GLASGOW WARRIORS head coach Dave Rennie has made four changes to his side to face Edinburgh this evening, and he believes the double-header against the great rivals holds even more significance as it will serve as a trial for the upcoming Six Nations squad.

Warriors host Edinburgh in the first leg of the 1872 Cup today, with the second instalment coming next Saturday at Murrayfield.

The result is almost impossible to predict, with Glasgow having been the stronger of the teams over the course of the season in recent years, but Edinburgh have won four out of the last five 1872 Cups, as well as having shown better form this season so far.

Glasgow slipped to a disappointing 12-7 home defeat to La Rochelle last weekend having squandered a number of chances to take the victory.

Rennie is aware that his side cannot afford to let opportunities pass when Edinburgh come to Scotstoun this evening and while the New Zealander is feeling confident ahead of the clash, he knows his side will have to take their chances better than they have in recent outings if they are to grab the win against their domestic rivals.

“We have prepared well (this week), but we need to be more clinical,” said Rennie.

“That’s going to be important because you don’t get a lot of opportunities against sides like Edinburgh.

“There has been a good edge about training - heading into a game against Edinburgh that is always going to be the case. It is almost a trial for guys heading into the Six Nations.”

Glasgow have started this season considerably worse than they have in previous years, with Rennie’s men sitting in fourth place in their Pro14 conference and a distant second place in their Champions Cup pool.

There is an acknowledgement from Rennie that things must improve, but he denies there is any hint of desperation within the dressing room just yet. And he wonders if his side’s poor positions in the Pro14 and Champions Cup may give them a slight edge when they face Edinburgh.

“It’s not backs to the wall,” he said.

“Obviously we’re not happy with where we’re at in either of the comps. “Historically we’ve been well clear in PRO14 at this time of year and I always wonder whether that’s why we seem to lack a little bit of edge going into these games. That shouldn’t be the case this year.

“It’s a big game for us - it’s a big game for both clubs. I would expect to see the urgency - I’d certainly use the word urgency rather than desperation - that’s required for this situation.”

Rennie has brought in Sam Johnson, Ruaridh Jackson, George Horne and Rob Harley to his starting fifteen with Johnson taking Stafford McDowall’s place, Horne replacing Ali Price at scrum-half, Harley coming into the back row for Matt Fagerson, who has been suspended for three games following his red card against La Rochelle last weekend and Jackson’s inclusion meaning Niko Matawalu drops to the bench.

Huw Jones keeps his place in the side and while Rennie revealed it was a close call between him and Nick Grigg, the New Zealander believes Jones fully deserves his starting spot.

“It is pretty tight between Huw and Nick,” he said.

“I think Huw is going really well, working hard on this game and contributing well in training. He is in a pretty good space and we are keen to give him another crack and build on what he has been doing.

“From Huw’s perspective, we have seen good shifts in his defensive game. He has been really accurate. At times he has tried to off load passes that are maybe not on when you just want him to carry. He is a big, powerful man and we are seeing better examples of that too. We’re looking forward to seeing how he goes.”

After a quiet season so far, Adam Ashe is given a spot on the bench and the Scotland international cannot, says Rennie, wait to show what he can do.

“This a massive game for Adam,” he said.

“He started the season off with niggles, he got knocked out against Dragons after about a minute. With our other guys that we’ve felt are playing better, he’s been chomping at the bit and he gets an opportunity. He’s prepared pretty well over the past couple of weeks.

“He needs to show us the physicality that we’re asking of him: carries, cleans, tackles. He’s excited by the opportunity and I expect him to show it on the park tomorrow.”

As this is Rennie’s last season at Warriors before he moved down under to take charge of the Australian national team, he has only a few derby games remaining. And he would, he admits, love to end the season with the trophy.

“It’s not about me, but from a club perspective, yeah, we’d love to (win the 1872 Cup),” he said.

“That’s why the next couple of weeks are important. If we can win both games and put ourselves in a much better place in our pool.

“The focus is on performance.

Getting a bit of silverware is a bonus.”