Glasgow have resisted the temptation to throw their new recruit, Chris Birchall, in at the deep end against Gloucester tomorrow despite being hit by a minor front-row crisis

Euan Murray is expected to continue his recovery from an Achilles injury by facing the side which won the English Premiership before losing the controversial title play-off. Longer term, the hope is that Lee Harrison will shake off a serious shoulder problem in time for next month's Celtic League kick-off.

With Matt Proudfoot, who arrived from South Africa last week, and Andy Kelly their only two fit props, Eric Milligan has been called up.

Birchall, a rugby league convert, promises to be a quick learner in his new code, and said that his Scotland qualification had contributed significantly to his agreement to join Glasgow after he decided he wanted to try switching.

He added that the presence of Hugh Campbell, a scrummaging expert, as head coach had influenced his thinking. ''It was a massive reason. With his experience in my position, who better to teach? All the technical aspects are different and I've got to put in some extra hours to get up to speed,'' he said.

''I got a taste of rugby union last year, but I wouldn't imagine I got anything like the sort of coaching that's going to be available here. It's up to me to take advantage of that, working with Hugh and the established props here.

''I'd be a fool to expect to master the game in six months [the length of his contract], but if I can show the club I'm making strides in that time and I'm looking like I could develop into a good front-rower, that's all I'm worried about.''

Also out of tomorrow's game are Sam Pinder, the scrum-half who arrived last month from New Zealand. He has picked up an Achilles tendon strain but is expected to be fit to make his debut for the club next week at Hughenden against Newcastle.

Their sextet of Scotland World Cup squad members are unavailable, while Dan Parks will not arrive from Australia until next month, so Colin Shaw, a back-three man, has been drafted in from Hawks to bring the playing squad to 28 for the trip to Kingsholm.

lA mistake by Edinburgh's marketing team has reinforced the impression that the decisions on which club players go to which professional outfits may not entirely be made in-house.

In a recent mailshot, potential season-ticket holders were invited to watch Edinburgh's stalwarts in action ''joined by new stars such as Matt Dey, Andrew Turnbull, Tommy McGee, Rory Lawson, and Andrew Kelly''. They may, indeed, see Turnbull, but only when his new employers, the Borders, visit Meadowbank later in the season.

Dave Mackay, the new SRU chairman, has preached communication, so the gaffe may be a case of the playing management and the commercial people not being on the same wave length. Or, just possibly, the young Watsonian was expected to be heading for Edinburgh when the order for the publicity material was put in.