Glasgow v Edinburgh

GLASGOW, sitting pretty on their European pedestal after a cheering run in world rugby's newest competition, place the Heineken Cup on the back burner tomorrow in favour of an outing in one of the game's most venerable regular encounters - the inter-city, which was first played in 1872.

The match against Edinburgh at Scotstoun, which kicks off at the irregular time of 3.30 - how we conspire to confuse potential spectators - represents the 118th meeting of the two city sides. For the record, Edinburgh have won 59 times, Glasgow 39 and there have been 19 draws.

After the drama and high media profile of six weeks of European action, the European Qualifying Tournament is in danger of being viewed as a return to the ''auld claes and porridge'' of the inter-district championship.

No fear, or words to that effect, says Glasgow manager Hamish Fyfe, whose side is the only one to have progressed beyond the European knock-out stages.

''After our performances in the European Cup we are there to be shot at. Everybody will want to have a crack at us. The tournament will have an edge to it which it hasn't had before.''

Glasgow maintain, too, that despite their European successthey remain under-represented in Scotland's national squads and, individually, players have points to prove.

Fyfe said: ''There's been a bit of chat at Murrayfield squad sessions and a number of the players will want to set down a marker for the national selectors. But, leaving individual performances aside, this is also the qualifier for Europe next season.

''Three sides go into the Cup and the other plays in the Conference. Just how we perform in this tournament will determine the shape of our season next year.

''I hope the rugby public take to this tournament in a way that they never did with the old inter-district championship.

''The players are now, mostly, full-time professionals and their skill and fitness levels are far ahead of what they were last season. We have also just come off a period of playing against the best in Europe, so there should be a good standard of rugby to watch.''

Glasgow are still involved in negotiations with their Cook Islands' fly-half, Tommy Hayes. Fyfe hopes Hayes will sign on the dotted line for next season. ''We want him to stay. He wants to stay, and it's just a case of agreeing a deal,'' added the manager.

Fyfe's Edinburgh counterpart, Fraser Dall, is also expecting big things. He says: ''This year the tournament will be really competitive. Everybody is saying the same thing, but there really will be points to prove.

''Our performances in the European Conference have not been so bad as some people have made out, and this is our chance to prove the doubters wrong.

''The other thing which mainly makes for keener competition this year is the fact that all of the district squads have been training individually. Last season all of the contracted players trained centrally at Murrayfield.

''Now, because we have been training together as separate districts, a real team spirit and camaraderie has been built up and we are all coming off six weeks' fierce competition in Europe.

''We all take with us into this tournament our results from Europe. As I've said, we've got more to offer than our European results have shown.

''The Borderers have an extremely strong squad and they haven't won a thing, but they were in the toughest group in the European Cup. They might spring a few surprises.

''Caledonia come into the tournament as defending champions, and everybody will be trying to knock Glasgow off their perch as the only Scottish side to get beyond the knock-out stages.

''Glasgow, meanwhile, will be desperate to show that they are as good as their European results suggest. The tournament has all the ingredients to be something else entirely this season.''

Glasgow (from): C Sangster, G Fraser, D Stark, C Simmers, M McGrandles, A Bulloch, J Craig, G Metcalfe, T Hayes, F Stott, C Little, G McIlwham, G Bulloch, C Docherty, A Kittle, M Beckham, M Norval, G Perrett, S Begley, D McLeish, F Wallace, M Wallace, I Sinclair, J Shaw.

Edinburgh: H Gilmour; S Reed, L Graham, S Hastings, A McLean; D Hodge, G Burns; R McNulty, G McKelvey, B Stewart, D Burns, M Blair, T McVie, S Reid, G Dall. Substitutes: D Rogerson, C Aitken, A Donaldson, N Penny, S Paul, P Jennings, A Binnie.

Referee: I Ramage (Berwick).

q Glasgow, trying to recover from a 21-3 defeat by Caledonia on Wednesday, face Edinburgh in the under-19 district championship match at Old Anniesland tomorrow (1.30pm). Team:-

C Murdoch (Ayr); R Kerr (Strathendrick), I McInroy (Garnock), J Anderson (Ardrossan Academicals), B Edgar (Glasgow Southern); G McDougall (Ayr), J Divers (Glasgow Hawks); G Blackburn (Glasgow Southern), P Milligan (Wigtownshire), I Whiteley (Hutchesons/Aloysians), C Stewart (East Kilbride), C Hamilton (Wigtownshire), S Bryce (Glasgow Southern), captain, R Maxton (Stewarts Melville FP), S Paterson (Ayr).

Before that, Caledonia and Scottish Borders meet at New Anniesland (kick-off noon) in the first match of the day's under-19 championship double-header.