Guinness PRO12: Glasgow Warriors and Edinburgh boosted by returns

Scottish Rugby confirms just eight players retained and rested ahead of final two rounds of the RBS 6 Nations later this month

Glasgow Warriors and Edinburgh Rugby have received a timely boost ahead of Round 17 of the Guinness PRO12 this weekend as Scottish Rugby Union released 25 players back to their clubs.

Warriors head coach Gregor Townsend will be delighted to have lock Tim Swinson available for their home match against Zebre after losing Leone Nakarawa to a three-week ban.

After going down 22-10 to Munster on Saturday evening, their backline will also be boosted by the availability of outside-half duo Finn Russell, who is available after his two-week ban, and Peter Horne, as well as wingers Tommy Seymour and Sean Lamont.

Also returning to Scotstoun are number eight Adam Ashe, flanker Rob Harley and props Alex Allan and Ryan Grant.

Edinburgh head coach Alan Solomons was able to call on the services of back rowers David Denton and Hugh Blake, and Scotland wingers Tim Visser and Dougie Fife for their 21-15 defeat to Cardiff Blues on Sunday, who all remain with the Gunners for their trip to Benetton Treviso.

Also returned to Edinburgh after Scotland’s 22-19 defeat to Italy on Saturday are newly-capped forwards Ben Toolis and Hamish Watson, scrum-half Sam Hidalgo-Clyne, outside-half Greig Tonks and centre Matt Scott, who all came off the bench during that match.

A further seven players, including captain Greig Laidlaw and London Irish flanker Blair Cowan, return to clubs in England and France under mandatory release.

Warriors sextet Mark Bennett, Fraser Brown, Alex Dunbar, Jonny Gray, Stuart Hogg and Euan Murray) and Edinburgh Rugby front-row duo Alasdair Dickinson and Ross Ford will remain under the management of the Scotland coaches before Vern Cotter’s squad for the final two rounds against England and Ireland meets up at the end of the week.

Players returned to clubs (25):

Forwards (15): Adam Ashe (Glasgow Warriors), Alex Allan (Glasgow Warriors), Johnnie Beattie (Castres), Hugh Blake (Edinburgh Rugby), Blair Cowan (London Irish), Geoff Cross (London Irish), David Denton (Edinburgh Rugby), Ryan Grant (Glasgow Warriors), Jim Hamilton (Saracens), Rob Harley (Glasgow Warriors), Moray Low (Exeter Chiefs), Alasdair Strokosch (Perpignan), Tim Swinson (Glasgow Warriors), Ben Toolis (Edinburgh Rugby), Hamish Watson (Edinburgh Rugby).

Backs (10): Dougie Fife (Edinburgh Rugby), Sam Hidalgo-Clyne (Edinburgh Rugby), Peter Horne (Glasgow Warriors), Greig Laidlaw (Gloucester Rugby), Sean Lamont (Glasgow Warriors), Finn Russell (Glasgow Warriors), Matt Scott (Edinburgh Rugby), Tommy Seymour (Glasgow Warriors), Greig Tonks (Edinburgh Rugby), Tim Visser (Edinburgh Rugby).

Retained and rested players (8):

Mark Bennett (Glasgow Warriors), Fraser Brown (Glasgow Warriors), Alasdair Dickinson (Edinburgh Rugby), Alex Dunbar (Glasgow Warriors), Ross Ford (Edinburgh Rugby), Jonny Gray (Glasgow Warriors), Euan Murray (Glasgow Warriors), Stuart Hogg (Glasgow Warriors).

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