Glasgow Warriors back-rower Sione Vailanu is expecting a backlash from Edinburgh in Friday night’s 1872 Cup second-leg clash at Murrayfield – but is confident that he and his team-mates can handle whatever the capital side throws at them.

The Scotstoun men bullied their way to a 16-10 home victory in the first leg of this festive season’s double-header on the day before Christmas Eve but haven’t beaten Edinburgh at the national stadium since December 2016.

“Edinburgh will be very well motivated for the match after the way the game went last Friday, so it’s up to us to match them,” said Vailanu. “We said after that first game that we’ll try to big it up next week, especially the physicality, then hopefully get a win again.

“We beat them last week because we got the upper hand against them in the maul and scrum during the first half, but in the second half they tried to come at us, so that’s something we will need to work on and hopefully we’ll sort it on Friday.

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“We work hard on our defence and against Edinburgh we were able to stop them. I was really impressed with the boys. We’re expecting a backlash this week, they’re going to come hard at us, but we’re ready for it.

“We had a break over Christmas then came back in on Tuesday and are working as hard as we can to make sure we go into the game in the right mind set.

“We’re quite confident now. We’ve won the last four games and we’re trying to build momentum.

Vailanu arrived in Glasgow this summer as a hard-running No 8 but the absence through injury of Rory Darge and Tom Gordon has led top him being deployed as an openside flanker in recents weeks, as part of a muscular back-row unit alongside Matt Fagerson and Jack Dempsey.

“I really enjoy the way we are playing now,” he added. “I want to get on the ball as much as possible, because that’s my strength – running hard with the ball.”

David Barnes