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1872 Challenge Cup: Harley steps into the breach

Shade Munro, the Glasgow Warriors forwards coach, is backing one of his key players to hand the Scotland selectors an unexpected back-row option when he plays out of position in the return match at Murrayfield in the Inter-city derby tomorrow.

Rob Harley, who mainly has played blindside flanker, a role that demands power and aggression with less emphasis on speed, has come forward to solve a crisis on the other side of the scrum, at openside. His shift is one of several changes to both sides as Edinburgh seek revenge and Glasgow try to consolidate their grip on the 1872 Cup and their RaboDirect PRO12 play-off place.

"He has played openside before, though this is the first time he has started there," said Munro. "He played extremely well, his stats were through the roof.

"He is not your traditional No.7 but he plays like one, he covers a lot of ground. He has a huge stride and maintains that speed throughout the game no matter how many incidents he is involved in."

Since Scott Johnson, the interim Scotland coach, has a reputation for adventurous selections, this represents a great opportunity for Harley.

At the moment, he is seen as a specialist, and with the likes of Kelly Brown, Alasdair Strokosch and David Denton already established in that blindside role, is in danger of finding his chances of adding to his single cap limited.

By proving his versatility, he now becomes a real option for the replacement bench – putting him closer to that regular Scotland slot.

Team news. Pages 8, 9

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