Robinson Names 27-Man Squad

ImageEdinburgh head coach Andy Robinson has named a provisional 27-man squad for the Magners League match against Cardiff Blues at Murrayfield on Friday evening (28 March, kick off 7.30pm) and has included two National Senior Academy forwards, Sean Crombie and Fraser McKenzie.

Following Friday's bonus point victory over Connacht, Robinson admits there are still a number of decisions that need to be finalised concerning the starting line-up.

But the former Lions coach was quick to highlight the fact that both hooker Crombie and back rower McKenzie had merited their call-ups after impressing while training with the squad.

Robinson said: "Both of these boys deserve to be in contention after training well with Edinburgh throughout the season.

"We are always looking to promote young Scottish talent and both Sean and Fraser are good prospects."

Edinburgh are without Allan Jacobsen (groin), Ross Ford (ankle), Roland Reid (hamstring) and Alan MacDonald (fractured cheekbone) who are all ruled out through injury.

Meanwhile Greig Laidlaw, Ally Warnock and Scott Newlands are away on international duty with Scotland's 7's squad in Hong Kong.

As a result, Robinson admits he has been forced to reshuffle the squad ahead of the all-important visit of Cardiff.

He added: "With three of our first team squad players away in Hong Kong and a further four ruled out through injury, we have been forced to look at our options.

"But this situation creates an opportunity for someone else to come in and seize their chance. One of the key factors behind our positive results so far this season has been the level of competition for places in the side."

While coaching on the Lions Tour to New Zealand in 2005, Robinson worked with Gareth Thomas, Tom Shanklin and Martyn Williams and he acknowledges Friday's fixture will be a difficult obstacle to overcome.

He said: "I was fortunate enough to have worked with those guys with the Lions and I know how committed and talented they all are as professionals.

"Welsh rugby is enjoying a real high at the moment after the Grand Slam success of a couple of weeks ago and this will impact on all the country's professional teams.

"But we need to make sure we pay attention to detail on the night and maintain our collective concentration levels if we are to maintain our winning run."

Edinburgh (27-man squad): Hugo Southwell, Calum MacRae, Andrew Turnbull, John Houston, Ben Cairns, Matt Dey, Nick De Luca, Simon Webster, David Blair, Phil Godman, Ben Meyer, Mike Blair; Gavin Kerr, Augusto Allori, Andrew Kelly, Steve Lawrie, Craig Smith, Sean Crombie, Matt Mustchin, Ben Gissing, Fergus Pringle, Craig Hamilton, Allister Hogg (captain), Simon Cross, Ross Rennie, David Callam, Fraser McKenzie.

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