium with which 19 players from the two teams are intimately familiar.

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Edinburgh will love the return of the battle-hardened foursome. Blair Kinghorn, Mark Bennett, Sam Skinner and Luke Crosby return to the starting XV after various injuries kept them out of the lineup last week. They are part of the seven changes made by Mike Blair to his side. Wes Goosen, Henry Pyrgos and Boan Venter are part of the squad that will represent the Scottish capital in the match marking the 150th anniversary of World Rugby’s oldest intercity competition.

Warriors head coach Franco Smith has kept his dominant package intact, with the only starting switches in the back. Ali Price changes into a scrum half jersey and Ollie Smith is another modification of the starting XV. The cornerback will join captain Kyle Stein and Sebastian Canceller in the back three.

We put a lot of effort into the game, but we felt we weren’t precise enough to use the chances we created. I can’t blame the guys for the effort, I thought by going to Scotstone we gave ourselves the opportunity to win, which few teams do, said Edinburgh second captain Grant Gilchrist.

The short circuit has been a recent subject of the Edinburgh play. Looking back at their clash with the Saracens and last week’s game at Scotstone, the team lost points due to a lack of clear performance on set pieces and in 22 opposition matches. For more know about Rugby World Cup Tickets

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We gave Glasgow too many opportunities because of our losses. Some of them were just small blackouts, some were skill based as well. In a derby, you can’t give your opponent as many outs as we did with Glasgow. This is something we have to put in order, said the head coach of Edinburgh.

“Every derby has to have attitude and attitude, otherwise you won’t have a chance to win. But if both teams bring it, then it’s about who can be more accurate. We weren’t more accurate than Glasgow last week, so we should be better this week, added Gilchrist.”

Having failed to come up with answers to Glasgow’s imposing style of play, Blair is delighted to welcome the likes of Skinner back into his fray.  Sam is a true second row of international class. His USP is related to his intelligence, his handling and his understanding of the game, and we felt it would be very important this week.” Over 25,000 fans at BT Murrayfield are expected to witness Edinburgh’s victory.

This high attendance follows last week’s well attended games across the league. Matches of the 10th round were attended by 117,448 fans. It was the second highest single-round attendance in league history.

We need to win. “Of course we would like to win the Cup, but we have to win the game,” Gilchrist said. Whereas derbies like this are based on emotion, both the captain and manager are set on securing the win first and then the trophy to keep the team out of the crowd.

It’s not as easy as saying yes, we’re going for it [the cup] 100 percent, because there are several different things that depend on the outcome of this game. “We discussed which scenarios you would continue to use to win overall and which scenarios you would just win the match,” Blair said.

“I’m not saying that anyone who wants to win the 1872 Cup is crazy. I’m just saying that there will be different opinions about what you want to do. We discussed this and it may mean that the guys are in a different mood on this day. But there are a number of different things that we have to take into account, added the former Edinburgh player.”

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Scotland international Geoff Cross announces retirement

Scotland international and London Irishman Geoff Cross has announced his decision to retire from professional rugby immediately. Cross made his debut for Scotland in 2009 and made 40 appearances for his country in six years, as well as working for clubs including Border Reivers, Edinburgh, Glasgow and the London Irish.

In the 2014/15 season, Cross played nine matches for the London Irish, scoring 10 points. However, in the 2015/16 season, the Exiles were relegated from the Aviva Premier League after finishing bottom of the table. Cross, who is also a qualified physician, will embark on a career in medicine after his retirement.

The London Irish are a club steeped in history and tradition and have every reason to return to the Aviva Premier League immediately. Representing my country was the pinnacle of my career and I played 40 times for Scotland. fills me with great pride. I feel very privileged that I have realized the ambition of a lifetime and left memories that will last a lifetime. However, right now I’m focused on the next chapter, which I’m really looking forward to.

The tournament ended in a real 26-5 choke in Dublin. The highly erratic Scots were thwarted by being banished to the bench by Finn Russell, who was scapegoated for joining the rest of the leaderboard for a few beers to celebrate Ali Price’s 50th cap last weekend, apparently in violation of team protocol .

Pierre Schuman’s try before half-time would be Scotland’s only point in a game that also featured headless performances from Price, Graham and Hogg, who had great tournaments at the time. Bad management of the game and Scotland’s mistakes were exacerbated by Johnny Sexton coming out of hibernation for one of his “foot in the throat” rugby master classes where Scotland simply couldn’t escape the Irish pressure.

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The head of rugby at the London Irish club, Glenn Delaney, lavished praise on the hard props and wished Cross a successful future. Jeff had an amazing playing career that saw him play at the highest level for Scotland and was a great professional for the London Irish both on and off the pitch. I speak for everyone involved with the Club and wish Jeff and his family all the best for the future.

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