Edinburgh Reivers v

Glasgow Caley Reds

After having named a team packed with pace for tonight's meeting with Edinburgh Reivers at Riverside Park (kick-off 7pm), Glasgow Caledonian Reds coach Richie Dixon sought to reinforce the psychological edge his side hold over their opponents.

''What we are trying to do is make sure that everyone from No.1 to No.15 is a game-breaker,'' he said, in response to Reivers coach Bob Easson's explanation that, by including Chris Paterson and Derrick Lee, he was looking to maximise the number of game-breakers in his side.

''Sod's law is that when opportunities arise, it won't necessarily be to the recognised ball players, so we are trying to ensure that anyone who finds themselves in those positions will be capable of making the right decisions.''

That certainly looked the difference between the sides as the Reds ran riot at Hughenden last month, winning 47-10, with Dixon ruing more points had not been put on the board.

That said, the native Borderer is aware that the home side will be a different proposition deep in Reiver territory tonight. ''The middle game in a three-match series ought to be a real humdinger,'' said Dixon.

''Our lads know that if they win, they have top seeding for Europe next season, but the Reivers have to pull out all the stops to try to ensure that we go to the decider.''

Since Easson's philosophy on taking over the Reivers' head coach's post a fortnight ago was to tell his men to go out and express themselves in their morale-boosting win over Neath, the match, hopefully, will not degenerate, as the previous meeting of the sides in the Borders did in September.

''These games always have an edge, though,'' Easson admitted. ''The guys rub shoulders with one another at Murrayfield and know everything they need to about one another, which makes it different from Celtic League matches against the Welsh sides.''

He believes his side has made progress since that defeat at Hughenden. ''The Dunvant match the following week was satisfying because it was a win. They showed the spirit to hang in when they had to,'' he said.

''Against Neath, we played some rugby and scored some good tries, and the players came back with even more satisfaction because they had a win and had put in a better performance.''

He regards the Reds as another step up, though, and knows that while his men are looking to keep the Tri-Series alive ahead of next month's meeting in Inverness, the visitors are not short on incentive.

''They are coming here with a 3-0 advantage over us this season, if you include the pre-season tournament in Canada, and if I was coaching them I would be telling them that they should be looking for 4-0 and then 5-0, especially since we won the Tri-Series last year,'' he said.

The Reivers are boosted by the elevation of Paterson, described by Easson as ''a modern rugby player'' because of his attitude and all-round playing skills, into the Scotland squad.

The Reds' quality, though, is demonstrated in that the national squad's other newcomer, Graeme Beveridge, is on their bench.

Dixon admitted that he is gambling on the match fitness of back-row man Roland Reid, hooker Gav Scott, and, in particular, winger James Craig, who are all returning from lengthy spells on the injury list. ''They are fit and need games,'' he explained.

Edinburgh Reivers: C Paterson; K Milligan, J Hita, G Shiel, D Lee; D Hodge, G Burns; A Jacobsen, S Scott, B Stewart, A Lucking, I Fullarton, C Mather, G Dall, C Hogg capt. Replacements - I Fairley, S Lang, M Di Rollo, M Proudfoot, G McKelvey, G Hayter, S Taylor.

Glasgow Caledonian Reds: G Metcalfe; S Longstaff, A Bulloch, J Stuart, J Craig; T Hayes, A Nicol capt; D Hilton, G Scott, G McIlwham, S Campbell, J White, R Reid, D Macfadyen, G Simpson. Replacements - B Irving, I Jardine, G Beveridge, J Petrie, M Waite, A Watt, D Hall.